Erica Soon Olsen

Erica Soon Olsen was born in Hollywood, California, in 1966. She has a BA in English from Stanford University (1988); an MA in English and American literature from Harvard University (1990); an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana (1998), where she received the A. B. Guthrie Memorial Award for Creative Writing; and a post-master’s certificate in archives management from Western Washington University (2007). In 2000–2001 she was the Djerassi Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Erica is the author of Recapture & Other Stories (Torrey House Press, 2012), a collection of short fiction about the once and future West. Her story “Grand Canyon II,” included in Recapture, won the Barthelme Prize for Short Prose from Gulf Coast magazine in 2011. Library Journal named Recapture one of its “2012 Short Story Collections I Couldn’t Forget.”

Erica is also the author of Girlmine, a micro-chapbook of flash fiction about the uneasy ways we live in the natural world (Inch no. 40, Bull City Press, 2019). Her short stories and essays have also appeared in ZYZZYVA, High Desert Journal, Terrain, and other literary magazines and in the anthologies Dirt: A Love Story (University Press of New England, 2015) and California Prose Directory (Outpost 19, 2013). She is currently working on a nonfiction manuscript about the sense of home and about the dwellings of her Korean, Norwegian, and Swedish forebears.

Erica has been awarded residencies at the Ucross Foundation (1999); the Aspen Guard Station, San Juan National Forest (2004); the Center for Land Use Interpretation (2008); and the Jentel Artist Residency Program (2012).

As a resident of both the Utah and Colorado sides of the Four Corners area, Erica did archives and curation work for archaeology museums and communications for an archaeological nonprofit. She now lives in Vernal, Utah. She works as a freelance copy editor and proofreader and teaches online in UC Berkeley Extension’s Professional Sequence in Editing.



Novels and Chapbooks

  • Recapture & Other Stories, Torrey House Press, 2012
  • Girlmine, Inch no. 40, Bull City Press, 2019