Photo of Jill Widner

Jill Widner

Jill Widner’s “Yalda & Zhila” is part of a collection of stories set in Iran and Saudi Arabia, where the author’s father worked as a petroleum engineer throughout the 1970s. A chapbook containing three of the stories, including “Yalda & Zhila,” was selected as the international winner of the first Southword Fiction Chapbook Competition (Munster Literature Centre, Ireland). Other stories in the collection have been published in Fiddlehead (University of New Brunswick, Canada); Everywhere Stories, Volume I (Press 53); and Denver Quarterly. Her fiction has also appeared in American Short Fiction, Asia Literary Review (Hong Kong), Drunken Boat, Kyoto Journal, North American Review, Shenandoah, and Short Fiction (University of Plymouth Press, UK). Her work has been supported by fellowships and grants from Artist Trust, Washington State Arts Commission, Corporation of Yaddo, Hawthornden Castle (Scotland), MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and VCCA France. Widner is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently lives and teaches in Yakima, Washington.

Yalda & Zhila

By Jill Widner

I was eleven going on twelve the year my sister convinced my parents to let me spend the summer with her in east San Diego. It was the summer they […]