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Alumnus and Award-Winning Author Returns to Hendrix

Stewart Author PhotoCONWAY, Ark. (April 2, 2014) – Contemporary novelist, short story writer, and award-winning children's series author Trenton Lee Stewart is in residence at Hendrix College during the spring semester as the Murphy Visiting Writer. Next week he will read selections from a variety of his creative work but will focus on his work for adult readers. 

The reading will take place on Thursday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Reves Recital Hall and will be followed by a reception and book signing in Trieschmann Gallery. This event is free and open to the public. 

Praised as “a Greek tragedy by way of Arkansas,” Stewart’s first novel, Flood Summer, tells the story of a young man holed up in a decrepit trailer in tiny Lockers Creek, Arkansas, who considers himself a failure. He has bad knees, flat tires, a dying cat, and no plans. As incessant rain becomes a brutal storm and a flood claims the countryside, he meets a fierce young woman trying to start a new life. Together they’re forced to reconsider their respective pasts and confront secrets they’d rather not disturb.

Stewart, a Hot Springs native, has won numerous awards for his New York Times best-selling children's series, The Mysterious Benedict Society, such as the E.B. White Read Aloud Award and the Booklist Editor's Choice Award. He also received the Porter Prize and the Booker Worthen Literary Prize, two of the most prominent awards given to Arkansas writers.

His fiction has been published in some of the most prestigious literary journals in the country, including The New England Review, Shenandoah, The Georgia Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review.

After graduating from Hendrix in 1992, Stewart received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. This spring, Stewart has returned to Hendrix to teach a class titled "Writing and Publishing Fiction," a course that combines creative writing workshops as well as discussion and conversation concerning the publishing world and its accessibility to young writers. 

This event is sponsored by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language, which are designed to enhance and enrich the study and teaching of literature and language at Hendrix College. For more information about this and future events, please contact Henryetta Vanaman, 501-450-4597 or

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the sixth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report.  Hendrix is featured in the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, as well as the 2014 Princeton Review’s The Best 378 Colleges, Forbes magazine's list of America's Top Colleges, and the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit