William H. Coles – Bio

William H. Coles – Bio


William H. Coles


William H. Coles, MD, MS, has studied fiction in workshops with Jim Shepard, Lee Martin, Peter Ho Davies, Clark Blaise, Nancy Zafris, Elizabeth McCracken, Susan Straight, Karl Iagnemma, Bret Lott, Bharati Mukherjee, Tom Barbash, Lynn Freed, Richard Bausch, Jill McCorkle, John Casey, Margo Livesey, Tony Early, Michael Ray, Tamara Straus, Jill McCorkle, Carol Edgarian, Charles Baxter, Charles D’Ambrosio, Tom Franklin, Rosemary Daniell; studied in semester academic courses with John Biguenet, Noel Polk, David Bottoms; worked with mentors Tom Jenks, Dianne Benedict, Anne Wood, Ben George, Holly MacArthur, and Otonne Ricci; and attended conferences with James Dickey, Michael Cunningham, Jane Smiley, Robert Olen Butler, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Palmer, Tess Gerritsen, and others.  He created the website storyinliteraryfiction.com with resources for writers that has over two million page views a year.


His work has appeared in the Chattahoochee Review and Miscellany. For eight years he reviewed poetry for the Journal of the American Medical Association and won the Callenwolde Prize (Atlanta) for best poem (”Unwed Girl”). He was finalist (short story) in the William Faulkner Creative Writing (2007) Competition short listed the novel (2007), previously, placed five times as a semi-finalist for novel (2004-2010), and a finalist (2006) for short story. He won both first and second place (two stories) in the Sandhills Writers’ Competition 2006. In 2008, seven stories placed as finalists in the Faulkner Competition, one as three equivalent winners. He was a finalist in the 2010 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. In 2011, 2012, 2013, fourteen of his stories received awards.  He also wrote scripts for editorials and weekly radio segments on jazz for the NPR affiliate WBFO that were presented on air. He published Story in Literary Fiction: A Manual for Writer in 2007, and in 2008, Literary Story as an Art Form: A Text for Writers. In 2010 he published Facing Grace with Gloria and Other Stories and in 2011, he published the novel, The Surgeon’s Wife, a finalist in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.   In film making, he won the Conrad Berens Award Competition for best film on a medical subject.

He is a former ophthalmic surgeon specializing in ocular trauma who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife who is a pediatric retina surgeon and researcher. He has served as Department Chairman, State University of New York at Buffalo; Regent for the American College of Surgeons, President Association of University Professors in Ophthalmology. He has held academic appointments at Louisiana State University, Medical University of South Carolina, Emory University School of Medicine, and State University of New York at Buffalo where he is presently Professor Emeritus. He has lectured internationally on surgery, Georgian antique furniture, and jazz and recently presented the lectures, “How Humor Works in Literary Fiction” and “Narration in Literary Fiction: Making the Right Choices” at Kenyon College in 2009-2010.


Contact: whc8826@gmail.com

3 comments on “William H. Coles – Bio

  • Reply
    Brad Jost

    Hi Bill, Enjoyed meeting you and “M.E.” at the Macula Society meeting. Found your website too! Looking forward to exploring it in detail. Best wishes, Brad

  • Pingback: Story in Literary Fiction « Annette Dunlea Literary Blog

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *