Bret Lott is the bestselling author of fourteen books, most recently the nonfiction collection Letters and Life: On Being a Writer, On Being a Christian (Crossway 2013) and the novel Dead Low Tide (Random House 2012). Other books include the story collection The Difference Between Women and Men, the nonfiction book Before We Get Started: A Practical Memoir of the Writer’s Life, and the novels Jewel, an Oprah Book Club pick, and The Hunt Club. His work has been translated into eight languages, and has appeared in, among many other places, The Yale Review, The New York Times, The Georgia Review, Vanity Fair Online and in dozens of anthologies.

Born in Los Angeles, he received his BA in English from Cal State Long Beach in 1981, and his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1984, where he studied under James Baldwin. From 1986 to 2004 he was writer-in-residence and professor of English at The College of Charleston, leaving to take the position of editor and director of the journal The Southern Review at Louisiana State University. Three years later, in the fall of 2007, he returned to The College of Charleston and the job he most loves: teaching.

His honors include being named Fulbright Senior American Scholar and writer-in-residence at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, speaking on Flannery O’Connor at The White House, and having served as a member of the National Council on the Arts from 2006 to 2012. For many years he was co-editor of the journal Crazyhorse, and has been the director of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the College of Charleston; he has also been a faculty member of the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts for over twenty years. He and his wife, Melanie, live in the country outside Charleston.