Measure of the Universe
Partners: Death Plays a Hand
Abdul Rahman Guards the Bridge The Volunteer
Ellen Larson – website
October 22 2009
WebsiteIn 1970, Ellen Larson’s “For Strider” won the award for best short story given by the Vermont Council on the Arts Intercollegiate Student Symposium. The story was submitted to and published by Yankee Magazine in 1971. Over the ensuing years, Larson’s short stories and essays appeared in numerous small markets. She also wrote “factual short stories” for a Long Island publisher of educational materials and was for fifteen years the theatrical reviewer for the Journal-Press of Greenwich, NY.
In 1989, Larson left her 100 acre horse farm in upstate New York and headed overseas in search of adventure. In 1991 she landed in Cairo, Egypt, where she settled in as a language editor and publications consultant working in the field of economic development for NGOs such as USAID, CGIAR, and the World Bank.
After learning a thing or two about writing from the other side of the editorial desk, Larson returned to her own writing loaded for bear. In 1999, her short story, “Bridges and Trees” was published by gowanusbooks.com and took fifth place in the Preditors and Editors Award for Best Short Story. This was the first of a series of short stories and humorous essays to be published on the Internet. She also published three novels with Savvy Press, a cooperative publisher based in Brooklyn, NY. The third of these, The Measure of the Universe, was her first venture into literary science fiction. “Studded with clever puns and double entendres, this makes an engaging read for language lovers.” -Booklist 2002.
During this period, Larson began to work with private clients and various small presses as a developmental editor. She began a relationship with Poisoned Pen Press, the Arizona mystery publisher, editing books that have good potential but need significant revision. In 2004, the first book she worked on for Poisoned Pen Press won the Ben Franklin award for best first mystery novel and the second was shortlisted for a Shamus award for best first mystery novel. In 2005 a long-time client landed a contract with Greenwood Publishing to research and write a two-volume historical biography. Another client recently sold the paperback rights to her mystery novel to Penguin.
Larson returned home in 2005—home being an antique trailer situated deep in the woods of her beloved farm. She continues to earn her living as a developmental editor. Her writing, whether mainstream, mystery, or science fiction, borrows heavily from the themes of classical mythology and features heroic protagonists who experience fast-paced adventures and testing situations that are never ever black and white. Larson holds a BA in English from Windham College and an MA in Humanities from California State University. .