Ruth Nestvold

Honorary Member

‘Writing fiction is a creative act, a work of the imagination, but it is also a craft. As in any craft, there is always more to be learned. For anyone who wants to succeed as a writer, dedication and practice are more important than talent. And the only way to improve as a writer is to recognize your weaknesses and work on them -- and of course write, write, write.’

Since about the age of six, Ruth Nestvold wanted to be a writer (besides wanting to be a singer and an actress and President of the United States), but for too many years she put practical pursuits first and writing fiction second. After completing a Ph.D. in literature and working as lecturer and assistant professor at the University of Stuttgart and the University of Freiburg, she took time off from academic pursuits to attend the Clarion West Writers Workshop, a six week "boot camp" for writers of science fiction and fantasy. She learned more there than she could have dreamed possible, changed her priorities, and gave up theory for imagination. Two years later, she sold her first short story to the acclaimed science fiction magazine, Asimov's. Since then, she has sold over forty pieces of short fiction to a variety of markets, including Baen's Universe, Strange Horizons, Scifiction, F&SF, Realms of Fantasy, and several “year's best” anthologies. She has been nominated for the Nebula, the Sturgeon, and the Tiptree awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella Looking Through Lace won the "Premio Italia" for best international work. Her novel Flamme und Harfe (“Flame and Harp”) appeared in translation from Penhaligon, a German imprint of Random House in 2009, and has been translated into Dutch and Italian as well. She taught creative writing for a semester at the University of Stuttgart, participates regularly in online writing workshops, and founded the Villa Diodati workshop for English-speaking writers of speculative fiction in Europe. She occasionally maintains a website at

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