About



Sheldon Lee Compton is an Appalachian short story writer, novelist, and poet. He is the author of seven books - the short story collections The Same Terrible Storm (Foxhead Books, 2012) Where Alligators Sleep (Foxhead Books, 2014) and the forthcoming collection Absolute Invention (Secret History Books, 2019) the novels Brown Bottle (Bottom Dog Press, 2016) Alice and the Wendigo (Shivelight Books, 2018) and Dysphoria: An Appalachian Gothic (Cowboy Jamboree Press, 2019) and the poetry chapbook Podunk Lore, part of a collaborative volume of the Lantern Lit series (Dog On a Chain Press, 2018). He is currently at work on his first nonfiction book The Orchard Is Full of Sound: On Breece D'J Pancake and Appalachia for West Virginia University Press.

His short stories and poems have appeared widely in journals both online and in print including Free State Review, Wigleaf, Fluland, New World Writing, Pank, gobbet, Dogzplot, Jellyfish Review, Gravel, Always Crashing, jmww, Vending Machine Press, Change Seven, American Book Review, Unbroken, Bull: Men's Fiction, Cowboy Jamboree Magazine, Vestal Review, Unbroken Journal, People Holding, Monkeybicycle, and many others.

In 2012, he was a finalist for both the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award and the Still Fiction Award. The Same Terrible Storm was nominated for the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Excellence in Appalachian Writing, while his short stories have been nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize, as well as Best of the Net, storySouth’s Million Writers Award, and cited in Best Small Fictions 2015 and Best Small Fictions 2016, guest edited by Robert Olen Butler and Stuart Dybek, respectively. His short story "Aversion" was selected to appear in Best Small Fictions 2019.

Other writing has appeared in American Book Review, Change Seven Magazine, Small Press Book Review, HTMLGIANT, Heavy Feather Review, and in the anthologies Degrees of Elevation: Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia (Bottom Dog Press, 2010) Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia (Ohio University Press, 2015) and Larry Fessenden’s Sudden Storm: A Wendigo Reader (Fiddleblack, 2016). 

He survives in Pike County, Kentucky.


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