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James Van Pelt

An interviewer asked the author if he wanted to be the next Stephen King: he said, "No, I want to be the first James Van Pelt."

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James Van Pelt fell in love with Zenna Henderson, Ray Bradbury, Ursula le Guin, Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey and a host of others when he started reading. In elementary school, he told his mom he wanted to grow up to be a Ray Bradbury, like Bradbury was a job instead of a person. His work has appeared in Asimov's, Analog, Clarkesworld and many other venues. Stories have been reprinted in Year's Best anthologies and gathered in five of his collections. He has been a finalist for the Nebula, the Sturgeon Award, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He recently retired from teaching high school English (37 years), to write full time.

Fiction · Posts · Books

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Writing "One Day, in the Middle of the Night

Published Jul 1, 2020 · 383 words (2 minutes) · 9 views

writing short stories poetry

How do writers put stories together? Here's how "One Day, in the Middle of the Night" was composed.

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Antique Typewriter on Dark Wood

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"Wha' Cha Call It?": Practice and Theory of Titles

Published Jun 28, 2020 · 749 words (3 minutes) · 64 views

writing titles

Have you wondered how authors come up with titles?

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Captured on Portobello Road, London

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When Characters say F#!@

Published Jun 11, 2020 · 652 words (3 minutes) · 1 like · 93 views

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How one writer thinks about self-censorship and its impact on writing stories.

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Talking to Public Radio about a Story on Curious Fictions

Published May 28, 2020 · 174 words (1 minute) · 51 views

writing apocalypse high school pandemic covid-19 virtual learning

Author James Van Pelt talks to Colorado Public Radio about writing science fiction about a pandemic, twenty years before today's events.

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LATE NIGHT

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Good News for Subscribers and Regular Readers

Published May 22, 2020 · 265 words (1 minute) · 130 views

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Subscribers will continue to receive all James Van Pelt content for free. Stories included in THE BEST OF JAMES VAN PELT, coming in the fall, will cost $1.00 for non-subscribers.

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Post-Apocalyptic Fiction After 9/11 and Covid

Published Apr 30, 2020 · 445 words (2 minutes) · 1 like · 164 views

writing apocalypse covid-19

James Van Pelt ruminates on what it means to write apocalyptic fiction in a world that seems to be rehearsing for it.

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I Am Become

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Video Readings

Published Mar 27, 2020 · 88 words (1 minute) · 73 views

youtube author reading

Do you like author readings? Do you wonder what I look and sound like? Here are a pair of YouTube videos of me reading two short-short stories.

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Experience arcade

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Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Why I Write Science Fiction

Published Mar 22, 2020 · 1,051 words (4 minutes) · 153 views

Science Fiction writing literature Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad H.P. Lovecraft

I was the guest speaker at The Colorado Readers Conference, a very literary gathering that generally wouldn't discuss science fiction, but they invited me, a science fiction writer to be the main presenter! This was the speech.

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My Collection of Best Books on Writing

Published Feb 13, 2020 · 708 words (3 minutes) · 117 views

Writing advice Writing Books

I've been writing and teaching writing for several decades. Along the way I've found the books that told me the most about this interesting and complicated activity.

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Time to hit the books

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Writing Advice for New Writers

Published Nov 30, 2019 · 403 words (2 minutes) · 377 views

Writing advice beginning writers

If I had to boil storytelling to its essence, this is it.

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