Jennie Coughlin first won awards for her coverage of small towns in Massachusetts while working at community newspapers there, and now uses a different kind of storytelling to showcase life in fictional Exeter, Massachusetts. In addition to her work as a reporter, editor and columnist at communityย newspapers, she was Virginia’s USA TODAY correspondent for a few years.

The flavor of small college towns with lots of history and strong arts communities comes through in her stories about Exeter, a small mill town in the Blackstone Valley. The name is a nod to her hometown’s history, but Exeter isn’t based on Franklin or any of the other small towns she’s lived in — reality in those places is far too unbelievable to make good fiction.

If you check out the Exeter Ledger page, you’ll find Q&A profiles with some of the Exeter residents, plus pieces exploring various places in Exeter.

E-mail: jenniecoughlin28@gmail.com

Twitter: @jenniecoughlin



Short Story Collections

Thrown Out: Stories from Exeter Volume 1 (2011)

Mob Chronicles

All That Is Necessary (2013)

Stop At the Lineย (work in progress)

Book 3ย (work in progress)

Book 4ย (work in progress)

Other Exeter novels

Walk Away (work in progress)


14 Comments on “About”

  1. HI, Jennie. For a brief moment, I thought you meant the Exeter in the southwest of England, rather than the fictional place you’ve invented ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been to the real Exeter and it is a lovely city but I’m sure that your Exeter would be a much more interesting place to live.

    I love “To Kill a Mockingbird” too ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. There are a couple of Exeters in New England, too, but not Massachusetts. My hometown was *supposed* to be called Exeter, but the town fathers decided to name it after Ben Franklin instead. So I stole the name for my fictional town. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Fair enough. If we are lucky enough and everything goes according to plan, we’ll be visiting New England next year. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, I’ll have to be content with reading about it ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks! I’ve had several people ask me if Exeter really is a town in Mass., so I think I’ve succeeded in making it realistic. I’ll be curious to hear your take once you read it. Amazon has the Kindle edition on sale for 99 cents right now.

    1. My Exeter’s fictional, set in Massachusetts in the U.S. So no, not local to you. But I hope you try the books and see what you think of the fictional Exeter. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. hi Jennie. I have been featured in your storify blog. I greatly appreciate your coverage. I have spent 48 hours in hell. anyway, I am open to chatting with you about recent events. Oh by the way, I grew up in Andover, MA. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. More evidence for the fact that all of Massachusetts is a small town? ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m not sure there’s a lot to talk about at this point. I saw you were tagged in tweets that, based on your subsequent tweets, you probably didn’t completely agree with. Storify, for obvious reasons, doesn’t allow editing of components that are dragged in โ€” the only editing is in picking which ones are dragged, since it’s primarily a curation tool. I tried to accurately represent the various POVs in the debate so people could draw their own conclusions.

  3. Yeah, I was not thrilled to be tagged in the original ones, but what’s done is done. I think the later ones clear it up a little, so that’s fine. I thought your coverage gave an accurate portrayal overall, at least as I see it. Thanks for your response, and good luck with your book. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I suspect there are a lot of people who would disagree with you on the portrayal, based on some comments people have directed at me, but that’s standard with any controversial issue. *shrugs*

      Thanks for the good wishes! Books are doing decently. I need to finish my Ziva-centric Big Bang story so I can get back to Exeter. Too many plot bunnies, too little time.

      1. saw your response about page views. Impressive, especially since it is probably a pretty elite audience. It freaks me out a little how many people saw my tumblr.
        by the way, I have been talking to the OW since day one. want to hear something unbelievable? She told me she has received absolutely no hate mail at all. i have been protecting her ID because she TRULY does not understand what she did, and I know you did reveal her ID. but somehow, she has received NOT ONE negative message.

  4. this convo may work better in email. you can see mine, I believe. I had to watch the whole thing unfold from ground zero.

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