I write middle-grade fiction about octopuses, witches, and outer space, and essays about fantasy, science fiction, Japan, parenthood, and hearing loss. I’m represented by Maria Vicente of P.S. Literary Agency.

My current books are: Octora, a middle-grade novel about a boy lost at sea, the world’s most illegal seafood restaurant, pirate-chefs, and an octopus disguised as a girl (currently on submission); The God in Sixth Grade, a middle-grade novel about a mischievous god exiled to middle school (currently in progress); and How I Defeated the Tolkien Estate & Other Fantasies, a collection of humorous and critical essays on fantasy and science fiction (currently in progress).

My writing has appeared at Catapult, Unbound Worlds, The RumpusTor.com, The Toast, and the Chicago Reader online; my stories for children have been published in the children’s literary magazines Underneath the Juniper Tree and Spellbound, and on the YA podcast Cast of Wonders.

I’m originally from Charleston, South Carolina and studied English literature at William & Mary and the University of Chicago. I spent two years teaching elementary and junior high school English on the Japanese island of Tsushima, and now live with my wife and son outside Chicago.


Email me: gilkeson [at] gmail [dot] com

Follow me on Twitter@osutein

Header image courtesy of J. Longo, from “Where the Stars Are Strange” at Catapult.