Sharon Dilworth

Sharon Dilworth is the author of three collections of short stories, The Long White, Women Drinking Benedictine, and Two Sides, Three Rivers, and two novels, Year of the Ginkgo and My Riviera. She has received an Iowa Award in Short Fiction, a Pushcart Prize in Fiction, and a Hopwood Award as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, where she is the Director of the Creative Writing program at Carnegie Mellon University.


In this episode, Arlan interviews Sharon Dilworth, the director of creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University and author of Two Sides, Three Rivers. Raised in Michigan and a Pittsburgh resident for over 25 years, Dilworth’s writings are always greatly influenced by place and her characters’ connections to place. Two Sides, Three Rivers is a collection of short stories set in Pittsburgh that explores the way a city shapes the lives of its inhabitants.

In this episodes Dilworth discusses:

  • Her writing inspiration 
  • The messiness that is her writing process
  • How place influences her writing
  • What “two sides” in the title refers to within the collection
  • The importance of bodies of water in her life and writing
  • Why readers seem drawn to reading about small towns
  • Becoming a Pittsburgher

Mentioned This Episode


  • “I think if I ever said to someone, ‘Oh I’ve been writing for 30 years.” And showed them my process they would go like, ‘Why don’t you clean it up?’ I have the messiest process.” – Sharon Dilworth
  • “I think of myself as a fiction writer, and I really love writing so however I can get it out, I want to get the idea out.” – Sharon Dilworth

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