Leah Johnson is a writer, editor and eternal Midwesterner, currently moonlighting as a New Yorker. She is a graduate of the fiction writing MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College, and currently teaches in their undergraduate writing program. Leah is a 2021 Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Fellow whose work has been published or is forthcoming in BuzzFeed, Autostraddle, Catapult, and Electric Literature among others. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her on Twitter, ranting about pop culture and politics. Her YA novels You Should See Me in a Crown (June 2020) and Rise to the Sun (2021) are forthcoming from Scholastic.
Photo: Courtesy of Reece T. Williams
SLIGHTLY LESS SHORT VERSION.
Leah Johnson was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana—a tried and true, lifelong Hoosier (and as you can perhaps imagine, much of her work now features more cornfields and soybeans than any one human has business writing about). She began her writing career with a spiral notebook full of short stories in Mrs. Peacock's fifth-grade class and could never quite bring herself to stop.
She went on to major in Journalism and African American Studies at Indiana University and while there; worked as a reporter covering race and class for an NPR affiliate, as an audio initiatives intern at the Wall Street Journal, and won a Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition Fellowship, which took her to Japan to study international reporting. Eventually, Leah shifted her storytelling vehicle to fiction (and the occasional personal essay) and pursued her MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College.
This summer, Leah will be a visiting writer at New England College and is currently a staff contributing editor at Catapult. She is 2021 Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Fellow whose work has been published or is forthcoming in BuzzFeed, Autostraddle, Catapult, and Electric Literature among others. When she’s not writing or ranting about pop culture and politics on Twitter, Leah teaches creative writing and composition to undergraduate students in and around New York City. Her YA novels You Should See Me in a Crown (June 2020) and Rise to the Sun (2021) are forthcoming from Scholastic.