My Bio

Marcia Riefer Johnston


Photo by Wendy Hood

When Marcia was twelve, American Girl magazine printed her eight-paragraph story, “The Key,” and paid her $15. She has been writing ever since.

To share her love of writing, she has written two books:

At Lake Forest College, she wrote one-act plays that were performed on the campus stage, learned from, and buried. She studied under Raymond Carver and Tobias Wolff in the Syracuse University creative-writing program. She taught technical writing in the Engineering School at Cornell University. She has run a tech-writing business for … a long time, doing writing of all kinds for organizations of all kinds, from the Fortune 500 to the just plain fortunate.

A founding member of Mommas Against Drunk Commas (not really, because M-A-D-C), Marcia has written for the scholarly journal Shakespeare Quarterly, the professional journal Technical Communication, and the weekly newspaper Syracuse New Times. She used to write letters by the boxful. She has contributed posts to her daughter’s Peace Corps blog, texts to her son’s smartphone, and answers to her husband’s crossword puzzles. Her words have landed on billboards, blackboards, birthday cakes, boxes of eggs, and the back of her book. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Last modified: July 12, 2023