Erin Flanagan is the author of two short story collections—The Usual Mistakes and It’s Not Going to Kill You and Other Stories—both published by The University of Nebraska Press. Her stories have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Colorado Review, The Missouri Review, The Connecticut Review, and elsewhere. She had held fellowships to Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, The Sewanee Writers’ Conference, The Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, UCross, and The Vermont Studio Center.
Erin was born in Illinois and lived in a far-flung suburb of Chicago until she was four. One day her father came and said he was sick of the commute and working as an executive and not seeing his girls grow up. He told his wife he had a family farm in Northwest Iowa and he thought it would be a good idea for them to give it a try. His wife, appropriately, flipped out. She eventually agreed and he went to community college to learn how to farm, and she drove a school bus to make ends meet, and they both learned how to live in a small town where everyone knew everyone’s business. This ended up being the best decision of their lives. Erin loved growing up on a farm—she was in boys’ and girls’ 4-H, spent a good amount of time outdoors until she discovered reading, and was convinced she would grow up to be a veterinarian with a menagerie of pets after raising a pet pig named Mama for slaughter. In this life, her mother taught her to castrate pigs and her father taught her to bake a pie.
Erin attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for all her degrees, graduating with a PhD in 2004. In 2005 she joined the faculty at Wright State University where there is very little drama in the English department and she likes all her colleagues except one. She lives in Dayton, Ohio with her husband, daughter, step-daughter, step-son, a crazy dog, and, despite being a dog-person more than a cat-person, more cats than she can lawfully mention according to the City Animal/Pet Ordinance.