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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.

Stories · Posts

What are You Writing For?

Jan 4, 2019 · 1,370 words (5 minutes)

I wrote a continuing column for the British magazine of short fiction reviews, The Fix, for a couple of years. The Andy Cox edited publication vanished (he still publishes the well-respected Interzone and other titles), but the columns are not available online anymore. This one addresses the question of do you write for yourself, or do you write for publication?

fountain pen on black lined paper
Writing a Story a Week: Trying the Bradbury Challenge

Oct 4, 2018 · 1,384 words (6 minutes)

Do I Dare to Eat a Peach?

Sep 15, 2018 · 343 words (2 minutes)

Why I Love Writing

Sep 7, 2018 · 564 words (3 minutes)