Jessica Handler

Oglethorpe Faculty

Jessica Handler

Lecturer of English Office: Hearst 301

B.S., Emerson College
M.F.A., Queens University of Charlotte

Jessica Handler is the author of the novel The Magnetic Girl, winner of the 2020 Southern Book Prize and a nominee for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. The novel is one of the 2019 “Books All Georgians Should Read,” an Indie Next pick, Wall Street Journal Spring 2019 pick, Bitter Southerner Summer 2019 pick, and a Southern Independent Booksellers’ Association Okra Pick. Her memoir, Invisible Sisters, was also named one of the “Books All Georgians Should Read,” and her craft guide Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss was praised by Vanity Fair magazine. Her writing has appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, The Bitter Southerner, Electric Literature, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Newsweek, The Washington Post.

Jessica Handler – CV

Office Hours:

  • Friday, 1:30-3 p.m.
  • By appointment

Areas of Research and Interest:
Forms of and approaches to personal and cultural narrative, including interdisciplinary and mixed-media story telling methodology, creative nonfiction in traditional and hybrid form, documentary filmmaking, narrative medicine, nineteenth and twentieth-century Southern cultural history with a focus on Southern labor and civil rights history, feminist history.

Publications and Interviews:

  • Nonfiction article, “Siberia, Atlanta,” Brevity magazine, January 2018,
  • Forthcoming debut historical novel, The Magnetic Girl, Hub City Press, May 2019,
  • Featured on The New York Times podcast “Dear Sugars”—“a radically empathetic advice show” hosted by writers Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed. November 2017.
  • Interviewed on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Two Way Street,” a radio show that features long-form conversations with authors, artists, scientists and other creative people who have fascinating stories to tell.


  • Judge, nonfiction. AWP Intro to Journals Project. 2016.
  • Judge, nonfiction, The Pettigru Review, SC Writers Workshop 2016.

Courses Taught:

  • COR 101/102 (Narratives of the Self)
  • WRI 130 (Introduction to Creative Writing)
  • WRI 290 (Special Topics: Writing the Screenplay)
  • WRI 290 (Biography and Autobiography) WRI 290 (Creative Writing)
  • WRI 290 (Special Topics: Film Adaptation)
  • WRI 331 (The Long Form Essay)
  • WRI 331 (Writing Prose/Fiction & Nonfiction)
  • WRI 331 (Playwriting)
  • FYS 101 (First-Year Seminar)
  • WRI 400 (Advanced Independent Study in Writing)
  • WRI 490 (Advanced Creative Writing, Special Projects)
  • WRI 495 (Internship in Writing)