Natalie Mesnard


natalie mesnard


My Work

I am a literary writer and game designer interested in human expression and spiritual transformation through modernity.

My fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and board games examine consumer culture, new age spirituality, video games and virtuality, lowbrow fantasy, scientific/mathematical ideals, and other routes to understanding the crowded, confusing, partially-digital world Americans live in today.

My postsecondary education (B.S. in Mathematics, Virginia Commonwealth University; M.F.A. in Creative Writing, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) reflects my lifelong interest in the intersection of the poetic and the technical. Unschooled until college, I am a proud cultural outsider, fascinated by both mainstream power dynamics and all that's off-the-grid.

A citizen of the contemporary literary world, I have edited for the literary magazines Ninth Letter, Memorious, A Public Space, and One Story, and currently work with the independent literary publisher Grove Atlantic in digital marketing strategy and social media. Prior to living in New York, I taught university-level creative writing, rhetoric, and business writing as a Lecturer at the University of Illinois.


My Writing

A poem is a chance encounter between a writer and her audience. Sometimes the two intertwine, but we can’t know exactly why or for how long. The reaction is only something you can half-control.
I will take a long series of lovers who fit the pattern of my life like Fibonacci numbers. My entanglements will bore you in their repetition, becoming a collection of bangles assembled from flesh and amputated dreams.

My published work includes short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and interviews. Currently at work on a speculative near-future literary science fiction novel, I strive to communicate with both general and literary audiences. 

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My Games

A crew of idealistic pirates sets sail for liberty, fraternity, and treasure! Tired of tyrannical captains, long working hours, and short rations, they’ve decided to experiment with a trust-based economy and elected representatives...

I design games in collaboration with my partner, Patrick D. Watson, as Oat & Noodle Studios. Our games encourage everyone to treat life as play: they break the fourth wall, employ mechanics as a means to self-expression, and seek to include and entertain players of all ages and backgrounds.


DemocraSea, our board game for aspiring politician-pirates, won the Craft, Theme, and Marketability awards for CUDO Plays Season 3, and was an Official Selection for IndieCade 2016. DemocraSea is forthcoming from Game Salute.


Media Making



I'm a freelance digital media professional available to produce content, curate your web presence, and write a digital marketing strategy for your brand. I specialize in work for arts, literary, and nonprofit organizations, and take a grassroots, collaborative approach to building your business and articulating your media identity online.

Click here to inquire about rates.