Bio

Shawn Shiflett is an Associate Professor in the English and Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago. His debut novel, Hidden Place (Akashic Books, 2004), received rave reviews from newspapers, literary magazines, and Connie Martinson Talks Books (national cable television, UK and Ireland).  Library Journal included Hidden Place in “Summer Highs, Fall Firsts”, a 2004 list of most successful debuts. He was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for his work and was a three-time Finalist for the James novel-in-progress contest, sponsored by the Heekin Group Foundation.  Newcity Newspaper elected Shiflett to their Chicago Lit 50 list, an annual ranking of top figures in the Chicago Literary scene. His essay, “The Importance of Reading to Your Writing” (Creative Writing Studies, UK) was published in 2013. His novel, Hey, Liberal! (Chicago Review Press, 2016), a story about a white boy going to a predominately African American and Latinx high school in Chicago just after the MLK riots, has received acclaim from Booklist, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Review, Newcity, Windy City Review, Mary Mitchell (Chicago Sun-Times), Rick Kogan (WGN Radio), and many others.  In 2018, he performed his oral story performance “How My Yo-Yo Could Have Gotten Me Killed,” and in 2019 he performed “Oriole Park, from White America to Multicultural America."  He is on the Chicago Writers Association Board of Directors and coordinates their Educational Program.  Several pieces from his work-in-progress My Secret Lives (a murmur of dreams) were published in Hypertext Magazine (2019), Write City Magazine (2020), and Midwest Review, 2021.  Currently, he is working on a non-fiction, multicultural project: Oral Histories On Race in America, and his first publication in this diverse series, “You Will Always be Different”, is forthcoming in Newcity Magazine, (December, 2021). He is a Master Story Workshop® teacher and conducted in-service teacher training in that methodology for decades. He has taught Creative Writing in Prague, CZ and was a guest teacher and author at Bath Spa University, UK.  Film rights for Hey, Liberal! are represented by The Susan Schulman Literary Agency, NYC.  Shiflett lives with his wife, a couple of step-cats, and two English Setters named Higgins and Brick.