Born and raised in New York City, Jay Schaefer graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley.  After studying in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at San Francisco State University, he started Fiction Network, a literary magazine and newspaper syndicate for short fiction that reached twenty-five million readers.  In 1987, he joined Chronicle Books as an editor, where he worked on a wide variety of books and launched the literary and mystery lists.  He was an editorial director at Chronicle before leaving to join Workman Publishing/Algonquin Books as an editor at large.  He now is an independent editor and writer based in San Francisco.

Jay has been on the faculty of many writing programs, including the Book Passage Mystery Writers’ Conference, Community of Writers (Squaw Valley), Edgars Symposium, Litquake, Maui Writers Conference, Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, Napa Valley Writers Conference, Pacific Northwest Writers Conference, Sewanee Writers’ Conference,  Southwest Writers Conference, Stanford Publishing Courses Writers Workshop, Tomales Bay Workshops, Writers at Work, and Writing by Writers.