Selak, Joy H. 1947–

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Selak, Joy H. 1947–


Born May 10, 1947, in Fort Worth, TX; daughter of D. William (a pilot) and Ann (a homemaker) Hubbard; married Stephen Z. Bernard, 1969 (divorced, 1980); married R. Daniel Selak (a professional expert witness), May 11, 1985; children: (first marriage) Sage Bernard Conran, Taryn Freitas, Benjamin Dustin; (second marriage) Mark, Eric, Terra Selak Carr. Ethnicity: ‘Caucasian.’ Education: Arizona State University, B.A., 1969, M.A. (English education), 1975, M.A. (English literature), 1977, Ph.D., 1980.


Home—Austin, TX. E-mail—[email protected].


Public schoolteacher in Phoenix, AZ, and Scottsdale, AZ, between 1969 and 1973; Arizona State University, Tempe, instructor, 1975-80; Smith Barney, Westlake Village, CA, financial consultant, 1981-92. Teacher and curriculum specialist for Arizona State Department of Education and for local school districts, 1975-80. Conejo Women in Business, director, 1985-89; San Juan Island Community Foundation, director and board president, 1997-2000; Zachary Scott Theater, director and education chair, 2004—; Legacy of Giving, founder and vice chair, 2006—.


Arizona English Teachers Association (director, 1975-78; newsletter editor, 1978-81).


Prize winner, San Juan Island Playwrights Festival, 1992, for SeeGee's Gift.


(With Steven Overman) You Don't LOOK Sick! Living Well with Invisible Chronic Illness, Haworth Medical Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Author of the one-act play SeeGee's Gift. Contributor to periodicals, including Media and Methods, English Bulletin, Statement: Journal of the Colorado Language Arts Society, and Illinois English Bulletin.


Joy H. Selak told CA: ‘I think I was born hard-wired to the arts: reading, writing, singing, dance, and live theater. I believe that just about everything that can be observed contains a story, and everything of importance is best learned by story. I am a tenacious person and do not mind starting over, doing over, or setting a piece aside until I can see it with fresh eyes. When I lay out my work, I use little pieces of paper attached to a magnetic strip to see how the story flows from narrative, to scene, to dialogue. I can change as I go and monitor balance and flow this way.

"For You Don't LOOK Sick! Living Well with Invisible Chronic Illness, Steven Overman and I collected dozens of stories common to people with invisible chronic illness, then we chose to expand on the twelve we thought were most common. Since I have a chronic illness, I wrote this book in first person, present tense, with the hope that the reader would be drawn into the stories with me.

"I have an online writing critique group, and with another group I take annual weeklong writing retreats. These women are all published writers and are smart, tough, and compassionate editors. Their feedback and friendship is invaluable to me.

"I find myself drawn to the themes of struggle and victory. These are the themes that contain the richest meaning, hope, and resolution."