Ashley Mae Hoiland

Ashley Mae Hoiland graduated with a BFA in studio art and an MFA in creative writing.  She wrote and illustrated 100 Birds Taught Me to Fly, the first book written by a female to be published by the Maxwell Institute. The book has received several awards, including one national prize. She is also the illustrator of Mother’s Milk, a book of poems about Heavenly Mother written by Rachel Hunt Steenblick. She is the founder of the We Brave Women project, a set of cards accompanying a movement that tell the stories of brave women around the world.  She has written and illustrated six children’s books. She served a mission in Uruguay. She currently lives in Palo Alto, CA with her husband and three small children.

For more information, please visit her website:

Check out her book, 100 Birds Taught Me to Fly at your local library, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore.

“This brave collection of revelatory meditations and illustrations traverses Ashley Mae Hoiland’s unique spiritual landscape. Feeling that she has lost God hundreds of times, she finds him again in personal episodes, relationships, nature, dreams, imagination, stories, scriptures, memory, and testimony. These turn her from a life in crisis to one of ongoing exploration. The reader can find herself in this search and these pictures.”

—Claudia L. Bushman, Author of Contemporary Mormonism: Latter-Day Saints in Modern America

“In an age of rare originality, Ashley Mae Hoiland manages to explore one of the last frontiers of Mormonism: the search for the divine feminine. Her encounters with feminine spiritual forces are so entwined with the language, experiences, and resources of Mormonism that we recognize them as having been there all along, while at the same time being revelations of something entirely new. Hoiland’s spiritual autobiography is a revolution in Mormon testimony, describing faith journeying in uniquely fresh and authentic imagery. Absolutely beautiful.”

—Neylan McBaine, Author of Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women’s Local Impact

“Discussions about challenges in contemporary Mormonism often fall into predictable patterns, both in content and in structure. Ashley Mae Hoiland’s gorgeously written reflections situate themselves quite to the side of the usual debates. Instead of giving answers, Hoiland describes a deeply personal process of spirituality. By inviting readers to accompany her along the spiritual side paths of everyday life, she shows them how connection to God and to other people can emerge from creative attention to the ordinary. Spiritual life, she suggests, is a quiet sort of art. Opportunities to create it abound, especially in the quotidian relationships that are the basic stuff of our lives. This book provides an occasion to study that art with one of its understated masters. I commend it—and her—to you.”

—Jason A. Kerr, Assistant Professor of English, Brigham Young University

“With a rare combination of rawness and transcendence, Ashley Mae Hoiland courageously weaves personal stories and visual art into an awe-inspiring tapestry infused with faith. Her ability to mine the depths of everyday moments to discover the grandeur in the messiness of Mormonism and of womanhood makes this book a rare treasure. ‘One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly’ moved the deepest parts of my soul unlike any book I have ever read. Ashley Mae’s story is my story. It is our story. And I thank her for offering it so generously and for telling it so beautifully.”

—Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Author of The Assertiveness Guide for Women