Tim Bascom is author of a new collection of autobiographical stories titled Climbing Lessons: Stories of Fathers, Sons, and the Bond Between (Light Messages Press, 2020).  He is also the author of two coming-of-age memoirs set in Ethiopia, where his parents worked as missionaries before and during the Marxist Revolution:  Running to the Fire (University of Iowa Press, April, 2015, Finalist for the IndieFab Memoir of the Year) and Chameleon Days (Houghton Mifflin, 2006, winner of the Bakeless Literary Prize in Nonfiction).

Bascom spent half his childhood in Kansas and the other half in East Africa.  He also spent six months in the Philippines on a college internship, later traveling to over 25 countries while working for a non-profit that provided training for writers and editors in developing nations.  He is the author of an additional collection of essays (The Comfort Trap) and a novel (Squatters’ Rites), and his writing has won editor’s prizes at The Missouri Review and Florida Review, being selected for Best American Travel Writing and Best Creative Nonfiction as well as the anthologies Law and Disorder and Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie.

Bascom, who received his MFA degree from the University of Iowa, has twenty years of college teaching experience and has led dozens of writing workshops.  He teaches annually at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival.  He also loves to visit colleges, libraries, and book clubs as a guest author. 


University of Iowa: M.F.A. in Nonfiction Writing.

University of Kansas: M.A. in English.

Wheaton College: B.A. in English.

Writing Awards

2019 Waldorf Trustees Outstanding Faculty, Waldorf University

2017 Finalist for Alpha Chi Teacher of the Year, Waldorf University

2017 Writing Residency Award at Anderson Arts Center, Minnesota.

2015 Finalist for Foreword Reviews’ Indiefab Memoir of the Year.

2015 Selection as Notable Essay in Best American Essays.

2014 Selection as Notable Essay in Best American Essays.

2014 Selection for Law and Disorder, a Main Street Rag Fiction Anthology.

2013 Selection for Fried Walleye, an anthology from U of Nebraska Press.

2011 Florida Review Editor’s Prize in Nonfiction, Published Runner-Up.

2011 Tiny Lights Essay Award, Second Place.

2010 Iowa Arts Council Grant for research on an in-progress memoir.

2009 Selection for The Best Creative Nonfiction, W.W. Norton.

2007 Finalist for The USA PEN Creative Nonfiction Award.

2005 Bakeless Literary Prize in Nonfiction / Breadloaf Conference.

2005 Selection for Best American Travel Essays, Houghton Mifflin.

2004 Florida Review Editor’s Prize in Nonfiction.

2003 Missouri Review Editor’s Prize in Essay. 1999 Semi-Finalist for “Discovery”/the Nation Poetry Contest.