Shannon Cain’s debut short story collection, The Necessity of Certain Behaviors, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press as the winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize for 2011. The book was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Prize and the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction. Necessity was chosen by The Nervous Breakdown as one of the Best Books of 2011 and selected as a Best Read for Fall 2011 by Ms. magazine.


Shannon is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, the O. Henry Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her stories have appeared in Tin House, The Colorado Review, the New England Review, American Short Fiction, Mid-American Review and Southwords: New Writing from Ireland. Shannon earned her MFA in 2005 from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. In 2008, she served on the National Endowment for the Arts’ funding panel on literary magazines and small presses. 


Shannon was the Summer 2011 Picador Guest Professor for Literature in the American Studies program at the University of Leipzig. She has taught fiction writing to graduate students in the MFA program at Bennington College, to undergraduates at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, and as a private coach, manuscript consultant, and workshop facilitator


In 2013 and 2014, Shannon’s current and former clients published six books; placed twenty-three stories or poems in literary journals; won four national writing contests, were accepted into two MFA programs, and completed one postgraduate fellowship.


Shannon served for four years as the executive director and two years as fiction editor of Kore Press, an independent publisher of literature by women writers. She co-edited Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq (Kore Press, 2008) and co-adapted Coming In Hot, the stage adaptation of the book. She is the editor of Roadside Curiosities: Short Stories on American Pop Culture (Leipzig University Press 2014).


In 2014 she was awarded a three-year Skills and Talents Visa in the arts from the government of France, and happily moved to Paris. Contact her here.