Novelist and short story writer Vic Sizemore creates characters who grapple with issues of faith, engage in deep soul-searching journeys, and try to reconcile the rock-solid tenets learned in childhood with the flint-edged and sometimes scarring questions of adulthood. He’s in the middle of working on “The Pinewood Cycle,” four novels linked by their setting at Pinewood University, a conservative Christian school.
Sizemore will read from his work Thursday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. in Common Grounds Coffeehouse on the Eastern Mennonite University campus.
Sizemore himself was raised in the home of a fundamentalist Baptist preacher, where the King James Bible was “our bread and milk,” he says in one interview. He graduated from Liberty Baptist Theological School, and earned an MFA from Seattle Pacific University in 2009. He teaches at Central Virginia Community College.
His short fiction has been published or is forthcoming in StoryQuarterly, Southern Humanities Review, Connecticut Review, Blue Mesa Review, Sou’wester, and elsewhere. Excerpts from his novel The Calling are published or forthcoming in Connecticut Review, Portland Review, Prick of the Spindle, Burrow Press Review, Relief, Rock & Sling, and Pithead Chapel.
Sizemore brings to his writing a “sharp sense of observation, of being able to see right into something to make it close,” says assistant professor of English Chad Gusler, who got to know Sizemore when both were at a summer MFA residency in New Mexico. “His characters are thrust into action immediately, and the places where his characters live out their lives are palpable and real. There’s a persistent pulse in his stories, a sneaky beat that sinks into a reader’s subconscious lingers there for quite some time.”
Sizemore’s fiction has won the New Millennium Writings Award. In recognition of the edginess of his writing and its appeal to today’s youth, Sizemore’s work was nominated to “Best American Nonrequired Reading,” an annual anthology of fiction and nonfiction works selected by a panel of high school readers.
His work has also been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. Nominations are limited to six entries per year from little magazine and small press editors, or from contributing editors to Pushcart Press, according to the prize’s website.
Sizemore has been a frequent contributor to “Good Letters” on the evangelical channel of Patheos.com, where he has blogged about a myriad of topics, as related to Christian faith: food deserts, the World Cup, the movie “Noah,” the Ken Ham-Bill Nye debate at nearby Liberty University, and parenting three children.