About Brendan

Brendan Short

Brendan Short is a novelist and short story writer. His debut novel, Dream City, was published by MacAdam/Cage in November 2008.

Brendan grew up in Western Springs, IL, the son of a fourth-generation Chicagoan and a seventh-generation Dubliner. He attended Catholic grade school, Catholic high school, and then the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated with a BA in American Studies.

A year after leaving Notre Dame, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he made a brief misguided foray into graduate school in American Studies, spent two years writing captions for photographs for an online database, served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer, worked as a fundraiser for various antipoverty nonprofit agencies, got married, and began to write fiction seriously. He published several stories, received an artist fellowship from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), and twice won the Larry Neal Writer’s Award for Fiction, sponsored by the DCCAH.

Wanting to spend more time writing, he was fortunate to win a Writer-in-Residence Fellowship at St. Albans School, where he ended up teaching creative writing to high school students and writing a very bad first draft of what would become Dream City.

After another year fundraising, he moved to Austin, TX to attend the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas on a three-year fellowship in fiction and poetry. In Austin, he met a wide range of talented writers, learned to enjoy hot weather, spent much time with his Texas in-laws, became a dad, and generally felt grateful for the opportunity to read and write so much.

He then moved with his family to the Chicago area, where he lives today. When he isn’t hanging out with his wife, playing with his older daughter, coaxing smiles out of his baby daughter, or working on a second novel, he can usually be found at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.