Jack Harrell grew up in Parkersburg, Illinois, a small farming community in the southeastern part of the state. When he was nineteen years old, he packed his guitars and record albums in his 1964 Chevy Impala and moved to Vernal, Utah, where he joined the Mormon church. He is now a fiction writer, essayist, and professor at Brigham Young University-Idaho. His novel Vernal Promises won the Marilyn Brown Novel Award in 2000. His book A Sense of Order and Other Stories contains the award-winning stories "Calling and Election" and "A Prophet's Story." His latest book is Writing Ourselves: Essays on Creativity, Craft, and Mormonism.