• CWP Sheila O'Connor

    Sheila O'Connor

    AssOCIATE Professor

    Sheila O'Connor is the author of four novels: Keeping Safe the Stars, Sparrow Road, Tokens of Grace, and Where No Gods Came. Where No Gods Came won the Michigan Literary Prize and the Minnesota Book Award. It was also chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Sparrow Road was the recipient of the International Reading Award, and Keeping Safe the Stars was honored with the Midwest Booksellers Award. Her books have been included on Best Books of the Year by Booklist, VOYA, Book Page, Bank Street, Chicago Public Library, and others.  

    A multi-genre writer, her work has been anthologized in Riding Shotgun: Women Write about Their Mothers, The Next Parish Over, Mothers and Daughters, and Best of Helicon Nine. Her short stories, poems, and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies including: Minnesota Monthly, Alaska Quarterly, Baltimore Review, Great River Review, Helicon Nine, and others. Her short story, "Just Say the Word," won the Tamarack Award for Fiction. She is the fiction editor for Water~Stone Review. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Sheila O'Connor has been awarded two Bush Fellowships, a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, and a Loft McKnight Fellowship. She has also been the recipient of artist residencies from The Studios of Key West, Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Tyrone Guthrie Center, and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. She is an Associate Professor in the MFA program at Hamline University where her teaching was recognized with the award for Outstanding Teaching and Service.

    In addition to her work as an associate professor and faculty advisor at Hamline, Sheila O'Connor has worked extensively as a writer-in-residence, mentoring young people and adults in both fiction and poetry. An active advocate for arts education for all creators of ages, Sheila has developed writing curriculum for educators, K-12 schools, art museums, and others. She is the editor of two collections of writing by young people Come Home Before Dark and In My Hand Forever. She has taught at the University of Minnesota, the Split Rock Arts Program, and the Loft Literary Center, as well as widely within the community.


  • Accomplishments


    Keeping Safe the Stars
    Putnam Juvenile

    Sparrow Road 
    Putnam Juvenile

    Where No Gods Came 
    University of Michigan Press

    Tokens of Grace 
    Milkweed Editions