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“This is such a needed book for teachers who work with native kids, but for teachers everywhere. It’s like a multi-genre reflection piece…It’s the perfect example of how writing becomes the window to see outside of ourselves and the mirror by which we look inward at ourselves, and that forever changes us in some ways…The final section where McIlroy shares the techniques that can be used by others is wonderful.”


– Robert Wortman, former teacher, principal, and director of Title One, Literacy, and School Improvement for Tucson Unified School District


Christopher (Kit) McIlroy




BA, Pomona College, Creative Writing, 1972

MFA, Fiction Writing, University of Arizona, 1983






All My Relations, short story collection, University of Georgia Press, 1994

Here I Am a Writer, non-fiction, Kitsune Books, 2011




The Story Behind the Story (ed: Peter Turchi and Andrea Barrett, 2004)

Listening to the Voices: Stories from the Flannery O’Connor Award (ed. Charles East, 1998) Tumblewords: Writers Reading the West (ed.: William L Fox, 1995)

Picador Book of Contemporary Fiction (ed.: Tobias Wolff, 1993)

Fiction of the Eighties (Eds.: Reginald Gibbons and Susan Hahn, 1991)

Best American Short Stories 1986 (ed.: Raymond Carver)


Short Stories


Colorado Review, Fiction, Gulf Coast (2), Hayden’s Ferry Review, Indiana, Review, Mazagine, Missouri Review (2), Ploughshares, Puerto del Sol (2), The Puritan, Sonora Review, Story Quarterly, TriQuarterly (3)


Non-fiction articles and reviews


Arizona Reading Journal, Dictionary of Literary, Biography, Easy Living Magazine, Green Valley News, Journal of the West, Puerto del Sol, Sonora Review, Tucson Citizen, Tucson Weekly News, Washington Post Book World


Non-fiction chapter


“Keeping It Real: Writing Under the Shadow of Standardized Testing” in Creative Writing in the Community, ed. Terry Ann Thaxton, Continuum/Bloomsbury 2014




President’s Book Awards, Florida Publishers Association, Inc., 2011


Professional Development Grant, Arizona Commission on the Arts, 2010


Artist Project Grant, Arizona Commission on the Arts, 1999


Arizona Writer’s Fellowship, 1986, 1996


Flannery O’Connor Award for Fiction, 1992


National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, 1987


Professional Experience


Tohono O’odham Community College/United Way


Coordinator, Tohono O’odham Community of Practice, 2013-2014

I managed a professional development program for early childhood educators.


Public Schools


Author-in-residence, Tucson Unified School District, 2001-present: I present writing residencies, teacher inservices, and family writing events.


Author-in-residence Baboquivari USD #40, 2009-2012


Instructor, ArtsReach, 1987-2010: As a co-founder of this non-profit, I offered residencies and teacher training to schools serving Arizona and Montana tribes.


Program Director, ArtsReach, 1987-98: I coordinated programs, teaching personnel, and outreach; organized community readings; and oversaw production of an annual anthology.


Facilitator, Family Writing Workshops, 1999-present: I have designed and presented Family Writing Workshops for students and parents of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Tohono O’odham Nation, Tohono O’odham Health Department Division of Special Needs, Tucson Unified School District, and the Indian Oasis-Baboquivari School District.


Writer-in-the-Schools: I presented creative writing residencies across Arizona.


Head Start


Consultant/Trainer, 2002-present.: I have presented trainings in the foundations of the writing process for Child Parent Centers Head Start in Tucson, AZ; Colorado River Indian Tribes Head Start in Parker, AZ; Hualapai Head Start in Peach Springs, AZ, and the Tohono O’odham Nation Head Start.


College, University, and other Adult Education


Adjunct Faculty, Tohono O’odham Community College, 2015


Mentor, Prescott College, 2013-Present


Adjunct Faculty, Pima Community College, 2010-2011


Faculty, Warren Wilson College MFA Program in Creative Writing, 2005, 2001, 1999 and 1996


Visiting Professor, Fiction Writing, University of Arizona, 1999


TA and Adjunct Faculty, University of Arizona, 1981-94, 1998: I taught undergraduate fiction and composition writing.


Instructor, fiction writing, University of Arizona Extended University, 1996-98


Instructor, fiction writing, Tucson Public Library Writers’ Project, 1987-95


Faculty, American Indian Language Development Institute, 1989: I co-taught a course in teaching creative writing.


Tutor, Writing Skills Improvement Program, University of Arizona, 1983-84


Instructor, freshman composition, Arizona State Prison’s Wilmot Unit, 1983


Arizona Department of Education


Consultant, Indian Education Unit, 1991-94: I conducted teacher training in six Native American Communities in Arizona.


Program Specialist, Indian Education Unit, 1990: I completed a grant project aimed at instituting Native American Studies at Arizona State University.




Editor, At The Ready Magazine, 2013-2014


Editorial Director, UNEQ Consulting for unmanned systems, 2012-2013


Presentations (highlights)


Panelist, Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Conference, 2010


Plenary session, technical sessions, Region IX Tribal Child Care Conference, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2004


Technical sessions, Arizona Department of Education Adult Education State Conference, 2004


Presenter, Arizona Reading Association, 2003

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