Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Writers Spotlight

Ah, the summer. The sun is here, the veggie dogs are on the barbecue, the pools are gleaming and Tom Benz is making a splash! Tom, one of the Chicago writing group’s longest-standing members, graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame. In the last several years, he has had 11 stories published in magazines, including the Timber Creek Review, the Beacon Street Review, the Paumanok Review, Words of Wisdom, Wilmington Blues, Carve, the William and Mary Review, and Pangolin Papers. His story “Satellite View” was recently accepted for the Spring issue of Willard and Maple out of Champlain College in Vermont.

Tom has attended weekend writing workshops at the University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin, and Indiana University. His biggest literary influences are John Cheever, Richard Ford, John Updike, Richard Russo, Michael Chabon and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His aim is to write fiction that balances serious conflicts with strong doses of irony and humor, in order to represent a proper balance of sadness and joy, and the interplay between them.

Tom lives with his wife and son in Evanston, Illinois and occasionally, on the sublime shore of Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin. He has recently finished a novel called Wiler’s Fall about a guy who is forced to look at life from a different angle when his wife has an internet affair, and he loses his copywriting job and becomes a part time reporter for a local column called “Spy on the Town.” Tom is currently seeking representation for this novel. We all wish Tom good luck in finding it the perfect home.

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