MA, Creative Writing
Tray Butler is an author and journalist who has written short stories, essays, critical reviews, hard news and humor pieces for a wide range of publications in the U.S. and Britain.
A Georgia native, Tray grew up an hour north of Atlanta in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Although drawing pictures of "Peanuts" characters was an early and demanding preoccupation, he drifted into writing detective stories around age 9 and soon became an obsessive journal keeper. This pre-adolescent interest in gossip-aka, storytelling-led directly to a journalism major at the University of Georgia.
After graduation, Tray became an arts reporter for Creative Loafing, Atlanta's alternative weekly newspaper. His journalism career led to stints as the editor-in-chief of The New York Blade newspaper and HX magazine. As a freelance writer and illustrator, his stories and artwork have appeared in magazines including Time Out New York, Paper, The Advocate, Go, The New York Press and Seed.
Tray's city guidebook, Moon Atlanta, was published by Avalon Travel in 2009, the same year he relocated to London and started contributing film-related features to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and ITV2's "At the Movies."
After almost three years of living abroad, Tray completed a master's degree in Creative Writing from The University of London's Birkbeck College. His short story, "The Last Place You Look," was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in 2011.
Today, Tray contributes illustrations to Creative Loafing and is working on a memoir about his Pentecostal family and their ill-fated attempt at running a pet store. The second edition of Moon Atlanta arrives in autumn 2012.
2010–2011 Birkbeck College, University of London, United Kingdom
• Master of Arts in Creative Writing
• Graduated with distinction
1993–1998 The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
• Graduated cum laude with an ABJ in journalism from the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, minor in English
• Served as student judge for George Foster Peabody Awards, international awards for excellence in broadcasting