Professor of English and author of three novels, Lynn Kostoff, has captivated the English department at
Francis Marion University (FMU) with his creativity and passion for writing.
Not only has Kostoff published three books and has one set to release in the summer 2015, but he has
also been named as a Trustee Scholar at FMU and as the Nellie Cooke Sparrow Writer in Residence: two
of the highest honors amongst the English faculty.
Kostoff attended Bowling Green University with all intentions of pursuing a career in either Meteorology
or Geology. It was not until he was asked to teach a writing class to at-risk students that he fell in love
“I have always loved reading and fiction writing,” Kostoff said. “It is nice to encourage others to read
and write. It is an honor to show students what a piece of literature can do.”
Since receiving his Master’s in fiction, Kostoff has taught at three different schools including the
University of Alabama. Once making his way to FMU, Kostoff found his perfect fit in a small school with
small class sizes designed around discussion.
Kostoff focuses all of his attention on helping to give students validation in their work. He does not
want students at a lower writing skill level to feel inadequate or that their work is unimportant. Kostoff
also strives to “disappear” in the classroom. His main goal in a classroom is to fade into the background
and allow the student’s writings to do all of the talking.
“I just try to forget myself and make the subject come alive,” Kostoff said. “Some students have never
read a book or have never written anything on their own. I want to inspire them to write and pour
out their thoughts on paper. The most important thing is that students feel their work is validated
and meaningful. Everything that gets written down from their minds and hearts has meaning and is
Kostoff not only inspires his students to write about anything and everything that they choose to, but his
students also inspire him to continue to write book after book of his own. He writes a draft a year of a
new book, but the first draft of each book is always hand written on paper with a pen.
“Writing the first copy out in long-hand makes me think about each and every word that goes into the
book,” Kostoff said. “It makes me appreciate each ‘and’ ‘but’ and ‘the.’”