A journalist for more than 20 years, Burns crafted her first book, Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings, and Everything in Between, from her interviews with forty-three of today’s foremost writers, including Colm Tóibín, A.S. Byatt, Jhumpa Lahiri, Anthony Doerr and Alice McDermott. Published by W.W. Norton, the book was featured or reviewed in The Guardian, The Financial Times, the BBC, National Public Radio, Irish Public Radio and O: The Oprah Magazine.
She continues to interview authors and review books for The Washington Post, and has also written for The New York Times. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and published in Ploughshares, Puerto del Sol and The Lonely Crowd, and supported by The MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Arts.
She is head of creative writing at the University of Southampton.
Born and raised in Danbury, Conn., she lived for many years in Washington, D.C. She now lives in Cardiff, Wales, where she is also co-founder of the xx women’s writing festival.