Ellen Akins, a native Hoosier and now a resident of Cornucopia, Wisconsin, where she briefly served as town constable (a position sadly eliminated before she was issued a weapon), is a graduate of the film production program at the University of Southern California and of the Writing Seminars at the Johns Hopkins University, and the author of the novels Home Movie, Little Woman, Public Life, and Hometown Brew, and the short story collection World Like a Knife. She has published short stories in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, The Missouri Review, and The Southwest Review, which (the last two) awarded her their biennial short fiction awards. Her work has also appeared in the online publications Perigee and Serving House Journal. She has written reviews for numerous publications and is a regular contributor to The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Akins is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Whiting Foundation, the Ingram-Merrill Foundation, the National Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Wisconsin Arts Board. She has taught at Johns Hopkins, Western Michigan University, and Northland College, has done readings or conducted workshops at Emory University, St. Lawrence, Syracuse, Washington University at St. Louis, Brown, Hobart & William Smith, the University of Rochester, The University of Missouri, and University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, among others. She is on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.
Other than writing and teaching, Akins has worked for filmmaker Sydney Pollack; as advertising director, promotions manager, and freelance copywriter for numerous presses including Harvard, Chicago, Nebraska, Northwestern, California, Duke, Hazelden, and Motorbooks; and, a master gardener, as horticulture assistant for the University of Wisconsin Extension Office in Wisconsin's Bayfield and Ashland Counties. She is the mother of one child, Will Denker Akins.