Spotlight on: Christine Sneed

If you’ve been diligently reading the faculty news bits in Ex Libris this quarter, you’ve probably noticed Christine Sneed’s name come up more than once. Which is why when we rPortraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cryeceived yet another exciting piece of news about her award-winning first book, we decided it was high time to turn the Ex Libris spotlight on our very own Prof. Christine Sneed.

Ploughshares has just announced Christine Sneed as the winner of the twenty-first annual John C. Zacharis First Book Award for her first book, a collection of short stories entitled Portraits of a Fewof the People I’ve Made Cry. The $1,500 award, which is named after Emerson College’s former president, honors the best debut book by a Ploughshares writer, alternating annually between poetry and fiction. From Zacharis Award judge Ladette Randolph:

“Sneed’s Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry is a sophisticated collection. Linked by a common theme of male-female relationships—often sexual, always unbalanced—the stories are mature, beautiful, and devastating testaments to the ways we betray ourselves and each other. No word is out of place, no detail unnecessary. There isn’t a story here that isn’t a gem.”

But you don’t just have to take Ploughshares‘ word for it. In 2009 Portraits was awarded the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction from the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Awards Series. It also received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the “first fiction” category, and was named one of the “Seven best books of 2010” by Time Out Chicago book editor Jonathan Messinger.

Another story of Sneed’s,  “The First Wife,” was chosen for the 2012 PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories anthology, set for publication in April 2012. The story was originally published in the Winter 2011 issue of New England Review.

What’s next for Christine Sneed? Well for one, she will be teaching Eng 492: “Writing Fiction” at DePaul during the Winter quarter. But in even more exciting news, Bloomsbury Press recently acquired her novel-in-stories, Little Known Facts, which tells the story of a Hollywood actor and his family. Publication is set for Spring of 2013.

You can learn more about Christine Sneed at, and if you see her around the English Department, make sure to congratulate her on her many awards and achievements!


Upcoming DePaul Author Events

Mark your calendars! DePaul professors and authors will be participating in readings around the city this fall. Don’t miss out on these fabulous opportunities below:

TONIGHT: Thursday, September 30

Amina Gautier, a new assistant professor of English, joins author Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife, Her Fearful Symmetry) and other writers for a discussion entitled “Ordinary Women: Extraordinary Heroines–A New Paradigm for the Modern Heroine.”

                       Women & Children First Bookstore
                       5233 N. Clark St.
                       7:30 p.m. panel

Tuesday, October 12: Rebecca Johns Trissler, another new assistant professor of English, launches her latest novel, The Countess, with an event at the Sulzer Public Library in Chicago’s Lincoln Square.

                        Sulzer Library
                        4455 N. Lincoln Avenue
                        7 p.m. reading

Tuesday, October 19: Toni Morrison

 This event is sold out, but the DePaul English Department is offering an opportunity for students to win a free general admission ticket for this One Book One Chicago Keynote Lecture. See Cathy Clark at the English Department for details.

                         Symphony Center
                         220 S. Michigan Ave.
                         7 p.m. lecture

Thursday, October 21: Amina Gautier & Rebecca Johns Trissler

Please welcome the two newest members of our tenure-track faculty. This event, sponsored by the Visiting Writers Program, will celebrate Amina’s recent Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award, as well as the publication of Rebecca’s new novel, The Countess.

                            McGowan South 104
                            1110 W. Belden
                            6 p.m. readings
Tuesday, October 26: Michele Rubin, a literary agent at Writer’s House in New York, will give a talk on “The Future of the Book.” This event, sponsored by the DePaul Humanities Center, should be of great interest to all creative-writing students.

                            DePaul Student Center 314
                            2250 N. Sheffield Ave.
                            6 p.m. lecture

Wednesday, October 27: Reginald Gibbons

In an event sponsored by the DePaul Humanities Center, Gibbons, a recent National Book Award finalist, will read from his new collection, Slow Trains Overhead: Chicago Poems and Stories.

                            Richardson Library
                            Dorothy Day Room, 400Richardson Library
                            2350 N. Kenmore Avenue
                            6 p.m. reading

What We Missed: Faculty News

Professor Ted Anton’s essay, “Riff,” will appear in a book that just received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, called One Word: Writers on the Words They Love and Loathe, (Sarabande Books, due November 2010).

Professor Amina Gautier won the 2010 Flanner O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Read more here:

Professor Rebecca Johns Trissler is anticipating the launch of her new novel, The Countess, published by Crown. She also has a forthcoming story, “Perpetua in Glory,” appearing in the winter 2010-11 issue of Ploughshares.

Meet the New Faculty: Rebecca Johns Trissler

Rebecca Johns’s first novel, Icebergs, was a finalist for the 2007 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for first fiction and a recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Award. Her second, The Countess, is forthcoming in October from Crown Books. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, the Harvard Review, the Mississippi Review, the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Self, and Seventeen, among others. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Missouri School of Journalism, she is thrilled to join the English Department at DePaul.

Rebecca is teaching ENG 484: Feature Writing during the Winter 2011 quarter.