A writer, poet, journalist, editor, translator (mainly of French and Russian) and workshop leader from the 1960s to the present, Elisavietta Ritchie served as president and co-president of fiction at the Washington Writers’ Publishing House. She has held instructor positions at the Writer’s Center, various colleges and schools in the Greater Washington area, as well as in Canada and Australia. She continues as a small press publisher, public relations professional and creative writing teacher.
Ms. Ritchie has led many writers’ workshops and accrued a number of accolades and honors. Winner of the New Writer’s Prize for Best First Book of Poetry from the Great Lakes Colleges Association for her book “Tightening the Circle Over Eel Country” in 1975, she was also a Washington Writers’ Publishing House competition winner for her second book “Raking the Snow” in 1982. She won other writing awards for stories and poems, garnered an Anamnesis Poetry Award, two Poetry Society of America Awards, several fellowships through the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and four grants through the D.C. Commission for the Arts.
Ms. Ritchie has further contributed a plethora of stories, poems, creative non-fiction works and photographs to various publications. She was the creator and editor of “Finding the Name” in 1983, “The Dolphin’s Arc: Endangered Creatures of the Sea” in 1986, and contributing editor of “PAX: An Anthology of Southern Maryland Poetry” in 2019, as well as other publications in between.
From childhood, Ms. Ritchie read and wrote fervently, and all her life she has continued writing, editing, translating, and hosting and helping other writers, including many from abroad. Deriving inspiration from diverse aspects of life, she has published more than 30 books to date and continues to write and publish well into her late 80s.
Happily married to her first husband, Lyell Hale Ritchie, for many years, she bore three children. She later married Clyde Henri Farnsworth, novelist and journalist with the “New York Times.” Washington, DC, was her home base since 1960. Together they lived in Europe, Canada, Australia, and are now settled on the Patuxent River in Southern Maryland. When not busy writing, they have been avid hikers, tennis players and small boat sailors.
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