Jillian Jackson publishes story in the Iowa Review

Jillian Jackson

Jillian Jackson (Fiction ’15) has published her story “A Leo, Like Jackie O” in the Spring 2018 issue of The Iowa Review!

We had a chance to hear from Jillian about her writing process.  Here’s what she had to say:

When I write it usually takes me a long time to fumble through a story and figure out what it’s really about. It’s a VERY inefficient process, but it can be pleasantly surprising, and a lot of the time I end up far from where I started.

Where did the idea for the story come from?  How did it come together?

I’m very interested in the supernatural, and this was originally a ghost story: one of the main characters was being haunted. I quickly realized I was in above my head and really could not pull it off, and once I cut the ghost, the writing became much easier. The final version is still about death and loss and memory, but is now 100% realism.

What can you tell us about The Iowa Review?

Before applying to BU and while I was working on my application I started binge-reading short story anthologies (mostly The Best American Short Stories) and I discovered that a lot of the stories I liked the most were from The Iowa Review. One of those stories is an all-time favorite of mine: “Lawns” by Mona Simpson. I love the narrator’s voice in “Lawns,” and I reread it a few times while I was working on this. It can be really difficult figuring out where to send something, but I took a chance and thought that it might make sense to send it to The Iowa Review. I was obviously beyond thrilled when they accepted it.

Congrats, Jillian!  We’re looking forward to reading your story!

Jillian Jackson is a graduate of the MFA program in Fiction at Boston University and the recipient of a St. Botolph Club Foundation’s Emerging Artist Grant. Her work appears or is forthcoming in the Iowa Review, Smokelong Quarterly, and others. She lives in Boston, MA, where she teaches writing at Emmanuel College and is at work on a novel.

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