In their list of “Other Distinguished Stories from 2010,” The Best American Short Stories 2011 includes pieces by Molly Antopol and Kate Schatz, both graduates of UC Santa Cruz’s Creative Writing program. Antopol and Schatz were listed among several other illustrious authors, such as Jonathan Safran Foer, Junot Dîaz, and Alice Munro.
Antopol’s story, “The Quietest Man,” published in issue 132 of One Story, explores the life of a dissident in Prague wrestling with his identity. Through her character’s internal struggle, “The Quietest Man” delves into the personal effects of being under investigation.
“Stay in touch after graduation with the people in workshop who were good readers for you,” Antopol encouraged UCSC creative writing students in a recent interview. “I continued to trade work with friends from UCSC for years, and it was unbelievably helpful.”
After finishing her B.A. at UCSC, Antopol earned her MFA at Columbia University. She is a recent Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford, where she works as a lecturer. In addition to One Story, her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, The Mississippi Review Prize Stories, Nimrod’s Prize Stories, NPR’s This America Life, The Rumpus, and Croatia’s magazine Zarez. She currently lives in San Francisco, where she is working on a collection of short stories and a novel.
Schatz’s story, “Folsom, Survivor,” explores a young girl’s unique coming-of-age experience as a survivor of a massacre in a dystopian society, and was published in Joylandmagazine.com. “Folsom, Survivor” is one of the first stories from an online literary magazine to be included in The Best American Short Stories.
In a recent interview from the Alumni Interview Series, Schatz encouraged current Creative Writing students to take advantage of UCSC’s supportive writing community. “Immerse yourself in the literary world: discover new writers and presses, go to readings, browse independent bookstores,” Schatz said. “Take advantage of this magical time when you can produce and produce, and get focused feedback and attention from amazing faculty and willing peers.”
Schatz is the author of Rid of Me. Her short fiction has appeared in the Oxford American, Denver Quarterly, Bitch, and other publications. She is the co-editor of the Encyclopedia Project with Tisa Bryant and Miranda Mellis. She currently teaches creative writing and journalism at the Oakland School of the Arts.