Stephanie Vanderslice, Ph.D., MFA

Professor of Creative Writing, Co-Director Arkansas Writers MFA Workshop

Thompson Hall 303

Ph.D., English, University of Southwestern Louisiana
MFA, Creative Writing, George Mason University
B.A., Connecticut College


Teaching Specialties:
Creative writing, creative writing pedagogy, fiction, creative nonfiction, writing for children, gender issues and writing pedagogy


Stephanie Vanderslice grew up in the suburbs of Albany, New York and the New York City borough of Queens, home of the Yankees, the Egg Cream and the Myrtle Avenue El. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Connecticut College where she studied Developmental Psychology, English and Creative Writing.  After college she moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where she took advantage of the myriad of free museums, and,while pursuing her MFA in fiction writing at George Mason University, discovered her passion for teaching college students.  Other major developments during this period may be inferred by a joint analysis of her biography and John Vanderslice’s biography on this website.   While in D.C. she also worked as a grants assistant for the German Marshall Fund, an international foundation, and for PBS, where she met Barney the Purple Dinosaur at the height of his popularity.


She moved to the Deep South to pursue her doctorate at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette in 1993, where she studied Creative Writing, Composition, American Literature and 19th Century British Literature.  She began her career at UCA in 1997.  Her teaching specialties include fiction, creative nonfiction and teaching creative writing.  A writing-life blogger for the Huffington Post, her numerous scholarly essays on the teaching of creative writing have been published nationally and internationally in such publications as College English (which she guest-edited with Kelly Ritter in 2008), College Composition and Communication and New Writing: An International Journal of Theory and Practice.  Her books include:  The Geek’s Guide to the Writing Life (Bloomsbury 2017),  Can Creative Writing Really Be Taught? 10th Anniversary Edition (Bloomsbury 2017), Can It Really Be Taught?: Resisting Lore in Creative Writing Pedagogy (Heinemann 2007), Studying Creative Writing Successfully (Frontinus 2017),  Teaching Creative Writing to Undergraduates: A Guide and Sourcebook (Fountainhead 2012) (both with Dr. Kelly Ritter) and Rethinking Creative Writing (Professional and Higher 2012).  Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in many journals and online publications.  She is represented by Anne Bohner at Pen and Ink Literary.  In 2012 she was named CASE U.S. Professor of the Year for the state of Arkansas; in 2009 she was named ACTELA College English Teacher of the Year.  Off campus, her enthusiasms include travel, promoting literacy, collecting children’s books,  and junking.