Christopher Barzak

Fiction | NEOMFA Campus Coordinator | Youngstown State University
Image of Christopher Barzak


Phone | (330) 941-1653
Email |
Website |

Recent Publications


The Gone Away Place. Knopf, May 2018, Novel
Wonders of the Invisible World. Knopf, September 2015, Novel
Before and Afterlives. Lethe Press, March 2013, Story Collection
Birds and Birthdays. Aqueduct Press, March 2013, Story Collection
The Love We Share Without Knowing. Bantam Books, November 2008, Novel


Jamie Marks is Dead (based on One for Sorrow). Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Competition Finalist, January 2014


The Creeping Women.” Uncanny Magazine, January 2016, Short Story.
The Trampling.” Nightmare Magazine, January 2015, Short Story.
The B&O, Crossroads of Time and Space.” Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology, May 2015, Essay.
The Boy Who Grew Up.” Uncanny Magazine, November 2014, Short Story.

About Christopher

Christopher Barzak is the author of the Crawford Fantasy Award winning novel, One for Sorrow, which was made into the feature film “Jamie Marks is Dead.” His second book, The Love We Share Without Knowing, was a finalist for the Nebula and Tiptree Awards. His most recent book, The Gone Away Place, was chosen by The State Library of Ohio, the Ohioana Library Association, and the Ohio Center for the Book as the "Choose to Read Ohio" book for 2021-22, as well as was also selected for The Whippoorwill Award, presented by the National Council for Teachers of English. His short fiction has appeared in a variety of venues, including Asimov’s Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy. His most recent books are Birds and Birthdays (Aqueduct Press), a collection of surrealist fantasy stories, and Before and Afterlives (Lethe Press), a collection of supernatural fantasies. He grew up in rural Ohio, has lived in a southern California beach town, the capital of Michigan, and has taught English in suburban and rural communities outside of Tokyo, Japan, where he lived for two years.

Where did you grow up?

Kinsman, Ohio

What is one of your favorite places in Youngstown?

Millcreek Park—the second largest municipal park in the United
States, after Central Park, and designed by the same people.

What’s on your nightstand right now?

Stacks of unread books, a lamp, and a matcha flavored Kit Kat.

Your best piece of advice for a young writer?

Read voraciously and without boundaries. Read everything, even types of writing and kinds of stories that you don’t instinctively enjoy or appreciate. Study how every form and genre of writing works, and why, in order to learn the tools and techniques each employ and bring those back to whatever it is you want to write.

If you could have a superpower what superpower would it be?


Do you have any eccentric habits/strategies to get you started writing? What are they?

I’m a procrastinator, so generally I’ll do any household chore before I’ll write. After they’re all done, I have no excuses, and feel  compelled to sit down and write.

What the highest number of revisions you’ve done on a single piece of your writing?

I rewrote one of my novels from the ground up once, and then revised the second version of that novel twelve times before placing it for publication, where I continued to revise and edit for three more rounds.

How do you respond when someone challenges the role of the MFA in creative writing?

I tell them if they don’t want to spend two or three years with a group of people who are all dedicated to pursuing the same interest and trying to learn how to practice their craft better, then don’t do it. Your choices are your own. People become writers in a variety of ways. This is one of them. None of them are right or wrong. Do what works for you and let others do what works for them.