Debra Brenegan grew up in the Milwaukee area and graduated with a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked as a journalist and taught at Milwaukee Area Technical College before beginning her graduate work. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she also taught. She teaches English and Women’s Studies at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. For her fiction, she has received a Ragdale residency, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and was a recent finalist for Glimmer Train’s Family Matters Short Story Contest, the Snake Nation Press’s Serena McDonald Kennedy Award for a short-story collection, the John Gardner Memorial Fiction Prize, The Cincinnati Review’s Schiff Prose Prize, and the Crab Creek Review Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Calyx, Tampa Review, Natural Bridge, The Laurel Review, RE:AL, The Southern Women’s Review, The Cimarron Review, Milwaukee Magazine, Phoebe, and other publications. Debra Brenegan’s novel, Shame the Devil, a historical account of nineteenth-century American writer Fanny Fern (SUNY Press, Excelsior Editions), was named a finalist for Foreword Reviews 2011 Book of the Year Award for Historical Fiction. She is currently working on a contemporary novel, set in Missouri, on a short story collection, and on another historical novel. During the school year, Debra lives in a 130-year-old house in Fulton with her husband, Steve. They spend summers and school breaks in their native Milwaukee. When not teaching, writing, spending time with family or driving back and forth to Wisconsin, Debra enjoys cooking, baking, reading and traveling.
Debra is available for readings or to speak with your group about historical fiction, Fanny Fern, or writing. Download sample interview questions. Contact Debra.