About Alison

the lady and the unicorn

As an undergraduate, Alison studied art history and anthropology at Brown University.
cut sapphire

cut sapphire

After a decade of travel, she returned to Duke University where she earned a PhD in botany. She has gemology credentials from the Gemological Institute of America and Gemmological Society of Great Britain.

cut sapphireAlison’s fiction consists of dark, slightly twisted stories about gemstones and precious metals. Her unpublished fiction collection, Uncertain Treasure, was a finalist for the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Award and the Serena McDonald Kennedy Prize. It was a semi-finalist for the Eludia Award and received an honorable mention in the 2018 Leapfrog Fiction Contest.

Individual stories in Uncertain Treasure have also been recognized. “Tower of Ivory” was a finalist in both The William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition and the Hidden River Arts Sandy Run Novella Competition.

“Jade Disease” was a finalist for the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize and a semi-finalist in The William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.

“A Brilliant Bit of Work” was a semi-finalist in the 2017 Fish Short Story Contest.

“Fair and Square” was a finalist in the 2018 Fish Short Story Contest. It was also a semi-finalist for the American Short Fiction Prize and the Hourglass Literary Magazine Writing Award.

Alison is currently working on a novel and another story collection.

purple garnetHence very many people find that a single gemstone is enough to provide them with a supreme and perfect aesthetic experience of the wonders of Nature.

~Pliny the Elder

Naturalis Historia (AD 77-79)cut sapphire

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