Official Bio

Holly Hilliard grew up in Hillsboro, Ohio. She received her MFA in Fiction from North Carolina State University, where she was the winner of the 2018 James Hurst Prize for Fiction. She now lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and two cats.

Unofficial Bio

I’m Holly Hilliard from Hillsboro, Ohio, and I appreciate alliteration!

I grew up in a town of 6,000 or so people in the Appalachian foothills. The cool kids were very into football, but I preferred choir, concert band, and reading books about dragons. I attended Duke University and surprised everyone by choosing to camp out in K-Ville for basketball tickets pretty much every spring.

I was an intern at One Story magazine and at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill before working as an assistant at a literary agency in NYC. I left publishing to work in legal operations, but my love of writing could not be quashed. In 2019, I graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from North Carolina State University, where I completed a short story collection, taught fiction workshops for undergrads, and guzzled coffee well past 4 PM.

Now, I’m hard at work on a YA novel as well as some short stories for adults. I also teach writing classes through Madison School and Community Recreation. When I’m not writing or teaching, I’m birding! I’m an active eBirder and member of the Madison Audubon Society, and I’m on the engagement committee of the Madison chapter of the Feminist Bird Club. I have many favorite birds, but today it’s the sandhill crane. Did you know the oldest confirmed sandhill crane fossil was found in Florida and estimated to be 2.5 million years old?


Holly Hilliard