M Shelly Conner, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Co-Director Arkansas Writers MFA Workshop


Thompson Hall 338


Ph.D., English with Creative Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago

M.A, Teaching, Concordia University, River Forest

B.A., English, Tuskegee University


Teaching Specialties:

Creative Writing –creative nonfiction essays; short story fiction; novel; screenwriting

Gender & Women’s Studies – queer narratives; Black women’s writing

African American Literature – Harlem Renaissance writers



Chicago native M Shelly Conner spent her summers bouncing between her grandmother in Memphis and relatives in Los Angeles, reveling in the sprawl of the Great Migration. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. A multi-genre writer, she is the creator of the Quare Life web series and has published essays on dapperqueer aesthetics, black womanhood, self-sustainable living and their intersections in various publications including: the A.V. Club; the Grio; NBC News; The Root, Life & Thyme, and Crisis Magazine. An excerpt of everyman appears in the Obsidian Journal of Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora. Her debut novel everyman was released in July 2021 (Blackstone Publishing) and is available from all booksellers in hardcover, ebook and audiobook.