Bruce Holsinger is a fiction writer and literary scholar based in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is the author most recently of The Gifted School (Riverhead Books, 2019), hailed by The New York Times as “a suspenseful, laugh-out-loud page-turner and an incisive inspection of privilege, race and class” and by The Wall Street Journal as the “novel that predicted the college admissions scandal.” The Gifted School has been optioned for television by NBC/Universal and is currently in development. His previous books include A Burnable Book and The Invention of Fire, award-winning historical novels published by William Morrow (HarperCollins). His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York TimesThe New York Review of BooksThe Washington PostSlate, and many other publications. His work has been featured several times on NPR.

​Since 2005 he has taught in the Department of English at the University of Virginia, where he specializes in medieval literature and modern critical thought and serves as editor of the quarterly journal New Literary History. His nonfiction books have won major awards from the Modern Language Association, the Medieval Academy of America, and the American Musicological Society, and his academic work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies.



“Bruce designed a great curriculum for a 4-week course. We were able to cover all of the broad but specific topics in detail. He was great at moderating student discussions/feedback as well.”

“The instructor did a good job of engaging all the participants, he sought out and responded to participant requests to cover specific topics and created an environment where people were comfortable asking questions and sharing their views.”

“Bruce is an accomplished, now best-selling author. We therefore received guidance from a professional. Guest speakers were impressive, and I liked the slide presentations and the instructor’s observations. I appreciated the book recommendations for learning the craft. The feedback on my jacket copy was helpful.” 

“If you’re serious about writing a great first page and want superb guidance on how to do it, take this class.” 

“Bruce is a phenomenal instructor. It would be easy to be intimidated by his knowledge and experience, but he invites his students to engage in learning in a way that conveys that he has absolute confidence that whatever you contribute to discussions will contain important kernels everyone else can learn from.” 

“The course was well-designed, filled with strong craft tips, lots of opportunity for discussion. The course met my needs and motivated me to look at my work with a much more critical eye.”

“I appreciated his carefully organized, readable slideshows, which he generously shared with us for future reference. I loved the way that he incorporated the examples that we brought to the class and helped us articulate what worked or didn’t work for us. The format of the class, moving from the broad to the specific and then ending with workshops, helped us understand first pages on a micro and macro level.”