Jan Bridgeford-Smith

Jan Bridgeford-Smith Profile


Jan Bridgeford-Smith

Location: Ithaca, United States

Gender: F

Member Since: May 2020

Last online: August 2020

Profile Information

My passion is history with a twist. I look for off-the-grid stories from America's past--that is, stories about famous or obscure people and places where a bit of unfamiliar detail or unexpected outcome is tucked into the tale. Stories with delicious revelations that linger in a reader's mind long after reaching "the end."  As for me, I fumbled into journalism while working for Cornell Extension where I wrote a regular column on public education for a local Gannett newspaper.  The gig drew a loyal following of three: my mother, a cousin, and my boss. My columnist days were short-lived but my enthusiasm for writing took off. That was in 2006, and already I'd had a few careers--special education teacher, counselor, trainer, nonprofit agency executive, college instructor, community educator and organizer. 

In 2008, my first feature-length magazine article appeared in the regional publication, Life in the Finger Lakes. Since then, my words and photos have been published in Plank Road Magazine, Mountain Home Magazine, [H]istory Channel Magazine, History Magazine, American History Magazine, Smithsonian Air&Space  and America’s Civil War. My essay, “Witness to a Solitary Affliction,” was just published in the spring issue of the literary journal, Boulevard. Begged, Borrowed & Stolen: True Tales of Thievery from America’s Past, is scheduled for release by Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot, the trade division of Rowman & Littlefield, on November 1st.                        

Writing fiction satisfies my love of quirky coincidences and oddly behaved people without having to rely on fact. My short stories and prose poems have been featured in print and online publications such as Everyday Fiction, Long Story Short, Lady Ink MagazineStories for All SeasonsAn Anthology, and Foundling Review.                          

My off-the-grid surprise? I once danced with the Washington Regional Ballet Company but I hung up my toe shoes when I learned to make--and eat--killer lasagna. As for my AWARDS, well, in fifth grade, I received the highly prestigious President’s Award for Physical Fitness by out- running, jumping, ball-throwing and rope climbing all the other girls in my school. Impressed? I KNOW!

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