Derek Osborne

Location Philly, PA USA

About Me

I live in eastern Pennsylvania. My work has appeared in Bartleby-Snopes, PicFic/Folded Word, Pure Slush and Boston Literary among others. My debut novel, Gadabout, made it into the final round of Amazon/Penguin’s First Novel Competition and is currently in re-write. A short story collection is due next spring. To read more or contact, visit:

I studied creative writing at Rutgers University. My two mentors were Prof. William Vesterman and Prof. Ronald Christ. Vesterman helped develop my voice; Christ taught me structure. I quit the middle of my senior year to finish a novel called Canada,only to leave the only draft in the seat back pocket on a plane. It was never found.I now use redundant backups everyday.

I started over and got an interview with Knopf and a dinner with Bart Giamatti when he was President of Yale but blew the whole thing to addiction. Around that time I did my first woodworking job in New York. Life happened and suddenly I was fifty with a union shop and successful business. I started writing again.

On URBIS I met Chris Allen.

Why do you write?

I wrote several short stories and a couple of plays during junior and senior high school. 7th grade was my first. Mr. Gasperini let me read it in front of our English class and when I finished Stephanie Smith was staring in a way I'd never known. I wrote another and she stared again, and Craig Sprenger asked if I wanted to hang out and listen to Beggar's Banquet. Writing filled an empty space and I found it gave me power.

Now I write because it's the only thing I do (besides sailing) that lights me up.

Any favorite authors? Books?

Shakespeare, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Pynchon, Kafka, Faulkner, Milton, Johnson. In the same order: King Lear and Romeo & Juliet; Sun Also Rises, In Our Time, A Moveable Feast, Great Gatsby; Crying of Lot 49; The Castle; The Bear; Paradise Lost; Bowell's Life. I like most books I read, they all have something to offer, even the bad ones - especially the bad ones.

Derek Osborne's Wall

Gary Hardaway – Jun 28, 2013

Thanks for the kind response to "Saturday Housekeeping".

Dolemite – Nov 10, 2012

That would be "Banquet"...

John Riley – Sep 19, 2012

Derek, thanks for reading "Honor Grade" and your nice words. I wish I could stay focused long enough to finish a novel.

Christopher Allen – May 31, 2011

Hey, Derek! Thank you! Hope you're doing well.

Cherise Wolas – May 11, 2010

Was just about to start reading Thanksgiving, and I read your note about it. Love that you thanked fictionaut for the requisite editing. Very funny.

Michelle Elvy – Apr 22, 2010

Thank you, Derek, for your comment on Love, Story. It tickles me that my Pynchon ref made so many people laugh. Will look forward to reading some of your stuff now too!

Doug Bond – Mar 14, 2010

Hi Derek--thanks for reading Mrs. Doyle. Great to meet you here. Your comments re: archetypes and your pointing to a specific line...really made my day...that kind of specific feedback, so helpful, knowing just how the light hit the story for you...THANKs

Foster Trecost – Mar 12, 2010

Hi Derek, thanks for reading Cactus, and thanks for the comments, too. Where in E. Pa are you? I'm in Philly.

David Erlewine – Mar 10, 2010

Hi Derek, thanks so much. I just posted a rambling response to your great comment about Vague Obscenities. Have you seen "The Squid and the Whale"? Any reference to Kafka, while obviously really inspiring, also makes me think about that movie (in the best way). Thanks again for your comments. D

Finnegan Flawnt – Feb 12, 2010

how are those socks working out for you, derek. if they help with the self appreciation, i might also start wearing socks.

James Robison – Feb 06, 2010

re: Your deeply appreciated comments on my story. The only reaction (ever, to anything I've written) built entirely around a gustatory trope. Key Lime pie too. Cool. Thank you.

Sara – Jan 22, 2010

Derek, thanks so much for your thoughts on my story. I really appreciate it and look forward to checking out your work.

go philly!

Finnegan Flawnt – Jan 09, 2010

i really enjoyed "young poets", derek. i'm neither young nor a poet so i felt called upon by my muse to respond in kind.

David Erlewine – Dec 18, 2009

Hi Derek, I appreciate your prescient comments concerning "When To Submit." Thanks so much.

David Erlewine – Nov 26, 2009

derek, thanks for the comments on like ninjas. much appreciated and nice to know you have read my other stuff, too. take care, d

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