Ron Austin

Lecturer in College Writing
MFA, University of Missouri–St. Louis
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    • College Writing Program
    • MSC 1096-153-122
    • Washington University
    • 1 Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Ron A. Austin holds an MFA from the University of Missouri–St. Louis and is a 2016 Regional Arts Commission Fellow. Avery Colt Is a Snake, a Thief, a Liar, his first collection of linked stories, won the 2017 Nilsen Prize. The book will be released in fall of 2019. Austin’s short stories have been placed or are forthcoming in Pleiades, Story Quarterly, Ninth Letter, Black Warrior Review, Midwestern Gothic, Juked and other journals. He, his partner Jennie, and son Elijah live in St. Louis with a whippet named Carmen.

    Featured Courses

    College Writing: Citizen Scientist

    Being a citizen of a modern democracy increasingly requires making decisions informed by our understanding of scientific consensus and the backing evidence. The stakes of these decisions range from the future of a warming planet to the benefits of vaccinations and GMOs to the persistence of racial bias and gender inequality. Citizen Scientist uses these and other topics at the intersection of civic responsibility and academic research to introduce students to college writing.

    Avery Colt is a Snake, a Thief, a Liar

    Avery Colt is a Snake, a Thief, a Liar

    Austin’s semi-autobiographical, linked story collection follows the misadventures of Avery Colt as he struggles to survive in North St. Louis alongside his family. Learning the best way to slaughter a goat, rebuilding his family’s corner market, and reckoning the weight of a revolver are a few of the challenges Avery faces. As he matures through each page, Avery takes control of his circumstances and attempts dangerous feats of alchemy. Charged with urgency and emotion, Austin’s prose faithfully renders a community determined to overcome crisis with strength, dark humor, and plenty of heart.