Jessica (Tyner) Mehta, born and raised in Oregon and a member of the Cherokee Nation, is the author of the forthcoming novel The Wrong Kind of Indian by Wyatt-MacKenzie Press. She’s also the author of three collections of poetry by Tayen Lane Publishing including Orygun, What Makes an Always (an Eric Hoffer Book Award honorable mention), and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo as well as the business book 100 Ways to Make 100k with Your English Degree, which has been featured on numerous podcasts including JenningsWire and World Outsourcing Solutions.
Jessica founded MehtaFor, a writing services company, in 2012 which serves a variety of clients including Fortune 500 enterprises and major media outlets. MehtaFor received two national bronze awards for Startup of the Year in 2015. Jessica offers complimentary writing services to Native American students and non-profits based in the Pacific Northwest and/or serving Native communities. She also offers the MehtaFor Trainee program which teaches new writers how to pursue a lucrative writing career.
She received her master’s degree in writing from Portland State University in 2007, and established The Jessica Tyner Scholarship Fund in 2013. It’s the only scholarship exclusively for Native Americans pursuing an advanced degree in writing or a related field. Jessica was awarded a Writers in the Schools (WITS) residency from the Oregon Literary Arts Council in 2015-16.
An in-demand speaker, she has been featured at the Mt. Hood Cherokees summit, was the keynote speaker for Metro (Portland’s regional government organization) at the “Lunch & Lean with Jessica Mehta: Native American Heritage Month” event, has read at Wordstock, and taught workshops at the Oregon Writing Festival and International Guild of Women Writers summer conference series. She hosts Sauvignon Tongued Devils, a spoken word night at Devil’s Den Wine Bar in the Alberta Arts District. She’s served as the writer-in-residence for the Hosking Houses Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK and the poet-in-residence for the Stratford Poetry Festival.
Jessica is also a registered yoga instructor and teaches power vinyasa and weight lifting at Balance 365 Fitness in Hillsboro, Oregon. She founded the Get it Ohm! karmic yoga and strength movement, which offers free classes to groups that don’t have access to traditional yoga studios and/or don’t feel comfortable in such environments.
We look forward to having Jessica’s leadership and passion for our local writing community on the VoiceCatcher board. Stay tuned for more announcement about our 2017 leadership and editorial team. We hope to meet you at a VoiceCatcher event in 2017!