Monday, August 15, 2011

Stella Wynne (1885-1966)

Née Estella Francis Wynne
Aka Stella Wynne Herron
Poet, Playwright, and Short Story Writer
Born April 5, 1885 (or 1886), San Francisco, California
Died March 1, 1966, San Francisco, California

Estella Frances Wynne was born on April 5, 1885 (or 1886), in San Francisco, California, daughter of Irish immigrants. As a student at Stanford University, she participated in theater and was associate editor of The Stanford Sequoia. She was also a published author, with stories in McClure's Magazine and The Overland Monthly. Stella, as she was known, graduated from Stanford in January 1907 and married a classmate, William Francis Herron, before the year was out. By 1920 she was divorced and supporting herself and her son as a magazine writer. Her stories appeared in Collier's, Harper's, LifeWoman's Home Companion, and other magazines. Her only work for Weird Tales was called "Ebony Magic," published in the March 1928 issue. Two of her works were adapted to the silver screen, Shoes (1916) and The Double Room Mystery (1917). She also wrote a book of poetry, Bowery Parade and Other Poems of Protest (1936), illustrated by the Mexican painter and muralist Jose Clemente Orozco (1883-1949); a play, Hearndon House, A Drama in Three Acts; and a piece that was included in Among the Humorists and After Dinner Speakers, Part Two (1909). Stella Wynne Herron died in the city of her birth on March 1, 1966.

Stella Wynne's Story in Weird Tales
"Ebony Magic" (Mar. 1928)

Further Reading
Several of Stella Wynne's stories are available on the Internet, on Google books and other sources.

A snippet from the Stanford University yearbook for 1908 showing the staff of The Stanford Sequoia. Just who is who in the photo isn't exactly clear. Presumably one of the women is associate editor Stella Wynne. The photo of the man on the far left has been pasted in, the twentieth century equivalent to "Photoshopping." Peeking out of the bottom of this snippet is the name William F. Herron, Stella's future husband. Presumably he is in the photo as well.
Thanks to Randal Everts for clarifications.
Text and captions copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

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