Books by Creative Writing Alumnae and Alumni

James Armstrong

Monument in a Summer Hat (New Issues Press, 1999)

Blue Lash (Milkweed Editions, 2006)

Dan Chaon

Await Your Reply (Ballantine Books, 2009)
You Remind Me of Me (Ballantine Books, 2005)

Among the Missing (Ballantine Books, 2002)

Fitting Ends (Ballantine Books, 2003)

James A. Conrad

Making Love to the Minor Poets of Chicago (Thomas Dunne Books, 2000)

Anne-Marie Cusac

The Mean Days (Tia Chucha, 2001)

SILKIE (Many Mountains Moving, 2007)

Cruel and Unusual: The Culture of Punishment in America (Yale University Press, 2009)

Amanda DeMarco (2008)

Founder and Editor of Redux

Readux is a Berlin-based literary website with reviews, interviews, articles, and opinion on German and French books and events. 

For you, reader, Readux is a precious source of English-language information by people engaged in local book culture. For us, Readux is a chance to talk about the things we find most interesting or troubling in our reading lives, literary therapy for the lingually-displaced. Hopefully, everyone walks away entertained.

Timothy Denevi

Hyper: A Personal History of ADHD (Simon & Schuster, 2014)

Sean Enright (1982)

My People, Selected Poems 1990-2012 (2012)

Nearly True, A Novel (2012)

Goof and Other Stories (2011)

Patrick Ryan Frank

How the Losers Love What's Lost (2012)


Shari Goldhagen

Family and Other Accidents (Doubleday, 2006)

In Some Other World, Maybe (St. Martins Press 2015)


Cristina Henríquez (1999)
Come Together, Fall Apart  (Riverhead Books, 2006)
The World in Half   (Riverhead Trade, 2009)

Angela Mears (2010)

nominated by Saveur Magazine for "Best Piece of Culinary Writing"

On Being Satisfied

Blaise Moritz

Crown and Ribs (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2007)

Denis O’Hare

Co-Adaptor, An Iliad

Denis won the Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for his performance as Mason Marzac in the hit Broadway play Take Me Out. His Broadway productions also include Assassins (Tony nomination), Inherit the Wind and Sweet Charity, among many others. He has appeared off Broadway numerous times, as well as in many regional theatres. An Iliad, for which he won an Obie Award, is his first collaboration and his debut as a writer for theatre. He has written two screenplays, as well as short stories and poetry. While at Northwestern University pursuing an acting degree, he followed the poetry writing program for two years and studied poetry under Reginald Gibbons, Mary Kinzie and Alan Shapiro. He has appeared in many films.

Ben Oswest  (Ben Williams)

The New Suffolk Hymn Book (Jacana Media, 2008)

Leslie Pietrzyk

A Year and a Day (Avon Books, 2005)

Pears on a Willow Tree (William Morrow, 1999)

Forthcoming from University of Pittsburgh Press is a collection of stories by an alumna of Northwestern's Creative Writing Program that recently won the 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize.  THIS ANGEL ON MY CHEST collects unconventionally-linked stories, each about a different young woman whose husband dies suddenly and unexpectedly. Ranging from traditional stories to lists, a quiz, a YouTube link, and even a "lecture" about creative writing, the stories try to put into words the ways we all cope with unspeakable loss. "For me," says Pietrzyk, "it's a very personal book, a fictional exploration of my experience of losing my first husband--also a Northwestern alum--to a heart attack at age 37."


Nick Reding

Methland (Bloomsbury, 2010)

The Last Cowboys at the End of the World (Crown, 2001)

Veronica Roth

Divergent (Harper Collins, 2011) Movie rights: Summit Entertainment

Insurgent (Harper Collins, 2012)

Karen Russell

St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Knopf, 2006)

Swamplandia! (Knopf, 2011) Chosen by the New York Times as one of the ten best books of 2011

Vampires in the Lemon Grove (Knopf, 2013)

Erika Schmidt

The Chicago Tribune has announced that Erika Schmidt is the winner of the 2013 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction for her entry, "Story About a Family."

The award, named in honor of the iconic Chicago author best known for "The Man With the Golden Arm" and "Chicago,City on the Make," carries a $3,500 cash prize. Four finalists and five runners-up also receive award money.

"To honor the transformative powers of fiction, the Tribune has sponsored the annual Nelson Algren Awards for close to three decades," said Elizabeth Taylor, the Chicago Tribune's literary editor. "We can boast that we've published some of the first work of authors like Louise Erdrich, who have gone on to remarkable literary careers."

This contest raises awareness about high-quality short fiction, she said. "We're making a statement about the importance of fiction to illuminate the world, to lead us to places we've never been, along paths we might be afraid to travel alone," Taylor said.

The winner was announced at the 29th annual Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest- the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest.

Schmidt is a native of Michigan City, Ind., and now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a Northwestern graudate, she studied writing under Brian Bouldrey, John Keene, Mary Kinzie and Christian Wiman and at StoryStudio Chicago with Baird Harper and Lee Strickland; and most recently with Lauren Ludwig. Her other interests include film, television and acting.

Christopher Shannon

published three poems in the November 2010 issue of Poetry Magazine

We dollhouse monsters

We had decided with Cocteau

The Late Show

Read all three poems here

Heidy Steidlmayer

Fowling Piece (Northwestern University Press, 2012)

Joshua Weiner

The World’s Room (University of Chicago Press, 2001)

From the Book of Giants (University of Chicago Press, 2006)

At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn (University of Chicago Press, 2009)

Are you a Creative Writing Alumni with a book or other publication?   Please let us know!


Alumni News

Nicole Bronnimann (2014) and Nadia Hlebowitsch (2014), have been awarded Fulbright Fellowships to teach English abroad, Nicole in Germany, and Nadia in Uruguay


Heidy Steidlmayer was awarded Ploughshares' 2012 John C. Zacharis First Book Award for her poetry collection Fowling Piece (Triquarterly Books, 2011)

Christopher Shannon was awarded a 2010 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship

Laura Leichum was awarded the 2010 John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize for her translations from Gisela Kraft.

Karen Russell's Swamplandia is chosen by the New York Times as one of the ten best books of 2011

Karen Russell's Swamplandia was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in fiction.

The Chicago Tribune has announced that Erika Schmidt is the winner of the 2013 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction for her entry, "Story About a Family."

February 16, 2015