About Elaine Ray

2J7A0718-EditElaine Ray is an award- winning journalist and fiction writer, who currently is pursuing a master of fine arts at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

During her career, she has worked as a writer and editor for Essence magazine,  an editorial writer for the Boston Globe and a communications leader at Stanford University.

She is the winner of the 2016 Gival Press Short Story Award for Pidgin and holds an Online Certificate in Novel Writing from the Stanford University Continuing Studies Program.

In 1990, she and her colleague Peggy Hernandez shared first prize for editorial writing  from the Education Writers Association. In 1993 and 1995, respectively, Elaine won second prize and third prize, for editorial writing  from the New England Associated Press News Executives Association. In 1995 she won a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship  at Stanford. Elaine has written freelance articles and columns for the Boston Globe, Essence, Black Enterprise, Modern Maturity, the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle.

In 2005, Elaine joined forces with other Palo Alto Unified School District parents to found the Parent Network for Students of Color, an organization dedicated to advocating at all levels to create a climate of high expectations and academic achievement for all. She is a past president of the board of Foundation for a College Education.

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Elaine holds an M.F.A. in  fiction writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, an MA in journalism from Kent State University  and a B.A. from Chatham College.

Photo Credit: Lashaun Clay

17 Responses to “About Elaine Ray”

  1. Jane McClure July 6, 2020 at 6:29 am #

    Oh, Elaine! I just finished Pidgin, which left me slightly breathless. You are such a good writer. No reason you should remember me, but we met as students working at the Kent State University Press. Can’t wait to read your novel. Best, jane

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elaine Ray July 6, 2020 at 9:32 pm #

      Hi Jane. This is huge. How are you? Thank you for your lovely note. Where are you now?


      • Lesa September 17, 2021 at 4:25 pm #

        Elaine, I am a podcast producer doing some research on Harlem Renaissance figures. Based on your father’s work or what exists of it on the internet, I have a few questions for you. Would you be available for a chat?
        Be well,


  2. Maliaka wiles October 12, 2019 at 8:19 am #

    Hello Elaine hope you are well met your nephew Lamont ran across some pictures of mama Ray brought back beautiful memories call us when you can Leon and I would love ❤️ to talk with you 8642855474 God Bless Maliaka


  3. Dena Davis February 23, 2019 at 4:33 pm #

    Hi Elaine. I read that you became familiar with Frank Crosswaith during research on your father. I am eager to know more about your father. Frank Crosswaith was my maternal grandfather and I am researching his speeches and writings pertaining to the Socialist Party and the labor movement. I would be very interested in what you have learned about him.
    Thank you in advance.


  4. suminaidoo March 30, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    Hi Ms Ray,
    My name is Sumi Naidoo and I’m a writer at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. I love your blog! I’m working on a project on one of the characters of the Harlem Renaissance that your father used to quite frequently write about and I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind speaking with me about him, if you have some time. My email address is sumnaidoo@gmail.com. Please let me know if you’d be up for a chat!


  5. Gladys Constance Durant Dayes,born Harlem March 9,1931 March 20, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    My father was the Rev. Dr. E.Elliot Durant,founder and 1st Rector of St. Ambrose,NYC,written about by your father in New York Age 1937 Born in Barbados, His father Rev.Dr. Joseph Nathaniel Durant :1st black man to graduate from The Philadelphia Divinity School 1869 . made Commissioner of Freedman school of Baltimore,.Washington,D.C.,and Philadelphia.Manhattan Convocation Appointed him Dean Of University of Antilles…


    • Elaine Ray March 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

      This is very exciting. I love the way this blog has connected me with people like you. I would love to know more about your father. Thank you for sharing this.


      • G Constance Durant Dayes April 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

        anglicanhistory.org/usa/misc/Durant_Ambrose/1946…………Hope we meet one day. My 16th formal picture in New York Age feb.1947.


        • G Constance Durant Dayes April 23, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

          there should be forward slash after 1946.Also Durant: Romance of Ecclesiastical Adventure. It is so thrilling to make these connections..Also Facebook: Constance Durant Dayes


  6. Christina Anderson September 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    Hi Elaine my name is Christina Anderson I am the Granddaughter of C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson. You have a post about him https://ebenezerray.com/tag/lamman-rucker/

    I am enjoying reading the stories on this site. I would love to connect with you and tell you about what I am doing in regards to my Grandfather’s legacy. In 2012 I created a foundation in his name, please visit my foundations website http://www.chiefanderson.com

    Thanks so very much,
    Christina Anderson


    • Elaine Ray October 2, 2012 at 5:53 am #

      Christine, I would love to talk further.



  7. Nancy Williams June 26, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Hi cousin! I miss talking to you! I last called you to tell you about Uncle Jimmy’s death back in January. I hope you find as much pleasure as I have in researching your Ray history. My (about) tenth great grandmother was sent to barbados to get “seasoned” before she was sold to America. I believe she dad several children there. Anything you find out is emotionally rewarding, that it becomes a part of.


  8. C. Denise Johnson April 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Were you ever a participant in the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s Urban Journalism Workshop


  9. andre gerard December 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi Elaine,

    Two questions; connected yet separate. The first question is whether or not I could send you a copy of my book, Fathers: A Literary Anthology? My hope is that you will like it enough to want to blog about it or otherwise bring it to the attention of friends and family. My second question is whether or not you would be willing to post a tribute to your father on the father tribute section of my website? If you visit the site you will see a couple of tributes that have already been posted.

    By the way, I am very much enjoying your site. I came to it through Cynthia Haven’s bookblog.



    • Elaine Ray December 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

      I would be happy to do both. Thank you.



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