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Elizabeth Dutton


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full bio

Elizabeth Dutton was born and raised in California. She always considered her upbringing relatively normal, but each decade of adult reflection has further revealed her family and childhood to be both bohemian and completely eccentric. She wrote her earliest literary work, a 27-volume illustrated epic chronicling the adventures of the eponymous “Fop Girl,” at the age of four. Sadly, this single-copy edition was lost forever years later to an El Niño dampened garage. Such is the impermanence of life.

Elizabeth Dutton went to Catholic school and was incredibly well behaved. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Davis, in English with a minor in Film. Her undergraduate days were filled with crossword puzzles, poetry and BMX bikes. She was fortunate to study Poetry Creative Writing under both Gary Snyder and Sandra McPherson, two keen artists who fostered her love of words and turns of phrase. After a number of years working in offices with fluorescent lighting (including a stint as the Special Projects Manager at Mother Jones Magazine – a gig that took her to many clean energy festivals, book fairs and Woodstock ‘99), she pined for foreign shores and a future of uncertain employment, which prompted a move to Scotland and enrollment in the prestigious University of Glasgow Creative Writing Graduate Program.

While in Glasgow, Elizabeth began work on what would become her first novel, Driftwood. She received her Master’s Degree with highest distinction and also made off with a marvelous diploma written completely in Latin.

Upon graduation, she returned to the United States. Although a lifelong Californian (and 5th generation Bay Area resident), she chose to leave the Golden State and move to the middle of nowhere in the rural South. Surrounded by dogs, chickens, gardens and the loveliest of trees, Elizabeth Dutton writes constantly and teaches English at the local community college. In 2011, Skyhorse Publishing released Dutton’s 1,033 Reasons to Smile, a humor book that sounds like self-help but certainly is not (an updated version — 1,047 Reasons to Smile [that is totally not a joke] was released in October 2015). 2014 brought forth Driftwood from the good folks at Skyhorse. This novel explores memory, identity, California, family, and music with a rather “Dueling Banjos” back and forth exchange between an adult woman and her dead father. A gorgeous paperback version of the book was released in June 2016.

Elizabeth Dutton is currently working on a second novel and smatterings of poems. She can be found online at

4 comments on “full bio

  1. Sasquatch says:

    Lovin’ ya already, teach! Keep your head held high and keep on trucking! J. K. Rowling had a tough go, and look at her now. You’re as good in life as you let yourself be, and a free spirit such as yourself will, surely, soar to the stars and far beyond.


  2. Meghan says:

    just finished the audiobook version of Driftwood – my first experience with that medium, which I adopted as a way to keep myself entertained on long runs. Your book make several long runs a lot more enjoyable. Great writing! I live in the south too and I have ties to both california and scotland so I loved reading this bio. I am curious about where in the south you are!


    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it! I am in South Carolina. You?


  3. Ellen Berman says:

    You have a fan in Atlanta, Elizabeth! – Ellen Berman,


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