Howdy, Stranger! Let’s Get Acquainted

I’m Jen Wheeler

I’m a writer and sometimes-editor with a particularly voracious interest in all things food and how it’s enmeshed with every aspect of our lives, but my first love is fiction.

Born in Baltimore, MD, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t live to eat and read; the writing bug bit a little later but it’s just as intrinsically a part of me now and forever.

I fell in love with Gourmet magazine — the embodiment of all my passions — when I discovered my grandmother’s back issues stacked in dusty basement boxes at ten years old; my longshot life goal immediately became to write for them when I was older.

Real Life led from two abbreviated stints in college (Bennington and Portland State University, respectively) to culinary school to tech support (and from Baltimore to Portland, OR, where I’ve now lived roughly half my life). But finally — in a totally unlikely stroke of luck that makes it hard not to believe at least a little bit in fate — I landed at Chowhound. I started as a sort of all-trades assistant and contributing writer and ended up as managing editor. Writing and reading and thinking and chatting about food *every* day — and getting paid for it too. Literal dreams actually came true!

Then they came unraveled, as they tend to do. The site was sold, netted as part of a bigger deal and I was bycatch. (So 2020.) I was lucky enough to find a silver lining in the opportunity to focus on fiction and finished a manuscript I hope to share with the wider world in the near future. Whatever else happens, though, I’m bound to indulge in an endless feast of words as long as I’m able.

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