I’m S.E. Fleenor. I tell stories and help others tell theirs.
I’ve been a reader and writer as long as I can remember. When I was five, I would sit on the stairs so I could keep the light on after my older sister fell asleep in our shared room and call out the letters to the words I didn’t know to my parents who would tell me what they spelled and what they meant. When I was ten, I wrote a book of poetry (very, very bad poetry that no, you cannot read). All through my tumultuous childhood, books, words, and stories were my second best friend. My best friend was a tie between my dad who loved to tell me stories around the campfire and my dog named Kizzy who really, really liked to listen to my stories and his.
In college and grad school, I studied literature, religion, film, and writing. When I wrote my first script for a sitcom pilot (that yes, you can read if you’re looking for a script), all other study was over for me. I had rediscovered my love of telling stories and I knew that was my path forward in life. I wanted to be like James Baldwin and Carson McCullers and write novels that were complicated, challenging, and filled with real people, real pain, and real healing. I’ve done that and am currently querying that novel (yes, you can read if you’re an agent or editor looking for a new project).
Intermixed with that time, for over ten years, I worked in higher education and nonprofit management. I directed programs and worked on tons of written materials, ranging from social media posts to marketing decks to legislative reports. I learned so much during that time—including the fact that having writing be 10% of my job was not going to cut it. I began taking on projects and extra contract work that put me in the thick of writing and editing, but I still could never find a way to make writing and editing work in the traditional workplace. So, I made my own.
Now I write, edit, coach, and instruct full-time, bringing my lifetime love affair with writing, editing, and publishing to bear on other people’s projects as well as my own. There are a lot of different hats I wear, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And, the cross-pollination alone would be worth it. My writing helps me be a more compassionate and attentive editor. My editing makes me a more incisive and encouraging instructor. My workshops and editing work make my writing more precise and rooted in the theory of the written word. I’ve worked as a staff writer at a pop culture magazine, an article and essay editor at queer publications, a freelance editor helping authors elevate their books, a freelance writer publishing in the likes of The Independent, Vice, Electric Literature, and more, and a consultant, helping transform written materials and programs on behalf of others.
I have over 20 years of experience interviewing for print, web, video, and audio and love to talk to people about their passions and projects.
If you’re working on a book, learn more about my editorial offerings and be in touch. If you’re looking for a freelance writer, reach out! I’m also available for podcast appearances and a limited number of speaking or writing instruction engagements.
What can I say? I’m living my dream.
I like to think of myself as professionally queer, bisexual, trans, and nonbinary, so if those things bother you, you’re gonna want to keep on clicking. If my identities sing to you, please be in touch. I love helping other queer folks (and allies) bring their writing to life!
On a personal note
If I’m not working, which is not often, I’m reading, playing with my dog, or spending time with my partner and our community. I’m very much into the work of N.K. Jemisin, Danny Lore, Vita Ayala, and Ada Hoffman and can frequently be found watching Star Trek, Steven Universe, and Wynonna Earp.
Official bios (for use for public appearances and promotional material)
Long: S.E. Fleenor is a writer and editor who wears many hats. They are a freelance developmental editor, editor of Decoded Pride literary magazine, co-founder of QueerSpec.com, and their essays, creative nonfiction, and fiction appear in various publications including The Independent, Buzzfeed Reader, VICE, Electric Literature, Xtra Magazine, them.us, Upworthy, Denver VOICE, and many more. They teach online and in-person writing workshops, and co-host the comics and pop culture podcast Bitches on Comics, which has over 65,000 downloads, putting us in the top 15% of all podcasts. They are a head writer and voice actor for the horror narrative fiction podcast Tales of the Sapphire Bay Hotel, and their short story “Anomalous” was adapted to audio through Decoded Horror Channel’s Graveyard Orbit. They are a member of GALECA: the society of LGBTQ entertainment critics and graduated from Harvard University with a Master in Theological Studies, focusing on religion and gender and sexuality, as well as literary arts.
Short: S.E. Fleenor writes novels, creative non-fiction and articles on feminism, queer identities, pop culture and literature. They are a freelance developmental editor and their writing has appeared in The Independent, Buzzfeed Reader, VICE, and Electric Literature.