Carole Firstman is the author of Origins of the Universe and What It All Means: A Memoir (Dzanc, 2016). Her work has appeared in Colorado Review, South Dakota Review, Watershed Review, Lifestyle Magazine, The Valley Voice, and many other places. Honors include a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and two Notables in Best American Essays. She teaches writing at California State University, Fresno.

Carole lives in Central California with her husband and their two rambunctious dogs, Delilah and Peanut. Woof.


Dzanc Books Nonfiction Prize (2015)

Best American Essays 2014, Notable Essay, “Objects of Affection”

Best American Essays 2013, Notable Essay, “Liminal Scorpions”

Pushcart Prize 2014: Best of the Small Presses, Special Mention, “Liminal Scorpions”

Outstanding Thesis Award Nomination, California State University, College of Arts and Humanities, Origins of the Universe and What it all Means: A Memoir (2013)

Carlisle Foundation Scholarship Award, Squaw Valley Community of Writers (2013)

Fresno State Creative Writing Prize, Winner, “Traffic Jam: Lagos, Nigeria” (2011)

Fresno State Creative Writing Contest, Honorable Mention, “Properties of Iron” (2011)

Solas Best Travel Writing, Honorable Mention, “Out-Swimming Piranhas” (2010)

Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition for Feature Articles—three-time winner: “Surprises of Guatemala,” “Armenians of Chomaklou,” “Surfing Fiji”   (2008)

National Silver Addy Award for Feature Writing, “Surfing Fiji” (2008)

Carlisle Foundation Scholarship Award, Squaw Valley Community of Writers (2009)

Women of Distinction, Soroptimists International, for African Literacy Project (2005)

Voice of the Arts, Visalia Times Delta Newspaper (2005)

Newsmakers of the Year, Visalia Times Delta Newspaper (2004)