About

nancy1-storm-cropNancy Hartney, freelance writer, short story author, and regional wordsmith, offers all things written. If the Creek Don’t Rise: Tales from the South, a second collection of short stories, vignettes, builds on her debut collection, Washed in the Water. Both books are available through Pen-L Publishers, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

Her equine-based news articles accompanied by photographs appear in The Chronicle of the HorseSidelines, and Horseman’s Round-up. Her book reviews have appeared in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram (Texas) and The Free Weekly(Arkansas); motorcycle touring articles and photographs in American Iron, general interest pieces in the Northwest Arkansas Times, and regional features in the Ozark Mountaineer, Arkansas Life, and DoSouth. Her photographs have been featured by Storyteller Magazine and the North American Foxhunting calendar.

Nancy holds degrees from Florida State University (Tallahassee) and Texas Tech (Lubbock). Along the way, she has lived in north Florida, Georgia, southern California, Texas, and Arkansas.

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Awards & Honors

Two awards, twice as humbling, twice as electric.
Two awards, twice as humbling, twice as electric.

Washed in the Water: Tales from the South, Best Book of the Year Fiction 2014, Ozarks Writers League, Missouri, and President’s Award for published book

“The Bull and the Kitten,” first place short story, Seven Hills Literary & Penumbra Poetry Contest, Tallahassee Writers Association, Florida 2014

“A Ticket Out,” short story adult fiction, first place, Oklahoma Writers’ Federation 2014

“The Day the Snake Got Killed,” short-short story first place, Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, 2012

“Riding Navajo Lands: A Walk in Beauty” travel article, Ozark Creative Writers, 2012

“The White Oak’s Tale,” Editors Pick, The Best of Frontier Tales, 2012


Reviews of If the Creek Don’t Rise: Tales from the South

“Life throbb[s] sweet” in Nancy Hartney’s tales. Let her remind you how dialogue flows easy in adept hands and thoughtfully painted scenes cause text to evaporate—readers will lose themselves in stories so natural we come to understand they will unfold whether or not we are present to witness them. Whether behind the race track in Hot Springs, Arkansas, or at a funeral in Canada, her characters bring us back around to the essential truth that even if you can’t change someone’s mind toward doing the right thing, trying still matters, and hope still shines.                                                                                                                                 –Erin Wood, editor of Scars: An Anthology and Women Makers of Arkansas (forthcoming spring 2019), and Director of Et Alia Press


Eighteen stories make up If the Creek Don’t Rise, each offering a glimpse of the deep south. They speak to the hardness of life, the goodness of life, and both the blessings and cost of love. What’s special about the stories in Hartney’s collection is her ability to layer in complexity in so few words.
–Lori Ericson,  Author Lovely County mystery series and blogger at Book of Words 



“If the Creek Don’t Rise: Tales from the South
features beautiful prose from a masterful writer. Hartney’s use of sensory details plunks the reader directly into the dust, flies, cigarette smoke, pick-up trucks, and back porches of “ordinary” people’s lives. Through her vivid writing, she gives readers a glimpse of specific times and places within Southern culture, even if you’ve never been there before (e.g. a stable, a race course, a back porch). These are excellent stories worth re-reading, curled up on a porch swing with a glass of sweet tea.”
–Rachel Gerner, Freelance Writer, Arkansas


“I just finished Nancy Hartney’s southern tales in If the Creek Don’t Rise. I especially enjoyed the lush description which provided a strong sense of place for the gritty characters and plots. The Angie postcard interludes were an ingenious way to knit the stories together; they provided the contrasting sunny voice of an outside observer to the same dark “doings” locales.”
–SHZimmer, poet and author, Arkansas

See more reviews at Amazon.com.


Reviews of Washed in the Water: Tales from the South

“A gathering of women that meanders like a slow, drunk river through the landscapes and religious and racial themes of the Old South.”
–C.A. LaRue, Deep South Magazine