“I do feel that if you can write one good sentence and then another good sentence and then another, you end up with a good story.” – Amy Hempel
Born on this date in 1951, Hempel is a short story writer and journalist who teaches creative writing at both Bennington College in Vermont and the University of Florida.
A native of Chicago, Hempel has been termed a minimalist writer, one of a handful of writers who has built a reputation based solely on short fiction. She’s published a number of collections of her writings, including the multi-award winning and best-selling Collected Stories of Amy Hempel.
Also a writing judge, frequent presenter, and editor, she helped edit the popular New Collected Stories From the South 2010. And, her work "In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried" is one of the most extensively anthologized stories of the last quarter century.
Hempel’s path to creative writing came through journalism and she continues to write for numerous magazines and journals. “I started writing by doing small related things but not the thing itself, circling it and getting closer,” she said. “I had no idea how to write fiction. So I did journalism because there were rules I could learn. You can teach someone to write a news story. They might not write a great one, but you can teach that pretty easily”
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