Noah Cruickshank grew up in a family of readers, and quickly developed his father’s unfortunate habit of purchasing and keeping many more books than he could possibly consume in a lifetime. Born in Toronto, he moved to Chicago in 2000, and has been here ever since. A fiction writer as well as book critic, Noah’s work has appeared in The A.V. Club, Paste Magazine, and TimeOut Chicago. He’s currently the Board President of the Chicago Writers Conference and the Marketing Manager for Open Books.
What has been the biggest help (a piece of advice, a mentor, a particular residency) for your career?
The biggest help of my career has been the support and friendship of other writers. Because I had people in my corner to introduce me to other writers, to treat me as if I belonged to the writing world, I’ve been able to make a name for myself and grow to understand the profession in a much better light. Without that, I wouldn’t be here.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in writing?
I chose to pursue a career in writing because, trite as it is, it’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do. I get antsy when I’m not working on some sort of creative project.
Why attend the Chicago Writers Conference?
Attending CWC is the perfect place to meet like-minded people, get the right contacts in the industry, and start to learn the ins and outs of what it means to have a career in writing. It’s really hard to get a good sense of publishing from the outside—you really can only get dribs and drabs. At CWC, we give you everything, and if there’s something we haven’t caught, we make an effort to have it discussed the next year. No place else in Chicago has this kind of robust slate of authors and publishing professionals to impart wisdom.