Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Elizabeth Hand

Popular Fiction, Fiction

Office Location

Stonecoast MFA Office - 98 Bedford Street, Portland, ME 04102


Stonecoast MFA Office: 207-780-4423

Academic Degrees

  • BS, Cultural Anthropology, Catholic University


Elizabeth Hand is the bestselling author of sixteen multiple-award-winning novels and four collections of short fiction. Born in San Diego, she grew up in New York's Hudson Valley, the setting for much of her work, before moving to Washington D.C., where she studied cultural anthology and playwriting at Catholic University. She worked for eight years as a photo archivist for the National Air and Space Museum before moving to Maine to write full-time. Her recent, critically acclaimed novels featuring Cass Neary, “one of literature’s great noir anti-heroes” [Katherine Dunn] — Generation Loss, Available Dark, Hard Ligh, and the forthcoming The Book of Lamps and Banners— have been compared to those of Patricia Highsmith and have been optioned for a TV series. Several of her books have been New York Times and Washington Post Notable Books, and her short stories have been adapted as plays and podcasts. With Paul Witcover, she created and wrote the influential DC Comics series Anima, the first comic to feature gender-fluid characters and to engage with the ongoing AIDS epidemic. Since 1988, she has been a reviewer, critic, and essayist for the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Review, Village Voice and Salon, among many others, and writes a regular book review column for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Her historical thriller, Curious Toys, inspired by the outsider artist Henry Darger and a true crime in 1915 Chicago, will be published in 2019 by Mullholland Books/ Little, Brown, who will also publish The Book of Lamps and Banners in 2020. She has two grown children, and lives in Maine and London with her partner, UK literary critic John Clute.

Areas of Scholarship

Outsider & visionary artists; punk art and culture; postmodern and early photography; transgressive art; women’s literature; postmodern noir & neogothic fiction; PreRaphaelites; sociocultural effects of climate change.

Recent Publications

Curious Toys (New York: Mullholland Books/Little, Brown, 2019)

Fire: Essays and Short Fiction (Oakland, California: PM Press, 2017) 

Hard Light (New York: St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2016)

Wylding Hall (London: PS Publshing; New York, Open Road Media, 2015)

"Ghost Light," Tiny Crimes, Electric Literature, 2018

"Farrow Street," Hark the Herald Angels Scream, 2018

"Eat the Warm," Mixed Up, 2017

"Fables of the Reconstruction: Fire," Fire: Essays & Short Fiction, 2017

"John Crowley: Ka and a Career Retrospective," Los Angeles Times, 2017

“Taking Agency: Interview with William Gibson,” Omni, 2017


"Henry Darger: An Outsider Artist and His World," Lewiston Public Library. May 2018

"On Creative Writing," Norwich University, Vermont. March 2018

"The Feminist Legacy of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," Uppsala, Sweden. February 2018

"The Borderlands of Fiction," Innovative Fiction Series, Bard College. November 2017

"Writing About Climate Change," with JJ Amaworo Wilson, Fall for the Book Festival, George Mason University. October 2017

“The Future of the Novella”, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, England. February, 2016

“Parasomnia and the Nature of Fear,” with neuroscientist Carl Bazil, Brainwave Festival, Rubin Museum, NYC. April 2016

Newman University, Wichita, Kansas. Keynote address, Conference on Science and Literature. April 2015

Creative Activity

The Writers Hotel Literary Conference, NYC. Instructor, 2018

Odyssey Writers Workshop, Guest Speaker. 2018

Special Guest, San Diego Comic-Con. 2018

Fine Arts Work Center, YA Writers Instructor. Provincetown, MA. 2018

Visiting Instructor, Norwich University. 2018

Guest Speaker, Lewiston Public Library, Lewiston, ME. 2018

Guest Instructor, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. 2017

Guest Editor, Conjunctions Magazine Issue 67, 2017

Featured Speaker, Brainwave Festival, Rubin Museum, NYC, 2016

Awards and Recognition

2016 Shirley Jackson Award for Wylding Hall

2012 Shirley Jackson Award for “Near Zennor”

2011 World Fantasy Award for “The Last Flight of McCauley’s ‘Bellerophon’”

2008 Shirley Jackson Award for Generation Loss
 2008 World Fantasy Award for Illyria

2007 Nebula Award for “Echo”

2004 World Fantasy Award for Bibliomancy

2002 International Horror Guild Award for “Pavane for a Prince of
 the Air

2001 International Horror Guild Award for “Cleopatra Brimstone”

1999 London Fringe Theater Festival, One Act Play, “The Have-Nots”

1996 Nebula Award for “Last Summer at Mars Hill”

1996 Mythopoeic A ward for Waking the Moon 

1995 World Fantasy Award for “Last Summer at Mars Hill”

1995 James Tiptree, Jr. Award for Waking the Moon