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Ruby Elliot Zuckerman

Winner of the 2020 Nick Adams Short Story Contest

Story: scott disick sucks


Ruby Elliot Zuckerman

More about Ruby Elliot Zuckerman

  • Senior at Macalester College
  • Majors: Creative Writing and Studio Art
  • Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

ACM: Do you have plans after graduation?

Zuckerman: I’ve moved back to Los Angeles, and am planning on spending the next couple years building a creative writing and visual art portfolio for an MFA program. I really just want to be a writer and an artist, so I’m looking forward to figuring out how to build that kind of life for myself after graduating, knowing it will probably come in circular, unexpected ways. 

ACM: What sparked your interest in writing, and how did you get started writing fiction?

Zuckerman: I’ve always been a huge reader, and writing has become an essential part of the way I process and understand the world. I am a very nostalgic person, and writing feels like a tool to capture a moment or feeling in a more permanent way. Like the characters in my piece, I’ve found myself consumed with stories that have allowed me to understand my lived experience in sharper focus. Knowing that writing has that power makes it particularly appealing to me. 

ACM: Are there people (teachers, friends, authors) who have particularly influenced your writing?

Zuckerman: Writers like Miranda July, Natasha Stagg, Hilton Als, Elif Batuman, and Yukio Mishima are very inspiring to me. I also am influenced a lot by theorists like Martin Buber, Svetlana Boym, and Anna Khachiyan. I’ve been influenced by my creative writing professors, including Matt Burgess, Marlon James, and Wang Ping. My mom is also a huge influence on my writing - she is hyper analytical and very attuned to form. 

ACM: In addition to fiction, are you interested in any other types of writing?

Zuckerman: I use text a lot in my visual art - I’m very interested in the graphic nature of text. I’m also interested in creative nonfiction, which is usually where my work starts.  

ACM: Is there anyone you would like to thank? 

Zuckerman: I would love to thank my capstone creative writing professor, Matt Burgess, for making me feel so seen. I also want to thank my parents, for being such enthusiastic readers. I’m very grateful for my friends Theo, Savannah, and Shea for reading early drafts of this piece and giving me wonderful feedback. A big thank you also to my boyfriend Juan for his constant support.  

ACM: How have you developed your writing while you've been at Macalester? 

Zuckerman: I’ve taken classes in poetry, creative nonfiction, short stories, and novella writing. Macalester has put me in community with very perceptive and passionate writers, and dedicated teachers. The structure of such rigorous writing classes pushed me to make my best work, and also gave me lots of room to explore throughout my four years. The extensive literature classes I took have also significantly sharpened my writing skills.