Ella Joy Olsen

Ella Joy Olsen is the author of the Historical Novel Society Editors’ Choice Root, Petal, Thorn (2016), the 15 Bytes Finalist Where the Sweet Bird Sings (2017), and the Best-Selling Audible Original Birdie & Jay (2020).

Root, Petal, Thorn and Where the Sweet Bird Sings are both based in Salt Lake City (specifically Sugar House) and were featured in the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, and Salt Lake MagazineRoot, Petal, Thorn was archived in Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library (though it is not LDS fiction), and was spotlighted on RadioWest with Doug Fabrizio.   

Ella is co-owner of Salty City Writing Workshops where she leads retreats, teaches classes, and provides coaching for local authors. She also teaches Creative Writing for the University of Utah’s Lifelong Learning continuing education program. She served a year-long remote internship at the Friedman Literary Agency in New York City reading manuscript submissions,​and spent nearly a decade on the Board of Directors for the Salt Lake City Public Library System (not to mention additional decades browsing the stacks). She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writing Association (WFWA) & the Historical Novel Society (HNS). She is represented by Rachel Ekstrom at Folio Literary Management.

Ella was born and raised in Salt Lake City, though she’s also lived in Seattle, Washington and Savannah, Georgia. She currently lives in Sugar House. She is the mom of three (adult-ish) kids, the mama of two dogs, and the wife of one husband. Years ago she graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Finance, and after many years spent analyzing numbers she gave up her corner cubicle and started writing fiction.



Root, Petal, Thorn, Kensington Press, 2016

Where the Sweet Bird Sings, Kensington Press, 2017

Birdie & Jay, Audible Originals Publishing, 2020


Interview with RadioWest

Profile in the Salt Lake Tribune

Review in the Salt Lake Tribune

Review in the Deseret News 


Additional Info

  • Region: Wasatch Front
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Tags: Women