October 16, 2013
A child with an innate urge to create wrote a story about woodland creatures fighting an epic battle in a jungle.
While he had an inkling that he might be on to something, little did Josh Green know that he would go on to become an award winning journalist and a published author of fiction, the Terre Haute native and Indiana State University graduate said.
"I had a blast in the English department workshops, and creative writing powwows," he said. "From that experience, I got the feeling I may be able to create stories that people would react to."
Green's feeling was correct as his most recent "contemporary fiction" collection of 18 short stories "Dirtyville Rhapsodies," has received recognition.
"Dirtyville Rhapsodies" was a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award, a national contest for authors, which shot his book to a top ten list. The book has also been published in literary journals and anthologies.
Green said one of his biggest accomplishments with the book is being published in a popular magazine.
"My stories were mentioned in the Men's Health magazine," Green said. "They (Men's Health magazine) caught word of the book, and shortlisted it as ‘Best Book for the Beach.' That was a section for an ‘11 reads for a stress-free summer vacation.'"
Among other authors included in the list were Stephen King, Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini.
"I was blown away and humbled," Green said. "It was a phenomenal day when I opened up that link."
After graduating from Indiana State in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in English and a creative writing minor, Green moved to Atlanta to work in the newspaper industry. He covered the police and courts beat, which exposed him to shady characters and crime situations, he said. He began taking pieces from his life experiences to develop narrative tales.
An example he used in "Dirtyville Rhapsodies" was after the birth of his son which landed him in a parenting class. One of his stories outline that experience.
"It doesn't have a specific genre," Green said. "Some are grittier, some are comedic and some are just plain absurd."
The book jacket explains the collection as a whole: "This darkly comic short story collection focuses on ordinary people caught in all manner of conundrums, fiascoes, and legal dilemmas, much of it their own stinking fault."
Green said the locations for his stories ranged from rural Indiana to inner-city Atlanta.
Once "Dirtyville Rhapsodies" was produced by Parkgate Press, he started working on his next piece: a novel.
"The novel is about two brothers who are faced with a hugely difficult circumstance," Green said. "It is all about publishing and finishing that novel, I have some ideas for books in the future, but it is still far away. The novel is unnamed as of now."
Green recently returned to Indiana State for the Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series, established by ISU's English department. He spoke to a creative writing class and took part in a reading series.
"It was a great time catching up with old professors," Green said. "I'm sure I'll be back in the future."
He offered students interested in journalism and creative writing a piece of advice.
"If you want to make a career out of some sort of writing, meet as many people as you can and don't be offended by the red ink on your stories," Green said. "You can't sit around and wait for it to come to you."
Green said he looks forward to coming back to ISU to visit old professors and experience the campus.
"The university is a valuable learning ground," he said. "I can't begin to thank the professors who were so diligent in pushing me at ISU, I can't thank them enough."
Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Events-by-Year/2013/Josh-Green/i-dHfR2FM/0/D/09_25_13_%20Josh_Green-27-D.jpg - Josh Green, author of "Dirtyville Rhapsodies" and a 2003 Indiana State University graduate, returned to campus Sept. 25, 2013 as part of the English departments' Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series. (ISU/Sam Barnes)
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Josh Green, a 2002 Indiana State University graduate and author of "Dirtyville Rhapsodies," took part in the English department's recent Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writing Series.