About Gail

I’m passionate about living the creative life and dedicated to writing and storytelling, but I’m also devoted to helping other writers and creative people. That is why I love being the president of Willamette Writers, the largest writing organization in the Pacific Northwest, with more than 1300 members.
My short story “Asmodai in Portland,” was published in the anthology New Mitzvah Stories for the Whole Family by Reclaiming Judaism Press, and my short story “Here I Am” was published in the 2021 fall edition of JewishFiction.net. In March of 2021, my travel essay about cocktail bars in London and Paris was published in Wanderlust Journal. I was ordained as a Maggidah, a Jewish storyteller, in August of 2021.
After twenty years as an educator, I’m at work on a novel, a redemptive story about the relationship between a pansexual female artist and a Hollywood film star.
My husband and I live in Portland, where our date nights are filled with trying new restaurants and cocktail bars or listening to live jazz.

Living Creatively

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Gail’s novel-in-progress, Flattened, centers on the love story between two broken people, Blake Montero, a Hollywood celebrity, and Ada Langerman, a pansexual, Jewish artist raised by drag queens. A life of losses has nearly crushed Ada—she was orphaned at an early age and the uncle who raised her succumbed to AIDS. When Ada was diagnosed with cancer, her girlfriend abandoned her. Ada needs to recover from the emotional devastation of surviving cancer, but afraid to face it, she throws herself completely into her art. While working on a film about an artist, she finds love and support from the most unexpected people possible—actor Blake Montero and his young daughter. Trust doesn’t come easily for Ada or Blake.

Can they discover the courage to choose the family they have always wanted? Told in alternating viewpoints, this contemporary women’s fiction explores how two  people who are lost can find themselves in art and in each other.


Gail Pasternack is an ordained Maggidah (Jewish storyteller) who is passionate about living a creative life and telling stories at her local pub. Her story, Asmodai in Portland, was published by Reclaiming Judaism Press in the New Mitzvah Stories for the Whole Family anthology and her story, “Here I Am” was published by Jewish Fiction.net in September, 2021. In March of 2021, her travel essay about cocktail bars in London and Paris was published in Wanderlust Journal. Gail has served on the Willamette Writers Board of Directors since 2015 and as its president since 2019. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a masters from Columbia University. Gail and her husband reside in Portland where they are active members of the tango and jazz communities.


Lower Eastside Food Delights
An immigrant food haven—that’s what the Lower Eastside of Manhattan...
Manhattan Cocktail Bars
Over three evenings in New York City, Alan and I...
NYC’s Tenement Museum
“We don’t need more recipes. What we need are more...


I’m available for storytelling events and presentations on creativity. Contact me with specific dates, times and venues. 


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Ursula LeGuin said, “The creative adult is the child who survived.” Yet what happens when that creativity gets blocked by everyday life? My e-book Living Creatively shows how we can release our inner artist and see beauty in the everyday.

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