Elizabeth Ellen is a writer and editor who resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is the author of the story collections Before You She was a Pit Bull (2006) and Fast Machine (2012), an assemblage of her best work from the last decade. A chapbook of her flash fiction, entitled Sixteen Miles Outside of Phoenix, appears in Rose Metal Press’ A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks of Short Short Fiction by Four Women (2008), and Ellen released a poetry collection, Bridget Fonda, in 2015. Her short story “Teen Culture” won a Pushcart Prize in 2012, and her work has been published online or in print by American Short Fiction, BOMB, HTMLGiant, The Guardian, Lazy Fascist Review, McSweeney’s, MuuMuu House, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn among other venues. Ellen also co-edits the journal Hobart and oversees its book division, Short Flight/Long Drive Books.
Two nuns and a penguin approach you at a bar, and you tell them you’re a writer. When they ask you what you write about, how do you answer?
I tell them the same thing I tell everyone who asks that question: myself. Because I’m a narcissist and solipsistic. And the two nuns and the penguin don’t interest me half as much as I interest myself. LOL. Though I can’t imagine telling anyone in a bar I’m a writer.