Will Weaver’s writing has gained notices from The New Yorker to The Los Angeles Times. His works include Sweet Land (short story collection and film), Memory Boy (novel and opera), and his enduring novel of the Midwest, Red Earth, White Earth.
Will grew up on a farm in Minnesota, but thanks to some great English teachers he took an interest in literature. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in English, then headed to California and the Stanford Writing Program. There he worked with Raymond Carver, Alice Hoffman, and other top fiction writers as he completed his M.A. in Creative Writing, focusing on short stories, the genre that launched his career as a writer.
His short story collections and novels have earned the praise of reviewers from coast-to-coast. The New York Times Book Review called A Gravestone Made of Wheat, “a graceful collection, one that views America’s heartland with a candid but charitable eye.”
Red Earth, White Earth, Mr. Weaver’s debut novel, was published by Simon & Schuster and produced as a CBS television movie. A Gravestone Made of Wheat (Simon & Schuster) won the Minnesota Book Award for Fiction. Several of the stories were performed on National Public Radio. The title story was produced as the independent feature film Sweet Land starring Ned Beatty and Alan Cumming. Sweet Land earned rave reviews in its national theater release. “A triumph…a movie of extraordinary tenderness” (Entertainment Weekly). It is available streaming and on DVD. Sweet Land: The Musical debuts in early 2017. http://sweetlandthemusical.com/
Memory Boy is used widely in schools across the United States, and in 2016 was produced as a full length opera by the Minnesota Opera.
Will Weaver has also written several successful novels for young adults. Striking Out (HarperCollins) was honored as Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. Full Service (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005) won starred reviews and was also listed as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Defect won the 2008 Minnesota Book Award. His MotorNovel Series, focused on small town stock car racing, includes Saturday Night Dirt, Super Stock Rookie, and Checkered Flag Cheater. Memory Boy is used as the touchstone book for school-to-community oral history projects. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBJTB6u2jEo&t=84s
In addition to writing, Will also taught creative writing and literature at Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota, where he and his wife live on the Upper Mississippi River.
Will writes full time and travels widely, speaking at schools and conventions on all matters related to writing and reading, literature and literacy. If you’re an aspiring fiction writer–or just like hearing about the writing life–be sure to check out his “In The Write” blog. In it he shares what he’s learned about writing and publishing, with a goal of helping other aspiring writers.
Will and a group of author friends have recently gathered some of their best short writings, added lesson plans, and made them available in the LitWeaver store at TeachersPayTeachers.com.