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Embracing Fertility Through Honest Fiction with author Jolene McIlwain

interviews with experts journalling miscarriage Sep 04, 2023
Embracing Fertility Through Honest Fiction with author Jolene McIlwain

Using fiction as a way to educate, heal and connect

This is an interview on using fiction as a way to educate, heal and connect. I absolutely loved recording this episode and I hope you love the stories that Jolene shares with us. 

From Jolene: In my stories I’ve focused on the effects of fertility on women, the men who care for them, and small town culture around issues of fertility. In my stories, I’ve chosen to use specific and medical jargon and terms relating to, specifically, women’s health issues to bring awareness.

I’ve written stories about infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy, high-risk pregnancy, pre-term labor, endometriosis, mental health issues, PTSD, post-natal PTSD.

I’ve written at least one story (“You Four Are the One”) using a technique in therapy treatment for people with PTSD called RECON (reconsolidation therapy) by Courtney Armstrong.

I’m hoping our talk will inspire others to write their own fictional (or nonfiction) stories of fertility and women’s health issues. I’m hoping they’ll buy SIDLE CREEK and they’ll find they’re not alone.

Listen on your fave podcast player just search for 'Embrace Fertility'

Meet Jolene 

Jolene McIlwain’s work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and appears in numerous online and print literary journals including West Branch, Florida Review, Cincinnati Review, CRAFT, Smokelong Quarterly, New Orleans Review, LITRO, and more.   Her work was included in 2019’s Best Small Fictions Anthology and named finalist for 2018’s Best of the Net, Glimmer Train’s and River Styx’s contests, and semifinalist in Nimrod’s Katherine Anne Porter Prize and two American Short Fictions contests. She’s received a Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council grant, the Georgia Court Chautauqua faculty scholarship, and Tinker Mountain’s merit scholarship.   

She’s taught literary theory/analysis at Duquesne and Chatham Universities, and she worked as a radiologic technologist before attending college (BS English, minor in sculpture, MA Literature). She was born, raised, and currently lives in a small town in the Appalachian plateau of Western Pennsylvania.   

Her debut, SIDLE CREEK, out with Melville House this spring, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and Shelf Awareness calls it a “riveting debut collection” and “a rare gem, a compelling blend of nature and humanity perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer and Daisy Johnson's Fen."

Connect with Jolene and buy Sidle Creek  

Twitter @jolene_mcilwain 

IG @jolenemcilwain 

FB @JoleneMcIlwain  

Trigger warning, this book includes short stories on stillbirth, miscarriage, fetal abduction and true crime.  


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