Mimi Schwartz writes and teaches nonfiction—from memoir to personal essay to how to write creative nonfiction. Her memoir, Good Neighbors, Bad Times, Echoes of My Father’s German Village, is a winner of a ForeWord Book of the Year Award in Memoir for 2008 and of the New Hampshire Outstanding Literary Nonfiction Award. Other recent books include Thoughts from a Queen-sized Bed, voted a 2002 book club favorite by JCC book clubs, and Writing True, the Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction (with Sondra Perl), used in writing programs nationwide—and now out in its second edition. Her short work has appeared in the New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, Agni, Missouri Review, Jewish Week, Christian Science Monitor, and the Writer’s Chronicle, among others, and six essays have been Notables in Best American Essays. A veteran teacher and lecturer, Schwartz is Professor Emerita at Richard Stockton College and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
AND THEN SOME…
Born in Forest Hills, Queens, Schwartz attended the University of Michigan and N.Y.U. for a BA degree in literature (1961). She received an MA degree at U.C.L.A. (1962), and two babies and seventeen years later, she received a doctorate at Rutgers University (1979). She joined the writing faculty of Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, where she taught nonfiction and creative nonfiction for 24 years.
Her first memoir, Thoughts from a Queen-sized Bed, is about life in a long marriage: what you get and give up for that commitment. It was a JCC pick as one of the four best nonfiction books in 2002. Her second memoir, Good Neighbors, Bad Times - Echoes of My Father's German Village, chronicles her twelve-year quest to find out how neighbors in one small village where “everyone got along before Hitler” negotiated decency during and after Nazi times—and what that means for us, as neighbors, today.
Schwartz’s short work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Times, the Missouri Review, Tikkun, Fourth Genre, Calyx, Agni, Brevity, Jewish Week, Christian Science Monitor, and Florida Review, among others. Six essays have been Notables in Best American Essays; several have won prizes in creative nonfiction and are widely reprinted in anthologies, including The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction (Root and Steinberg, editors); DIRT, the Quirks, Habits and Passions of Keeping House (Mindy Lewis, editor), Living on the Margins, Women Writers on Breast Cancer (Hilda Raz, editor) and No Going Back: Letters to Pope Benedict XVI on the Holocaust, Jewish-Christian Relations, & Israel (Smith and Rittner, editors).
Schwartz has also published three books on writing, including the popular Writing True: the Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction, co-authored with Sondra Perl (Houghton Mifflin -2006; second edition - Cengage Learning - 2013). It offers fresh options to those writing nonfiction--be it memoir, personal essay, family history, or narrative journalism. Her other books on writing are Writing for Many Roles (1984) and Writer’s Craft, Teacher’s Art: Teaching What We Know,(1991). She has also published several grass-roots anthologies of children’s writing, women’s writing, and college writing.
A veteran speaker and presenter, Schwartz offers talks and workshops nationwide and abroad, including at the Geneva Writers’ Conference in Switzerland, the Kachamak Bay Writers’ Conference in Alaska, New Hampshire Writer Project events, and the Cape May Winter Prose and Poetry Getaway in New Jersey. She is a regular speaker at libraries, colleges, synagogues, and over-55 communities. (For upcoming events, see "Events" on this website.) Schwartz is the founding editor of Reader-to-Reader in The Fourth Genre, a column to encourage readers to share their favorite creative nonfiction in capsule reviews.
She lives in Princeton, New Jersey, has two children and five grandchildren, all on the East Coast.