Amy E. Butcher

Assistant Professor of English


B.A, Gettysburg College
M.F.A., University of Iowa


Amy Butcher earned her M.F.A. in Nonfiction from the University of Iowa. Prior to her position with Ohio Wesleyan, she served as a teaching fellow at the University of Iowa and as the 2012–2013 Olive B. O’Connor Creative Writing Fellow at Colgate University, where she led courses on advanced and experimental nonfiction forms.

Her first book was published by Blue Rider Press/Penguin Random House in April 2015 and received praise and starred reviews from the New York Times Sunday Review of Books, NPR, The Star Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, Cosmopolitan and Glamour, among others. Additional essays have appeared recently in Harper's Magazine, The New York Times "Modern Love," The New York Times Opinion Pages, The Washington Post, The Denver Post, The American Scholar, The Iowa Review, Guernica, Gulf Coast, Fourth Genre, and Brevity, among numerous other magazines and journals.

Her March 2016 op-ed, "Emoji Feminism," published in the New York Times Sunday Review, inspired Google engineers to create thirteen new female-empowered emojis, accepted in July 2016 by the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee and now included in software packaging on all smartphones internationally.

Most recently, her work was awarded grand prize in the 2016 Solas Awards' "Best Travel Writing" series, featured on BBC Radio and National Public Radio, selected for inclusion in Best Travel Writing 2016 and Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays, and was awarded grand prize in the 2014 Iowa Review Awards for nonfiction as judged by David Shields. Her work has twice been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, twice distinguished by the Best American Essays series, and is anthologized in the 2016 edition of The Best Travel Writing, as well as Tell It True: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction, The Best Of Vela, and Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays. Her work has also earned finalist distinctions in contests sponsored by Tupelo Quarterly, American Short Fiction, and Hunger Mountain, among others.

In addition to her fellowship with Colgate University, she is the recipient of a Stanley Award for International Research, a travel grant from Word Riot, Inc., and a residency arts fellowship with the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.

Areas of Interest / Expertise

Contemporary American Essays, Contemporary Feminism, Memoir, Narrative Essays, Travel Writing, Literary Journalism


"Taking Shape," Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays, forthcoming from The Center for Literary Studies, University Press of Colorado

"Bare Necessities," Harper's Magazine, March 2017

"How The Depressed Find Solace On Yik Yak, Believe It Or Not," The New York Times Opinion Pages, March 2017

"What A Third-Grade Geography Lesson Taught Me About Women's Place In The World," The Washington Post, March 2017

"What I Learned From Visiting The Grave Of My Mom's Teenage Boyfriend," The Washington Post, January 2017

"Pokémon Go See The World In All Its Splendor," New York Times Sunday Review Op-Ed, July 2016

"Flight Behavior," The American Scholar, June 2016

"Emoji Feminism," New York Times Sunday Review Op-Ed, March 2016

Visiting Hours: A Memoir of Friendship and MurderBlue Rider Press/Penguin Random House, April 2015

"Reenacting," The Iowa Review, Winter 2015

"On The Road to 'The One,' Sometimes, A Rest Stop,"
New York Times Modern Love, October 2015


Notable Distinction, Best American Essays 2016, edited by Jonathan Franzen

Grand Prize, "Best of Travel Writing 2016," The Solas Awards

Notable Distinction, Best American Essays 2015, edited by Ariel Levy

Grand Prize, The 2014 Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction, as judged by David Shields

Recipient, The 2012-2013 Olive B. O'Connor Creative Writing Fellowship, Colgate University

Recipient, Stanley Foundation for International Research Travel Grant


BBC's World Have Your Say, September 2016

BBC's Radio 5, May 2016

NPR's Weekend Edition, April 2015

WAMC's The Roundtable, April 2015

OWU Faculty Speakers Bureau Topics

The Writing Process

I³ 3-Minute Lecture