Alena Indigo Anne Sullivan, 29, holds a degree in Anthropology and an MFA from the Stonecoast MFA Program for Creative Writing (with cross-genre concentrations in poetry and popular fiction.) Alena is a fiction writer, poet, and visual artist who focuses on identity within narrative and the repeated cultural pattern formed by storytelling.
Alena lives with her spectacular husband Bruce in the wilds of the North Georgia mountains with five cats, a society finch, and a flock of perpetually screaming guineafowl. None of these animal sidekicks help her get dressed in the morning. Some of them actively protest and undermine her getting dressed in the morning.
Alena has had the privilege of studying under the mentorship of some of her favorite authors, including Tamora Pierce (Song of the Lioness, The Circle of Magic, and many other YA series), Kathryn Hinds (The Healer’s Choice; Candle, Thread, and Flute; and over 50 nonfiction books for children) Theodora Goss (author of The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Songs for Ophelia, The Thorn and Blossom, and In the Forest of Forgetting), James Patrick Kelly (author of Strange But Not a Stranger and over 100 other published stories and a columnist for Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine), Jeanne Marie Beaumont (poet and author of Letters from Limbo and several other collections), and Amanda Johnston (poet and author of Guap, Lock and Key, and Another Way to Say Enter.)
Alena is inspired to write stories and poems that provide agency to previously marginalized characters–both original figures (especially women, PoC, members of the LGBTQ* community, differently-abled people, and witches) and figures of mythological or fairy/folktale fame (Sleeping Beauty, Persephone, Baba Yaga, etc.). She combines a degree in Anthropology with an MFA in Creative Writing to create works that speak to the importance of narrative in culture and personal identity. Her graduate research focused on selkie stories throughout the ages, their literary elements, and the cultural underpinnings that informed them. In addition to her more official academics, Alena’s perspective is informed by a diverse neoPagan upbringing living on Pagan festival grounds, years of homeschooling with an eclectic group of tutors, and the privilege of growing up traveling the world (and a lot of science fiction conventions) with her father’s Celtic-American Folk Rock band, Emerald Rose.
Alena’s short fiction and poetry have appeared in Strange Horizons, Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, Goblin Fruit, Illumen, Urban Fantasy, Expanded Horizons, Luna Station Quarterly, and elsewhere. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and her work has been included in their newsletter publication, Star*Line.
Alena also runs Sealskin Studios on Etsy, where she offers custom embroidered spells and pagan prayer images, sigil-work, and various other magical objects as she creates them.