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March 2020 Notable Author: Wayne Karlin, Literary Fiction and Creative Non-fiction

Wayne Karlin, Literary Fiction and Creative Non-fiction

"Imagining the world through the eyes of others connects us to each other, awakens our capacity for compassion, and enlarges our own lives.”  –  Wayne Karlin

Wayne Karlin (June 13, 1945, Los Angeles, California) is an American author, editor, and teacher. Karlin attended White Plains High School, in New York and then served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1963 to 1967, when he was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant. Karlin was a helicopter gunner during the Vietnam War.

After his military service, Karlin worked in the Middle East as a free-lance journalist for 5 years and then accepted a job with an import company which brought him to Maryland. Later he took teaching positions at Montgomery College in Rockville and, subsequently, the College of Southern Maryland. For over thirty years, his students have benefited from his passion for the written word and his belief in the liberating power of literature. He was the co-founder and remains a coordinator for the Connections Literary Readings Series at the College of Southern Maryland, bringing well-known and up-coming writers to community and student audiences. He retired from the college two years ago as a professor emeritus of languages and literature. Upon his retirement, the college initiated the Wayne Karlin Award for Creative Writing, a monied prize awarded to a student selected by the faculty for excellence in creative writing.

Through his books, he has shared with readers his stark memories of the Vietnam conflict and the struggles of the returning servicemen and women, but also has worked in reconciliation with former enemies, editing and getting published in the U.S. translated works from Vietnamese writers, writing and co-producing a radio series on the war’s aftermath, co-writing the script of an award-winning Vietnamese feature film, and bringing groups of students to Vietnam. While most of his books have centered on the aftermath of that conflict, he has also written novels set in the Mideast and in Europe, and historical novels set in Maryland. His latest novel, A Wolf by the Ears, which won the 2019 Juniper Prize for Fiction, is set in Maryland and Washington during the War of 1812. Karlin will read from A Wolf by the Ears, at the College of Southern Maryland, La Plata campus on April 3rd.

In addition to the Juniper Prize, Karlin is a five-time recipient of the Maryland Individual Artist Award in Fiction, received two fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Paterson Prize in Fiction, and the Vietnam Veterans of America Excellence in the Arts Award;

Karlin lives in Saint Mary's County, Maryland, and is married to Ohnmar Thein Karlin, a retired counselor for abused adolescent girls.

Genre: Literary Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction

Literary fiction came into common usage in the early 1960s and is used to distinguish "serious fiction" which is a work that claims to hold literary merit, from genre fiction and popular fiction. Creative nonfiction uses literary styles and techniques to create factually accurate narratives. Creative nonfiction contrasts with other nonfiction, such as academic or technical writing or journalism, which is also rooted in accurate fact but is not written to entertain based on prose style.

A reading list includes: A Wolf by the Ears, Wandering Souls, Marble Mountain, War Movies: Journeys to Vietnam, The Wished-For Country, Prisoners, Rumors and Stones, Crossover, Lost Armies, The Extras, and Us.

Writer's Prompt - Fun With Words

MWA invites you to have fun writing Creative Non-fiction using up to 100 words. In honor of Karlin’s USMC service, write a factually accurate narrative about any aspect, from middle school to post-retirement in a veteran’s home, of a Marine’s life. Have fun and send us your result.

Submit by the 25th of the month and receive an MWA Fun With Words Submission Certificate.  Selected submissions may be published at the following month.

Submit Your FUN WITH WORDS Prompt


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