Michael Steinberg

Michigan, United States

Member Since: 09/14/2012


                                                                            Michael Steinberg


Ever since I was a child, I've loved books and writing. In fact, I'd always harbored dreams becoming a writer. But I didn't seriously pursue that impulse until I was in my mid-forties. The reason being that I was not a very good poet or fiction writer--the two most prominent literary forms in America at the time. And because I'd read and taught so much "great" literature, I'd virtually talked myself into believing that my own writing would never measure up. For many years, I was a writing/composition teacher, a journalist, an occasional playwright, and a director of plays. Early on in my teaching career, however, I'd become enamored of the personal essay. I continued to write, write about, and teach the essay for almost two decades. In the early-90s, when creative nonfiction started to become more prominent, I began publishing my work out to literary journals. At the same time, I wrote several essays about the form. In 1992, I went back to school, and in 1994, I got an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.I've been writing and teaching personal essays and memoirs ever since.

                                                             Selected Writing/Editing Credits and Awards

  * Michael Steinberg is the founding editor (1999) of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, an award-winning journal of literary nonfiction. Fourth Genre is one of three literary journals that exclusively publish works of creative nonfiction.

 His memoir, Still Pitching, won the Fore Word Magazine 2003 Independent Press Memoir/Autobiography of the Year. The Association of American University Presses also chose the book for inclusion on its 2004 list of "Books Selected for School Libraries.” And the Melton Center for Jewish Studies selected it for inclusion in "The American Jewish Story in Print," a national on-line directory.

  Other books include the anthology, Peninsula: Essays and Memoirs From Michigan--a 2000 Read Michigan selection, finalist for both the 2000 Foreword Magazine Independent Press Anthology of the Year, and for the 2000 Great Lakes Book Sellers Award; The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction (now in its sixth edition); Those Who Do, Can: Teachers Writing, Writers Teaching--the latter two with Robert Root Jr.; and The Writer's Way: A Process-to-Product Approach to Writing, with Clinton S. Burhans, Jr. He also co-wrote, I'm Almost Famous, a stage play that was produced in 1984 at the Apollo Theater in Chicago.

  His personal essays and memoirs have appeared in many literary journals, and his work has won several national awards--including the Missouri Review Editor's Prize, the National Harness Racing Writers of America Feature WritinAward, and a Roberts Writing Award. A half-dozen pieces have been cited as" Notable Essays" in the Best American Essays, and Best American Sports Writing annual anthologies. Five others have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

*During his tenure (1999-2009), Fourth Genre’s awards included seven Pushcart Prizes and Special Mentions; a gold medal (first place) in the 2002 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition; and a 2001, Utne Reader Writing Excellence Award among others. Works have been reprinted in annuals like Best American Spiritual Writing, Best American Travel Writing and Best American Nature Writing. In addition, the Best American Essays annual has chosen over a dozen pieces as "Notable Essays." Numerous works have also appeared in a variety of textbooks, anthologies, periodicals, collections, and magazines.


  Steinberg taught writing and literature at Michigan State University for 33 years. He is the co-founder and co coordinator of the Traverse Bay Summer Writing Workshops For Teachers (1986-1993), and the Michigan State University Overseas Writing Program (1990-). Since 1999, he has been on the faculty of three low-residency MFA programs: Vermont College; Stonecoast/University of Southern Maine, and currently, the Solstice/Pine Manor College program in Boston, where he is the Creative Nonfiction Writer-in-Residence. He is a member of the founding faculty and serves on the advisory boards of the latter two programs.

   He has presented many workshops and seminars at colleges and universities, as well as international and national writers' conferences. Some recent invitations include, The Prague Summer Writing Program, the Paris Writer's Conference, the Geneva (Switzerland) Writer's Conference, the Kachemak Bay Writer’s Conference in Homer, Alaska, the California State University Summer Arts Festival, Writers' in Paradise in St. Petersburg (Florida), the Chautauqua Summer Writer’s Conference, and the Sanibel Island Writer’s Conference--among many others. In June of '07, he was the Nonfiction Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the NYU Summer Writing Intensive. Currently, he’s the creative nonfiction Writer-In Residence at the Solstice/Pine Manor College low residency MFA program in Boston


 Steinberg has a PhD and MA in American Literature from Michigan State University, a MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and a BA in English/Theater Arts from Hofstra University.


Website: http://www.mjsteinberg.net and http://www.mjsteinberg.net/blog.htm


  • Still Pitching: A Memoir , Michigan State University Press (September 15, 2003)
  • Peninsula: Essays and Memoirs From Michigan. Ed , Michigan State University (September )
  • The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction 6th edition, (with Bob Root) , Pearson (August 16, 1997)
  • Those Who Do, Can: Teachers Writing, Writers Teaching A Sourcebook (with Bob Root) , NCTE (July 7, 1996)
  • The Writers Way: A Process-to-Product Approach to Composition, fifth edition, with Clinton S. Burhans Jr, , Spring Press (September 5, 1983)


  • Still Pitching, ForeWord Magazine/Independent Press , 2003 Memoir of the Year(2004)
  • The Missouri Review Editor's Prize(1995)
  • The Harness Racing Writers of American Best Feature Article of the Year Award(2005)


  • Professor of Literature and Writing at WRAC, Michigan State University (September 1970 - June 2001)
  • Founding Edior, Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction at Michigan State University Press (September 1997 - January 2008)
  • Writer in Residence at Solstice/Pine Manor College MFA in Creative Writing Program (July 2007 - )


  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University (January 1995)
  • Doctoral Degree in Michigan State University from American Lioterature (June 1974)
  • Bachelor of Arts in English/Drama from Hofstra University (January 1964)

Genres of Interest

Fiction, Creative nonfiction, Playwriting, Screenwriting, Poetry