Who's This Nerd?

Hello! I’m Jess (they/them): freelance copywriter by trade, worldbuilder and fiction writer by passion. Mostly I read and write from my home in Pittsburgh, where I live with my partners and my cats, Alia, Paul Mua’dib, Gizmo, and Butters. Every now and then I get wanderlust and do the digital nomad thing. Most of my recent travels have been around North America but I’ve visited roughly a dozen countries and hope to add to that list in the very near future.

I’m something of a nerd-of-all-trades, and I’ll especially geek out about anything with a conlang or fully-realized invented myth/religion—basically, I’m a sucker for deep, immersive worldbuilding. My main reading obsessions growing up were Stephen King, Anne Rice, Wheel of Time, Dune, and extended universe Star Wars novels. Margaret Atwood and Haruki Murakami have also been huge literary influences, and on the TV/movie side I’m an avid Trekkie, Game of Thrones apologist, and lover of all things ancient alien. My gaming inclinations run toward RPGs, though I can be enticed to an FPS with personality like Borderlands or BioShock.

I’m also the managing editor of After Happy Hour, a mostly-online literary journal run by the members of the Rahnd Table workshop group, and a co-founder of Scribble House, a creative community for writers and artists in Pittsburgh.

My biggest 2023 news has been the release of my first micro-chapbook, Shapeshifter Diaries, part of Rinky Dink Press' series 10 of micro-chaps.

My other lit world cred includes an MFA from Chatham University and a smattering of short stories published in journals and anthologies. Here are links to a few of them, for anyone who’s curious:

Free Online: Game Misconduct (Rind Issue #9) Last Saturday there was a werewolf at the farmer’s market (HOOT! Online Issue 83) Lucky Devil (Wraparound South, Summer/Fall 2016) Shards (Menda City Review Issue 29) The Vampire at the Blood Drive in Monster Flash: Small Stories, Big Monsters (Free on Kindle Unlimited)

Print Anthologies: The Courage to Change the Things I Can in Fabula Press' 2022 Nivalis Anthology More Than Blood in Bardic Tales and Sage Advice Vol. X Third Shift in Geek Out! II: Queer Pop Lit, Art, and Ideas

Full disclosure that I use affiliate links to Bookshop, but I also strongly encourage using your library, supporting local bookstores, and buying straight from presses—and I'd honestly rather you do one of those if you're buying a book you learned about on this blog! Mostly I link to Bookshop to encourage folks away from places like Amazon (and toward an online seller that supports local book stores).

If you want to get in touch with me you can shoot me an email at jrsimms29 [at] gmail [dot] com. I also mostly-lurk on Twitter (@jrsimms29) and now and then post pictures on Instagram (jrsimms29).