Karen Salyer McElmurray

Adjunct Associate Professor




Campus Box 0397


Breidenbaugh Hall
Room 407
300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1400


BA Berea College
MFA University of Virginia
MA Hollins University
PhD University of Georgia

Academic Focus

Creative Writing; American Literature

Karen Salyer McElmurray’s Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey, was an AWP Award Winner for Creative Nonfiction.  Her novels are The Motel of the Stars, Editor’s Pick by Oxford American, and Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven, winner of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing.  Her nonfiction work has been three times Notable in Best American Essays, several times a Pushcart nominee, and a recipient of the Annie Dillard Award for the Essay, the New Southerner Award and the Orison Anthology Award for Creative Nonfiction. She has co-edited, with poet Adrian Blevins, an essay collection called Walk till the Dogs Get Mean.  Wanting Radiance, her newest novel, was released in April 2020 from University Press of Kentucky.  An essay collection called Voice Lessons is currently under contract with Iris Press.  McElmurray teaches in the Low Residency Program at West Virginia Wesleyan College and as part-time Associate Professor at Gettysburg College.