Jenny O’Connell’s debut book project, Finding Petronella, traces her 2014 solo trek across Finland following the footsteps of a female legend into the heart of the Arctic Circle. A 2019 Maine Literary Award finalist and Pushcart Prize nominee, Jenny’s writing has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, SLICE Magazine, Appalachia Journal, Hippocampus, Camas, Stonecoast Review, and the anthology Awake in the World, v. 2 (Riverfeet Press). “The Sky Where You Are,” her debut libretto commissioned by An Opera Theatre of Minneapolis (MN) shines a light on advocacy and domestic violence during quarantine. Jenny is a contributor at Maine Magazine. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast, and has held artist residencies with the Norton Island Residency for Writers & Artists, the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation, and Feathered Ink in Maine, and Chulitna Lodge Research Institute in remote Alaska.
An outdoor guide with twelve years of experience, Jenny’s writing carves out space for women in the wild, explores themes of risk-taking and transformation, and asks questions of the way we live. She lives in Portland, Maine, where she teaches creative writing to youth and adults, works for Stonecoast MFA on initiatives that empower writers to create positive change through the literary arts, and guides wilderness expeditions in the eastern U.S. and abroad.
Jenny is represented by Jamie Chambliss and Steve Troha of Folio Literary.