MFA in Creative Writing

Karen Bender

Karen E. Bender is the author of two story collections: Refund, which was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction, Shortlisted for the 2015 Frank O’Connor International Story Prize, and also Longlisted for the Story Prize. Her collection The New Order, was Longlisted for the Story Prize in 2018. She is the author of two novels, Like Normal People, which was a Washington Post Book of the Year and a Los Angeles Times bestseller, and A Town of Empty Rooms. Her fiction has appeared in magazines including The New Yorker, Granta, Ploughshares, The Yale Review, The Harvard Review, Zoetrope, Electric Literature, Guernica and others, and has been reprinted in Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, and New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best.

The winner of three Pushcart prizes, her work has been read at “Selected Shorts” at Symphony Space by Joanne Woodward and by Levar Burton on Levar Burton Reads. Bender has received grants from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Visiting Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Hollins University, she has also taught in the creative writing programs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, the University of Iowa, and at the low residency M.F.A. programs at Warren Wilson College, Chatham University and Antioch University Los Angeles. Bender is the fiction editor of the literary journal Scoundrel Time. Learn more: