Brittany Newell


Brittany Newell is a writer and performer living in San Francisco. Her debut novel Oola was published in 2017 at the age of 21 by Henry Holt and HarperCollins. It was translated into German by btb, a division of Random House, in January 2020 and published as Ein Sommer in Big Sur. From 2017-18 she wrote a regular column on gender and sexuality for Dazed Digital. You can find her written work in Granta, N+1, The New York Times and Playgirl. In 2021 she was a recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Individual Artist grant for $20,000; in 2022, she served as script-writer and world-maker for artist Jenkin Van Zyl’s film Surrender (Tokyo and London, 2023). In addition to writing, she has worked as a professional Dominatrix for since 2018. She and her wife Silk Worm run a weekly drag and dance party called Angels at Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, the city’s oldest queer bar.


2017 MA, Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University
2016 BA, Comparative Literature and Gender & Sexuality Studies w/Interdisciplinary Honors in the Arts, Stanford University



2017 Oola, Henry Holt (USA) and Borough Press of HarperCollins (UK): pub. April 25, 2017.                                                                                                           On top lists from Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, New York Observer, Refinery29, AnOther, Nylon, more.                                                                                                            2020 Ein Sommer in Big Sur (German): German translation of Oola by btb of Random House, Jan 2020.

Selected Short-Form Work

2022 “Simon Says,” N+1, forthcoming fall 2022
2022 “Surrender,” essay accompanying Jenkin Van Zyl’s art film and installation, forthcoming fall 2022 2021 “Boob Tube” and “Even Dommes Get the Blues,” Playgirl, Autumn 2021
2018 “On Paris Hilton and Other Undead Things,” Granta, Summer Edition.
2018 “Demi-Gods,” review for New York Times Book Review
2016-18 Regular column in Dazed & Confused: essays on gender, sexuality, art, etc
2013 “Farewell Spit,” DIAGRAM, 13.4.


2021 San Francisco Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Grant & Award for $20,000
2019 Research fellow & writer-in-residence at Mount Lebanon Artist Residency, July and August.                                                                                                         2018 Named one of Dazed’s 100: “the definitive list of the mavericks, pioneers and prodigies shaking up culture today”.                                                                      2017 Named one of Refinery29’s “Under-29 Powerhouses Poised to Change the World” 2016 Mary Drekker Steinbeck Prize in Fiction, Stanford University Creative Writing Program 2014 Creative Nonfiction Prize, Stanford University Creative Writing Program                                                                                       2013 Claudia Anne Seaman Prize for Fiction: short story “Traces”                                                                                                                                 2012 Pushcart Prize Nominee, Pushcart Press                                                                                                                                                                  2012 Norman Mailer Award for Fiction, Norman Mailer Center