Justin Quarry's work has appeared in numerous publications including TriQuarterly, Southern Review, New England Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Normal School, which awarded him the 2011 Normal Prize. Quarry has also received the Robert Olen Butler Short Fiction Prize, an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council, and scholarships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. In 2008, he was a Writer-in-Residence at the Kerouac Project of Orlando, where he led a workshop in the cottage where Jack Kerouac wrote The Dharma Bums. In addition, he has a range of editorial experience, reviewing manuscripts for The Virginia Quarterly Review, Meridian, and the Yale University Press. Quarry earned his B.A. from Vanderbilt University and his M.F.A. from the University of Virginia. Currently, he resides in Nashville, where he conducts fiction workshops at Vanderbilt University.
"The students in my workshop at the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference possessed a commitment to, a passion for the written word that is rare to find even among undergraduates at colleges and universities. Over the course of our two weeks together, we played a number of writing-related games, but we spent most of our time reading and discussing contemporary short stories in conjunction with essays on the craft of fiction, as well as completing warm-up exercises and writing assignments meant either to spur the completed story with which every student left the conference or to equip him or her with an arsenal of writing strategies for the year to come. In addition, my students skillfully analyzed and conscientiously critiqued each other’s fiction, both aloud and in writing, and as a group we created an atmosphere hospitable to a variety of writing styles and a wide range of subject matter—from the exotic (a girl who wakes up to discover she has wings) to the familiar (a girl whose life is destroyed by a Facebook post)—the only demand being that student stories, as all literary fiction, first and foremost should be driven by the longings of the human heart. It is easy to say that its lush, mountainous setting is what sets this conference apart from the rest—and there is truth to that—but what I think makes it most special is the convivial, inspirational, supportive environment first fostered by the faculty and staff and soon generated by the students themselves. Here, young writers find the kind of artistic peer community that most writers don’t come upon—that I didn’t come upon—until much later in life. "