Paulette Perhach’s writing has been published in the New York Times, ELLE, Slate, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Stylist UK, and Salon. She’s worked for Health and Coastal Living magazines, as well as various newspapers. Hugo House, a nationally recognized writing center in Seattle, awarded her the Made at Hugo House fellowship in 2013. She was recently nominated for the 2016 BlogHer Voices of the Year award for her essay, “Fuck Off Fund,” which is forthcoming in the anthology Freshman Year of Life from Flatiron Books.
During her time as a reporter, she won First Place for Features Writing in both 2005 and 2006 from the Morris Communications Excellence in Journalism Contest. The Florida Society of Newspaper Editors awarded her First Place for Features Writing in 2007, when judges said, “If literary is putting the right word in the right place, Perhach is a stylist. Perhach is a poet.” In 2008 she launched Drift, an arts and culture monthly, which won Best New Magazine from the Florida Magazine Association that year.
During her time as a Peace Corps volunteer, Perhach produced an educational podcast that garnered more than 40,000 downloads and created a Facebook community of 8,000. In 2015 she created the Writer’s Welcome Kit, an online course for writers that includes a 55,000-word workbook. Hugo House licenses and sells the course, and a book version is forthcoming from Sasquatch Books in August 2018, to be distributed by Penguin Random House Publisher Services.
Perhach holds a magazine journalism degree from the University of Florida, as well as three-fourths of an MFA in Fiction from Pacific University, which got interrupted by the success of the Fuck Off Fund essay. She lives in Seattle, where she regularly writes for the New York Times, Fusion, Stylist, and other publications, and tries to keep her bank account positive while still living a life that she loves.
Failures, Humiliations, and Rejections
Paulette Perhach’s writing has been rejected from some of the nation’s finest publications. McSweeney’s, The Sun, Hobart, Camera Obscura, Mason's Road, Brevity, Pank, Monkey Bicycle, The Monarch Review, Post Road, Bitch, ZYZZYVA, Ploughshares, Witness, A Public Space, The Cincinnati Review, The Rumpus, Phoebe, The Kenyon Review, Pleiades, Ninth Letter, Blackbird, Boston Review, Baltimore Review, Kyoto Journal, Puerto del Sol, Third Coast, and Lenny are just a few of the places where you may have notice her work was not there. Of her writing, Tin House says, “Unfortunately, we must pass at this time.”
Her rigorous study at the University of Florida (Princeton’s Review’s #1 Party School in the nation, 2008), included courses on Drug and Alcohol Abuse (real class), Geology (commonly called "Rocks for Jocks"), and Racquetball (twice).
She did not receive her MFA from Iowa, Columbia, or from Syracuse, even though writer-man-god George Saunders teaches there, and he's so nice, and two, (two!), of her friends have gotten into his five-student cohorts. She is totally ok about it.
She was not the winner of the ASME internship in New York. She did not get the Editorial Assistant job at Coastal Living. She did not get the internship at This American Life, although later she paid to meet Ira Glass, like a creep.
She has embarrassed herself in front of Roxane Gay, Nancy Pearl, and Malcolm Gladwell, in separate incidences. Her influences do not include David Foster Wallace, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or Geoffrey Chaucer. She has a library full of writing books, stuffed with rips of paper marking pages with the assignments she will go back and do.
She is a four-time submitter to the Jack Straw Fellowship. She thought the Pulitzer Prize was the Pullit Surprise until she was like 17. At age 28, she attended an 8-month writing residency in her mom’s downstairs bedroom.
She is from Florida.
Friends such as photographer Daron Dean have described her pieces thusly: “It got long, but then it ended.”