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Charlotte Freeman's Biography

Member Info

Livingston, Montana
Aug 2008

I’m a writer and editor based, since 2002, out of the little town of Livingston, Montana.

I grew up on the north shore of Chicago, went to Beloit College, and then left for the bright lights of New York City to pursue my dream of working in publishing. After two years of starving as an editorial assistant, I left New York, grateful for the experience, and knowing I wouldn’t have to spend the rest of my life wondering “what if?”

After a season guiding rafts at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, I moved to Telluride and spent three fun years skiing, and working as an editorial jill-of-all-trades for Western Eye Press.

Although I was heartbroken to leave a place as beautiful as Telluride, the Creative Writing Program at the University of California at Davis was my next home. For two wonderful years I honed what were to be the first few chapters of Place Last Seen, and had the chance to work with writers as diverse as Gary Snyder, Elizabeth Tallent, and Tom Jenks. I also helped organize the first two years of the Art of the Wild Summer Writers Workshop where I worked with Louis Owens, James Houston and Gretel Ehrlich. After earning my MA from UC Davis, I headed back to the Rockies where I did my PhD in the Creative Writing program at the University of Utah.

While I loved teaching, after earning my PhD I decided it was time to find a job that might allow me to pay off the debt I’d accumulated during eight years in academia, so I headed back out to the Bay Area where I was hired by Cisco Systems.

In 2002, I became a full-time telecommuter and moved to Livingston, Montana, where I bought a 100-year old house and made sure it was wired for high-speed DSL. I've continued to work as a technical editor and localization coordinator for Cisco since 2000. While I'd love to be able to support myself writing full time, I also feel there's real value for a writer in having a "real job" -- it keeps you in touch with the world outside the sometimes insular writing community, and allows you insight into the lives of people from all walks of life whom you might not otherwise encounter.

In 2000 Picador USA published Place Last Seen, my first novel (which was also my dissertation). I am currently working on a screenplay of the novel, and a non-fiction memoir. I also have a weblog, LivingSmallblog.com, that chronicles my move to Montana and the garden I have built here.