Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Paul McComas  

Pen Name: None


Born: in Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Illinois Connection

Paul McComas has lived in Evanston, Illinois since 1983.

Biographical and Professional Information

McComas teaches fiction writing both in his own workshop-style class and through the adult education program at Northwestern University, which in 2004 awarded him the Norris Student Center Director’s Award. He is also an instructor in Film Studies/Screenwriting in the same program, and he teaches writing and literature at the graduate level as an adjunct faculty member at National-Louis University, where he won an Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award in 2007. In addition, he teaches at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Academy, in both the Film and Humanities programs. Paul teaches writing one week a year through Lawrence University's Bjorklunden Continuing-Ed Program in Door County, WI, and has been a Visiting Artist at 20 universities, academies, and performing-arts high schools across the country. He lectures nationwide about writing, literature, and film. Along with the books he has written, McComas has also edited two anthologies, ''First Person Imperfect'' (2003) and ''Further Persons Imperfect'' (2007). A portion of the proceeds from these books benefits Boys Hope/Girls Hope, a not-for-profit network of group homes for high-potential, at-risk Chicago-area youth; both were published with grants from Northwestern University. In other charitable work: he is a member of the National Leadership Committe of the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, was the founder and director of the teen-suicide-prevention program Rock Against Depression from 1995-99, received a Distinguished Service Award from the Mental Health Association in 1996, and donated his 100th pint of blood in 2011.Paul also wrote the Forewords for William F. Nolan's ''Ships in the Night'' (2005, Capra Press), Gary McLouth's ''Do No Harm'' (2011, West Main Productions), Brian L. Cox's ''Birthday Presence'' (2012, iUniverse/Two Worlds Productions), Jerry Jaffe's ''One More Time'', Jennie Darling (2012, iUniverse), Jane Abatangelo's ''It Wasn't Always Like This'' (2013, iUniverse), and Rachel Waxman's ''The Crickhowell School for the Muses'' (2013, Daniel & Daniel).

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- Midwest Book Awards Silver Prize for ''Unforgettable'', 2012 One Book, One Highland Park/Ray Bradbury Award for Best Short Story for "Levitation", 2011 Finalist, Guild Literary Complex of Chicago Short Fiction Contest for "Viceroy Girls", 2011 Third Prize, The Writers' Place National Feature-Length Screenplay Contest for his screen adaptation of ''Unplugged'', 2007 Best Original Teleplay, Philo T. Farnsworth Awards, Alliance for Community Media/Central States, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, & 2010 Book of the Year (one of six novels selected) for ''Unplugged'' from Christian Century Magazine, 2002