Robin McLean was a lawyer and then a potter for 15 years in the woods of Alaska before receiving her MFA at UMass Amherst in Massachusetts. Her first short story collection Reptile House won the 2013 BOA Editions Fiction Prize and was published in May 2015. The collection was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Story Prize in 2011 and 2012. McLean’s stories have appeared widely in such places as The Cincinnati Review, Carve, The Common, Copper Nickel, and many others.
A figure skater first—having learned to skate and walk at the same time—McLean believes that crashing on ice prepared her for writing fiction. Besides writing, her careers and interests have been diverse: pushcart hotdog sales, lawyer and mediator, potter and tile maker, political activist, union organizer, sculptor, haunted corn maze manager as well as zombie trainer. She taught writing for 7 years at Clark University. She now lives and teaches in the high plains desert of central Nevada at Ike's Canyon Ranch Writer's Retreat, which she co-founded.