VANCOUVER, Wash. — Award-winning novelist Molly Gloss is the first featured speaker in Washington State University Vancouver’s annual Professional Writing Series. Gloss will speak Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Multimedia Building lecture hall on “Writing, Reading and Place.”

Pamela Smith Hill, director of WSU Vancouver’s professional writing program, said Gloss is “a gifted, inspiring writer whose works span genres and audiences, from fantasy to historical fiction to creative nonfiction, for young-adult as well as adult readers.” Smith Hill added that Gloss’ insights into the writing life will energize the writing community at WSU Vancouver.

Gloss is a fourth-generation Oregonian who lives in Portland.  She is the author of “Outside the Gates,” a fantasy novel for young adults, and more than two dozen short stories, essays and book reviews, which have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.  Her novel, “The Jump-Off Creek,” was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for American Fiction, and a winner of both the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award.  In 1996, she was a recipient of a Whiting Writers Award.  “The Dazzle of Day,” a novel of the near future, was named a 1997 New York Times Notable Book and was awarded the PEN Center West Fiction Prize.  Her fourth novel, “Wild Life,” set in 1905 in the mountains and woods of Washington state, won the James Tiptree Jr. Award and was chosen as the 2002 selection for “If All of Seattle Read the Same Book.” 

Her work frequently explores questions of landscape and the human response to wilderness.  A selection of Gloss’ books will be available for purchase the night of the lecture, courtesy of The Bookie, WSU Vancouver’s campus bookstore.

Upcoming lectures in the Professional Writing Series include “Perspective on Editing” with Lee Montgomery, Tin House Magazine, “After Thirty Years” with novelist Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve on March 11 and “After the Degree: What’s Next?” with WSU Vancouver graduates on March 8.

All lectures begin at 7 p.m. in the Multimedia Building lecture hall and are free and open to the public. For more information on this series or the professional writing program, contact Pamela Smith Hill, at (360) 546-9677 or WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave., east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205. Parking is available in the blue lot for $1.50 or at parking meters.