About Ellen Morris Prewitt

Ellen and Family

My life has been shaped by two very early events: I was born into the racism of the civil rights South, and I carry the grief of my daddy being killed by a train. Much of my writing carefully picks at the nuances of racism, and many of my stories involve the child trying to understand the space left by a missing parent.

The two jobs for which I’ve been well-paid are lawyering in Jackson, Mississippi and walking the runway in Memphis. I follow my own peculiar definition of God, which led me to start a writing group of men and women who have experienced homelessness.

I’ve been published—you can see the LONG list (blushing) by clicking on Achievements above. I love all the people in my life but mostly my husband, my dog (yes, she’s a person), and my grandbabies.

I’ve been known to appear in public in costume.

In Her Own Words


In 2001, I left my nineteen-year practice of law to become a writer. Almost immediately, I fell into a gig at WKNO-FM/NPR for the Mid-South writing and reading commentaries that aired during Morning Edition. This lasted for almost five years.

At the same time, I was publishing short stories, essays, and magazine articles. Paraclete Press published my first book in 2009, Making Crosses: A Creative Connection to God. In 2013, I went back to my radio roots and narrated a short story collection, Cain’t Do Nothing with Love. The venture was a surprising success—listeners have downloaded the stories online over 50,000 times worldwide. The collection won the CIPA-EVVY Audio Book Award in Fiction.

The next year, Trident Press published the book I edited of the writings of the Door of Hope Writing Group: Writing Our Way Home: A Group Journey Out of Homelessness.

In 2018, I released my first novel, Tracking Happiness: A Southern Chicken Adventure, in e-book, print, and audiobook. In 2019, I released my Southern mystery, Model for Deception. These gems are available on Amazon. 

Summer 2019, my artist friend Marisa Whitsett Baker and I will be doing this wild thing called a special edition hand-sewn novel of the family saga, The Hart Women. You will be able to order it here on the website. Stay tuned. 

“I personally don’t see the point of being in business with chickens if you aren’t gonna be nice to them.”

Lucinda Mae Watkins of Tracking Happiness 

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