Note to Reporters: A photo of Steven Schwartz is available with this release at news.colostate.edu.
Author Steven Schwartz doesn’t mind making readers uncomfortable. If he can make them think at the same time, all the better.
That approach led to the creation of his latest work, “Little Raw Souls,” a collection of short stories about everyday characters facing situations that are anything but common.
“My stories are mostly set in the West, in places that reflect my personal experiences,” said Schwartz, who recently retired following a 30-year career as a professor of English at Colorado State University. “They are about identity, success and failure, and other human topics. One critic called my book ‘short stories for grown-ups’ I’m 64 now, and I’ve got a certain perspective that I didn’t have when I wrote my other books.”
“Little Raw Souls” recently won the 2014 Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction. It is the second such award for Schwartz, who won in 1999 for his novel, “A Good Doctor’s Son.” The awards are presented annually by Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book.
Schwartz, who taught graduate-level courses in creative writing at CSU, hopes to have more time to write but admits he will miss teaching.
“Teaching creative writing is not like teaching math – people have to open themselves to the process, dig down deep and be honest with themselves if they are going to get ahead in their work,” he said. “Over the years you become not only a teacher but a therapist, a cheerleader and a mentor. You take pleasure in watching the careers of young writers blossom.”
Schwartz, the only two-time winner of the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction, is fiction editor for the CSU-based Colorado Review. “Little Raw Souls” also is the Gold Winner in Short Stories from Foreword Reviews, and recently was named a finalist for the High Plains Book Award.
“Little Raw Souls” is available at bookstores throughout Fort Collins and northern Colorado, and online at Amazon.com.