Ashlee was born and raised in central Georgia, just outside of Sandersville, the town known as "The Kaolin Capital of the World." She earned an English degree from the University of Georgia and later an MFA in Creative Writing from Georgia College & State University. She's lived in Athens GA, Portland OR, and now she lives in Durham NC with her husband and two daughters. She previously taught composition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The fictionalized version of her hometown plays a key role in many of her stories as her characters seek to find a sense of home somewhere between the place they know and the greater world that they seek to discover.
Ashlee has published short stories and is currently writing her first novel.
Ashlee's first published story appeared in McSweeney's issue #27. It also won a Pushcart Prize in 2010.
This story appeared in the Autumn 2010 issue of The Southern Review, which was established at Louisiana State University by Robert Penn Warren.
Bull of the Woods
Prairie Schooner published Bull of the Woods in 2011. Prairie Schooner is published by the University of Nebraska.
Published in the February 2012 issue Shenandoah Literary out of Washington & Lee University. Click this link to read it online at the Shenandoah website.
Published in 2013 by The Southwest Review Literary Journal from Southern Methodist University. Church Time also won multiple awards.
Ploughshares published Day One in its Summer 2018 issue. The issue was guest edited by Jill McCorkle.
Bird Feed won a Pushcart Prize in 2010. Awarded by Pushcart Press, the prize and subsequent anthology honors the best short fiction published in the small presses over the previous year.
James Hurst Prize for Fiction
Church Time was the 2011 winner of this award given by North Carolina State University. Ron Rash was the judge for the 2011 contest.
The Southwest Review awarded the 2013 award to Church Time. The McGinnis-Richie Award is given annually to the best works published in the Southwest Review.
In 2012, Ashlee's short story collection "Called Out" was named a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, given out by the University of Georgia.
Rona Jaffe Award
In 2013, Ashlee was named a winner of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. The award recognizes the special contributions women writers make to our culture and society. Writers are nominated and upon being chosen are given a grant to assist in their writing careers. They are also honored at a ceremony in New York City and read their works at NYU.
Dzanc Short Story Collection Prize - Longlist Finalist
Ashlee's short story collection "Just Off 15" was named a shortlist finalist for the 2023 Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Prize.