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, Michael Ray, Tamara Straus; 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 three million page views.


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”).  His poetry has appeared in the Chattahoochee Review and Miscellany. In fiction, 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 he 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, the first collection of award-winning stories, and in 2011, he published the debut novel, The Surgeon’s Wife, a finalist in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.   Recently he published novels and story collections: The Spirit of Want, Guardian of Deceit, Sister Carrie, McDowell, The Necklace and Other Stories, The Short Fiction of William H. Coles 2001-2011, The Illustrated Fiction of William H. Coles 2000-2012; an additional book on writing: Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer’s Guide; and two graphic stories, Homunculus and Reddog. He has collaborated with nine acclaimed artists to illustrate stories and novels and has created an online art gallery of the works.  Stories and Novels.

Coles has also produced, recorded and published audio books of all novels and short stories.  He has made all short stories available on line for online or download listening free.


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 presented the lectures, “How Humor Works in Literary Fiction” and “Narration in Literary Fiction: Making the Right Choices” at Kenyon College in 2009-2010.  He teaches writing of literary fiction stories online in a workshop and tutorial.


Contact: whc8826@gmail.com

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