John Griswold, who uses the pen name Oronte Churm at Inside Higher Ed and elsewhere, was born in Vietnam and raised in coal country in Southern Illinois. His stories, poems, and essays have appeared in War, Literature and the Arts; Brevity; Natural Bridge;  and Ninth Letter. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, listed as notable in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009, and included in The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 3 (WW Norton).

His most recent book is a collection of essays, Pirates You Don't Know, and Other Adventures in the Examined Life (University of Georgia Press 2014). He is also the author of a novel, A Democracy of Ghosts, and a nonfiction book, Herrin: The Brief History of an Infamous American City.

He teaches in the MFA program at McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

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Most Recent Articles

March 12, 2008
Little Truths contest judge Steve Davenport is currently hunkered down with your entries—cogitating, masticating—and I strongly suggest we give him some privacy and time to finish. He says he’ll be ready to post winners here on Friday. In the meantime, here’s a bit on having aesthetic standards, about which I argue with him twice a month.***
March 4, 2008
The Little Truths Writing Contest deadline will be extended until midnight, Monday, March 10.
March 3, 2008
Even if I hadn’t known Unofficial St. Pat’s Day was Friday at Illinois, I would have known something was up. As I walked in to campus along my usual route at 10:30 a.m., I could hear muted shouts from distant apartment buildings. A twin turboprop went over twice at a weirdly low altitude, nearly building-top level, and in the distance a black JetRanger helicopter orbited above some point on campus.
March 1, 2008
For those of you interested in entering my Little Truths Writing Contest, there's about a week left to get those entries in. Deadline is midnight, March 7th, so warm up your word processing machines and submit for a chance at cash and prizes!
February 29, 2008
Would you people please take it easy, today and tomorrow, and use your heads? I'm coming out to take a look, and I don't want any part of me getting damaged--least of all my delicate sensibilities.
February 27, 2008
Today, my friend Ben Cohen helps us mind the gap.
February 26, 2008
Please click through to read a brief plan, by my McSweeney's editor and pal John Warner, to rage against the machine. Or to agitate against the system. Or maybe just to upset the applecart a little. Anyway, he could use your help.
February 22, 2008
My sincere thanks to everyone who’s visited any or all of the three rings of this week’s Churm circus. The contest entries are great, and I appreciate every comment and e-mail.
February 22, 2008
You may leave your contest entry as a comment to this post, or atLitPark, where you can check out some of the competition.***In honor of my revelation of my real name and previously undisclosed location, my online pals are sponsoring a short writing contest with big-time prizes.
February 20, 2008
Before the blog post, a bit about the festivities at today’s three-ring Churm circus:


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