Elise Juska

Creative Writing (BFA)

Ellie Juska has been teaching creative writing at University of the Arts since 2002. She is the founding director of the BFA in Creative Writing program and currently serves as faculty advisor for the Creative Writing minor and the undergraduate literary magazine, Underground Pool.


Juska is the author of five novels, including If We Had Known (Grand Central Publishing, 2018) and The Blessings (Grand Central Publishing, 2014). Her sixth novel, Reunion, will be published by HarperCollins in 2024.

Juska’s short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, The Hudson Review, Post Road, Electric Literature, The Missouri Review and numerous other publications. Her short stories have been longlisted for the Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories anthologies.

She holds a BA in English from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, and an MA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from University of New Hampshire, Durham, where she received graduate writing awards for best short story and overall body of work.


  • Juska is the author of five novels, with a new novel forthcoming from HarperCollins, and her stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications.

  • She has taught fiction writing at The New School in New York City, the MFA program at University of New Hampshire in Durham, and several writing conferences, including the Stonecoast Summer Writers’ Conference, Rosemont Summer Writers’ Retreat, Penn Writers Conference and Haystack Institute.

Visit Elise Juska’s website.

Awards & Accolades

  • Juska’s novel, The Blessings, was selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers series, Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List,” and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s “Best Books of the Year.”

  • Her short story “Transfer Station” received the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction from Ploughshares.

  • Juska was the recipient of the 2014 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from UArts.

Praise for Juska’s most recent novel, If We Had Known


“In elegant, gripping prose, If We Had Known offers a startling and empathetic look at the humanity behind the all-too-frequent headlines. Juska has produced that rarest and best kind of literature-a page-turner with a message and a heart.”

– Darin Strauss, National Book Critics Circle Award–winning author of Half a Life


“[Juska] strikes a cozy tone that is the literary opposite of toxic masculinity … In our age of political rancor and tweet storms befitting our state of emergency, there is something radical about a take on the gun problem that concerns itself more with raising questions than ire.”

– New York Times Book Review