Biography and Stories are here!

Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist and Miss Grief and Other Stories were published Feb. 29, 2016 and featured on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. 

NYTBR cover

The books have been reviewed widely, in the Wall Street JournalThe New Yorker, The Boston Globe, The Chicago-Tribune, and more. For more information on both books, visit Anne Boyd Rioux’s website.


Almost Here

Anne Boyd Rioux’s Miss Grief and Other Stories and Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Artist are almost here. Both will be published by W. W. Norton on February 29. You can find more information, as well as links for pre-ordering at Rioux is offering a free preview of Miss Grief and Other Stories for subscribers to her newsletter at

Miss Grief and Other Stories

A new collection of Woolson’s stories, Miss Grief and Other Stories, will be published by W. W. Norton in Feb. 2016. There is a forward by the acclaimed novelist Colm Toibin and an introduction by Anne Boyd Rioux, who has also written a new biography of Woolson, to be published at the same time. More information about both books can be found here.

CoversBio Cover

Conference a Success

The eleventh biennial Woolson Society conference was held in Washington, D.C., Feb. 19-21, 2015. It was a resounding success, with 18 stellar papers, a lovely keynote, and a reading from the forthcoming biography of Woolson. Once again, the quality of the papers and the sociability of the “Woolites” was off the charts.


It was particularly exciting to welcome new members to the society and to elect our first Vice President, Karin Hooks, who will serve with the continuing President, Anne Boyd Rioux, and replace her as President in two years. Details about the next conference, to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2017, will be announced as they become available. Many thanks to our intrepid conference organizer, Kathleen Diffley, for agreeing to make the on-site arrangements once again.

For more information, you can see the program and read Anne Boyd Rioux’s reflections on the conference.


Woolson Society Conference in D.C., Feb. 19-121

The Constance Fenimore Woolson Society’s 20th Biennial Conference is coming up next month. You won’t want to miss it! There are 17 wonderful presentations on topics from Murder and Invention in Anne to a comparison of Woolson’s and Henry James’s representations of war. Anne Boyd Rioux will be sharing some exciting news about developments in Woolson’s recovery as well as reading a chapter from her upcoming biography. Our keynote speaker is Alison Booth, who will be delivering a talk at the historic Old Ebbitt Grill with the enticing title “Writers’ Houses and Countries: Some Literary Women Circa 1910.”

If you can make it Washington, D.C., for Feb. 19-21, we’d love to have you. And if you’re interested in chairing a panel, let us know. Just drop Anne Boyd Rioux a note at, ands he can give you all the details. (Hotel rooms need to be booked by Jan. 21 for the conference rate at One Washington Circle hotel.)

Call for Papers–SSAWW

(Deadline January 5, 2015)

“Constance Fenimore Woolson: Geographic Borders, Social Crossings”

The Constance Fenimore Woolson Society invites paper submissions for the CFW Society’s panel at the SSAWW Triennial Conference in Philadelphia, PA 2015. In keeping with SSAWW’s conference theme of “Liminal Spaces, Hybrid Lives,” this panel will explore Woolson’s liminal status as regionalist, international traveler, and genre-crossing woman writer. The Society warmly welcomes paper proposals on any of the following topics/keywords:

  • Woolson’s multi-regional fiction
  • Woolson’s international writing and travel experience
  • Woolson’s poetry and/or travel writing in addition to her fiction
  • Woolson’s relationship to the physical body: gender expectations, disability, or travel
  • Woolson and biography: revisiting critical responses to Woolson, Woolson and Henry James
  • Woolson and the animal world: dogs, horses, other non-human denizens of the Southern swamp or Upper Midwest
  • Childhood as liminal space: Woolson’s representations of children
  • Crossing social boundaries: representations of familial or interpersonal intimacies in Woolson’s work
  • Crossing historical markers: Woolson and the Civil War, Woolson and westward expansion, Woolson and international tourism
  • Crossing boundaries of gender, region, nation, or genre

While this list provides some conceptual suggestions for thinking about Woolson, her work, and her time, the CFW Society gladly accepts paper proposals on any topic related to Woolson and her contemporaries. Please send an abstract of 250-300 words and a one-page CV to Sarah H. Salter by January 5, 2015. T

For more information about the conference in Philadelphia, check out SSAWW conference information:

Call for Papers–American Literature Association

The Constance Fenimore Woolson Society invites proposals for a session at the annual conference of the American Literature Association to be held May 21-24, 2015 in Boston, MA. We are interested in proposals that touch on any aspect of Woolson’s short stories, novels, travel narratives, poetry, or letters, as well as connections with her contemporaries. For information about the society, please visit our website:  For further information about the conference, please consult the ALA website at

Deadline: January 15, 2015

Please send a one-page abstract and a brief C.V. to: Anne Boyd Rioux,