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John McNally

Writer-in-Residence and Doris Meriwether / BORSF Professor of English

Ph.D., University of Nebraska at Lincoln
M.F.A., University of Iowa Writer's Workshop

Office: Griffin 346
Phone: 337-482-5503

Pronouns: he/him

Teaching and Research Areas

Fiction Writing, Screenwriting, Creative Nonfiction, and Contemporary American Fiction


John McNally is author or editor of nineteen books, including the forthcoming thriller The Kingdom of Lost Souls (Mysterious Press, 2023). He is author of three other novels (The Book of Ralph, America's Report Card, and After the Workshop), three story collections (Troublemakers, Ghosts of Chicago, and The Fear of Everything), a memoir (The Boy Who Really, Really Wanted to Have Sex: The Memoir of a Fat Kid), a YA novel (Lord of the Ralphs), and three books about writing (The Creative Writer's Survival Guide: Advice from an Unrepentant Novelist, Vivid and Continuous: Essays on the Craft of Fiction, and The Promise of Failure: One Writer’s Perspective on Not Succeeding). John's work has appeared in over a hundred publications, including the Washington Post, the Sun, San Francisco Chronicle, and Virginia Quarterly Review. His fiction and nonfiction have been anthologized in Long Story Short (University of North Carolina Press), New Sudden Fiction (Norton), Don't You Forget about Me: Contemporary Writers on the Films of John Hughes (Simon Spotlight), Winding Roads: Essays in Writing Creative Nonfiction (Longman), and Behind the Short Story: From First to Final Draft (Longman), among others. He has had optioned screenplays (Paramount Pictures), a screenplay in development (Anonymous Content with the producer of Winter’s Bone), a development deal for a series (Bonfire Legend, producer of Bone Tomahawk), and commissioned feature screenplays, treatments, and script doctoring from a prominent Norwegian film studio. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award and the recipient of fellowships from Paramount Pictures (Chesterfield Writer's Film Project), the University of Iowa (James Michener Award), George Washington University (Jenny McKean Moore Fellowship), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship). John began teaching fiction writing in 1989. He has been Writer-in-Residence since 2013.