The Writer’s Handful with Christine Sneed

christine sneed

Mondays + Writers = Finally something to look forward to.

Christine Sneed is enjoying a good run. Her fine collection of short stories Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry has won a bunch of incredibly impressive awards. Her new, funny, and smart novel, Little Known Factsis generating great buzz. And just a little bit ago, Christine was named recipient of the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award. This, folks, is a huge deal.  LittleKnwn_jac

Welcome Christine!

Did you write today? If yes, what? If no, why not? 

I did write, but only a little because it was a day of travel too (home from vacation, boo.)  I managed to put down a few words for a novel-in-progress.

What’s the first thing (story, poem, song, etc.) you remember writing, and how old were you when you wrote it? 

I really can’t remember!  But I know that in fifth grade, i wrote a whole book of bad poetry for a young authors contest at my middle school in Libertyville, IL.

What are you reading right now? 

Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld’s new novel.

What’s the most important advice you ever received? (Writerly or otherwise.)

If you don’t really love writing, do something else with your life.  You have to love it because the rewards – publication, money, etc. are very hard won for most writers.

If your writing were an animal, what animal would it be? Because…

A monkey!  Because monkeys are playful but smart.  (Those are the qualities I aspire to when I’m writing.)


Christine Sneed has a creative writing MFA from Indiana University and has lived in Chicago and Evanston, IL since 1998. She teaches creative writing at Northwestern University and Pacific University, and will be Fiction Writer in Residence at Columbia College Chicago in 2014. Her story collection, Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry, won AWP’s 2009 Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, first-fiction category, was named the Chicago Writer’s Association Book of the Year, and has been chosen as the recipient of Ploughshares’ 2011 first-book prize, the John C. Zacharis Award. It was also long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and named one of the seven best books of the year by Time Out Chicago. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Short Stories,PEN/O. Henry Prize StoriesPloughshares, Southern Review, Massachusetts Review, New England Review, Notre Dame Review, and a number of other journals.

Portrtspprbk →Thanks to Christine Sneed for taking the time to chat, and thanks to you all for reading! -PMc←