Michigan State University
Michigan State University
College of Arts and Letters Logo
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Department of Writing
Rhetoric & American Cultures


Curtis VanDonkelaar

Assistant Professor

Office: 243 Bessey Hall

Email: vandonkc@msu.edu

Twitter: @vandonc




Research Areas

Creative Writing, Editing and Publishing, Midwestern Culture and Literature


I teach writing and editing in WRAC, and I am currently the faculty editor/advisor for The Offbeat literary journal. I also do consultation work with Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction.

My work is primarily in fiction, though recently I am expanding into creative nonfiction. I am most recently the winner of the 2016 Literal Latte Short Short Contest and the Gateway Review’s 2016 Flash Fiction Contest, and I have been a finalist in a number of other fiction competitions, including the Puerto del Sol Fiction Contest, The Laurel Review’s Midwestern Fiction Contest, Harpur Palate’s John Gardner Fiction Contest, the Tusculum Review Fiction Contest, Pulp Literature’s Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction, and Passages North’s Neutrino Prize. My stories have appeared in the Vestal Review, Western Humanities Review, MAKE, Hobart, and DIAGRAM, among others, and have been positively reviewed by Dark Sky Magazine and The Review Review. I've twice made the Wigleaf longlist, and have been nominated for Best of the Net.


PhD. English/Creative Writing-Fiction. Western Michigan University. 2010.
MFA. Fiction Writing. Western Michigan University. 2006.

Representative Work

Recent Publications
Literal Latte, forthcoming

Winner, 2016 Short Short Contest

“The Dream’s Alive”
The Gateway Review, forthcoming
Winner, Flash Fiction Contest

“Larry and Charlene in Three Acts”
Storm Cellar, Vol. V No. 2, Fall 2016

“The Old Moose Head and Beyond”
Toad Suck Review, Vol. 6, 2016

see curtisvandonkelaar.com for links to stories!

Selected Courses Taught

WRA 101: Writing as Inquiry
WRA 145: Men in America
WRA 150: The Evolution of American Thought
WRA 195H: Major Topics in American Thought (Honors)
WRA 380: Managing Publication Projects
WRA 480: Publication Production I
WRA 481: Publication Production II

Research or Academic Affiliations

Executive Board Member, Michigan College English Association