Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

John Florio

Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction

Office Location

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


Stonecoast MFA Office: 207-780-4423

Academic Degrees

  • MFA in Creative Writing, University of Southern Maine
  • MA in Liberal Studies, New York University
  • MBA in Marketing Management, St. John's University
  • BS in Business Administration, Fordham University


John Florio is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, NY. As a journalist, he examines the intersection of race, politics, and sports, and contributes to The New York TimesThe New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, and ESPN. He is the author of the nonfiction books One Nation Under Baseball and One Punch from the Promised Land, as well as two books for young readers: War in the Ring, and Doomed

John is also a crime novelist. His debut novel, Sugar Pop Moon, received a starred review from the Library Journal, was an editor's choice for the Historical Novel Society, a Best Mystery and Thriller on iTunes, and a mystery pick on the Barnes & Noble website. His follow-up, Blind Moon Alley, received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly.

John earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine (Stonecoast), where he dual-majored in pop fiction and fiction, and was awarded the Cultural Diversity Scholarship. He has taught writing at SUNY/Fashion Institute of Technology, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and St. John’s University.

Areas of Expertise

Pop Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Young Adult, Writing for Social Change, Literary Journalism

Recent Publications

Doomed: Sacco, Vanzetti & the End of the American Dream (2023) 

War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between America and Hitler (2019)

One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime (2017)

Blind Moon Alley (2014)

One Punch from the Promised Land: Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, and the Myth of the Heavyweight Title (2013)

Sugar Pop Moon (2013)


Writing about Baseball and Sports, Society of American Baseball Research (SABR Author Series), 2021 

Using Biography and Nonfiction to Engage Inquiry (New York City School Library Conference), 2019

Writing Nonfiction: Life After the Memoir, Pine Manor College (Solstice MFA), 2019

You’ve Written Your Memoir, Now What?, Miami University of Ohio (Low-Residency MFA), 2018

Race, Sports, and the 1960s, The St. Louis Jewish Book Festival, 2017

How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime, New York Public Library (Author @ the Library), 2017

Race, Baseball, and the 1960s, The Bergino Baseball Clubhouse, NYC, 2017

When to Break the Rules in Writing, ThrillerFest, NYC, 2015

True Lies: Ripped from the Headlines! Scandal! Murder!, New York Public Library (MWA Panel), 2014



Awards and Recognition

Saints & Sinners Literary Festival, Honorable Mention, 2016, Short Story: King of the World

Roger Rosenblatt Prize for the Comic Essay, Finalist, 2015, Essay: Acme Alumni Fundraiser

40th Millennium Writings Fiction Contest, Honorable Mention, 2015, Short Story: King of the World

Mark Twain Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing Contest, Semifinalist, 2015, Essay: Thank You for Calling Time Warner

National Pen2Paper Writing Competition, Winner, Nonfiction, 2014, Memoir: In Defense of the Ice-Bucket Challenge