Tray Butler grew up north of Atlanta in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Although drawing pictures of Peanuts characters was an early and demanding preoccupation, he drifted into writing detective stories around age nine and soon became an obsessive journal keeper. This pre-adolescent interest in storytelling led directly to a journalism major at the University of Georgia.
After graduation, Tray became an arts reporter for Creative Loafing Atlanta, Atlanta’s alternative weekly newspaper. His journalism career led to stints as the editor-in-chief of The New York Blade newspaper and HX magazine. As a freelance writer and illustrator, his stories and artwork have appeared in magazines and newspapers including Time Out New York, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Paper, The Advocate, AirTran’s Go, New York Press, and Seed.
After living abroad for almost three years, Tray completed a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of London’s Birkbeck College in 2011. He returned to Atlanta and began working on the second edition of Moon Atlanta. It proved to be a fun and fascinating assignment to document just how much the city had changed during his time away.
Today, Tray teaches creative writing at Emory Continuing Education, contributes illustrations to Creative Loafing Atlanta, and is working on a memoir about his family.