Jan Adkins was raised in West Virginia and Ohio, around Wheeling. He attended Ohio State University for more than eight years, flunking out several times. At first he studied architecture. In this second phase of his long university career he studied literature and creative writing. He has served as an art director for National Geographic Magazine, has written for Smithsonian magazine, Cricket and Muse magazines, Harper’s, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Sail, WoodenBoat, Maine Boats Homes & Harbors, and others. He also works on museum exhibits.