Shawna Kenney is an award-winning author, essayist and arts journalist. Her memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix (Last Gasp) enjoys international translation a development deal with the FX network. She also co-authored Imposters (Mark Batty Publisher), a coffee-table book about celebrity impersonators. Her nonfiction work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, The Rumpus, Bust, Juxtapoz, Veg News, AP, Ms., Mix Mag, Transworld Skateboarding, the Baltimore Sun and the Florida Review, among others, while her short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Kenney’s personal essays appear in numerous anthologies and she has shared her words at Goucher College, Sarah Lawrence, UCLA, California State University Long Beach, Cal-State Fullerton, the University of Maryland, Ladyfest LA, the DIY Convention, Vallekilde School of Communications (Denmark), the Hollywood Public Library, Hustler Hollywood, on NPR affiliates and on the BBC. She earned a BA in Communications from American University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
She teaches creative writing in private workshops and for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. Kenney lives in Los Angeles, where she is editing the forthcoming anthology Book Lovers (Seal Press) and finishing Live at the Safari Club: a people’s history of harDCore.
Kenney’s honesty, humor and sharp writing style make it an entertaining read. — Jennifer Joseph, San Francisco Bay Guardian
Kenney’s tale is lighthearted but fascinating. . . . Her attitude is, overall, strongly woman-positive, and her spunk and enthusiasm leave a clear, fiery impression on her readers. — Bust Magazine
More a twisted coming-of-age story than warmed-over slice of Marquis de Sade, Kenney’s potboiler approaches its prurient subject matter with a refreshing post-feminist Gen-X practicality. — New Times LA
Shunning major publishers, embracing ‘the other,’ and living to tell the tale. That’s Shawna Kenney in a nutshell. She chronicles the lives behind the costumed characters who wander unauthorized up and down Hollywood Blvd, charging passerby for pictures. She earns an MFA in creative writing. She teaches the next generation. There’s not a whole lot that she doesn’t do. — Will Tupper for The Official Chuck Palahniuk Site
It read like Hunter S. Thompson if he’d had ovaries, and a sober moment or two. — Heather Corrina of Scarlet Letters