“There’s no one in our business who writes as well as Judith Hannah Weiss for publications as diverse as Allure and The New Yorker…”
–Richard Armstrong for Target Marketing
A freelance career in media is fairly long if it lasts a heartbeat. I mean a week. Beyond probability, mine lasted thirty years. It had to. I was a single mom—making headlines and deadlines all over the world.
One moment, I was writing so Martha would sound like Martha, Oprah would sound like Oprah, Elmo like Elmo, Elle like Elle, Rolling Stone like Rolling Stone and History like History. The next moment, that was history and I was giving all I had to place pegs in a board.
I got a new life with a mind of its own and never got another paycheck, never did another job. I refunded the advance. My last career move was writing a fat five-figure check to a broadcast behemoth known across the globe.
I moved—or rather, was moved—to a rambling farmhouse overrun with tangled brush. It is called Avalon, which means Paradise. It’s not. It’s nine hours south of my life and my child.
I began making small collages and painting small carved birds. Each piece is one of a kind. This becomes J. Hannah Art for Humans and Homes for Birds, sold in select galleries.
Then I begin writing short pieces I called scraps, which I stashed in shopping bags. Eight years later, scraps extracted from shopping bags became Notes From a Former Ghost.
Excerpts have appeared in The Rumpus and Hospital Drive, published by the University of Virginia. Earlier and partial versions of the manuscript have received the following commendations: finalist for The Iowa Review’s Nonfiction Book Prize, winner of the Women’s Initiative contest at The Virginia Festival of the Book, placement and publication in The Literal Latte Essay Awards, The 44th and 45th New Millennium Writing Awards, The Cutthroat Barry Lopez Creative Nonfiction Contest, and The New Rivers Press’ Many Voices Competition.