Scott Dominic Carpenter, fiction writer

My Bio

If you've found your way to this site, you know that I write fiction. I also teach it -- mostly at Carleton College, in Northfield, Minnesota. (In my role as a teacher of literature and literary theory, I also have a number of non-fiction publications, which you can investigate here).

I grew up in several different cities -- mostly in the US, but I've also lived abroad for several long stretches. I now consider Northfield home, but Paris is a close second.

On my way to academia I staggered through quite a number of bizarre jobs: house painting, uranium mining, factory work, slave labor in a French ch√Ęteau, coastline preservation in Brittany, every imaginable aspect of the restaurant industry, small engine repair, small office work, translation, sales and marketing.... That's just for starters. I'll spare you the full list.

My academic training focused on French literature of the nineteenth-century, and I came to creative writing rather late. Back in college I'd taken a couple of creative writing courses, but for the most part I've done the MFA of hard knocks. What have I learned about writing during these years? First, it's important to have a clear point of departure. Second, you need to listen to others -- but still make up your own mind. Finally, you have to work hard, almost every single day. There's more to it, of course, but those principles have served me well.

When I'm not writing or teaching (or grading), I can often be found on my bicycle, rolling along some country road.

For more information (including photos, book club guides, etc.) see the press page.