Meet Josiah DeGraaf

As a teen, I grew up enthralled by the bellowing fierceness of Beowulf, the heartfelt longings of the mythological Greek heroes, and the tragic nobility of the Arthurian knights striving to live out Christian virtues. These were real heroes. And they captured my imagination with their heroic exploits. 

But their exploits didn’t come easy. They had to learn how to cling to joy amidst heartbreaking losses, stand courageously against a sea of troubles, and grapple honestly with the messiness of the world. In short: they had to struggle and make difficult choices in order to do the right thing.

And they left me with a question: where can I find more modern stories like this?

I write because I love epic fantasy stories with imaginative worldbuilding. But I also want stories where characters face the same dilemmas I do when I try to do the right thing. It’s not easy to be heroic in the real world. And I want stories where characters don’t always know the right thing to do at first and do have to face hardships in their struggle to act nobly.

For four years after college, I taught high school English in a North Carolina charter school. And in many ways, I bring a literature teacher’s mindset into my writing: I’m interested in carefully exploring the hard problems Christians face, not oversimplifying them. Since leaving classroom teaching behind, I now serve on faculty for Story Embers and the Young Writer’s Workshop, where I coach other writers how to tell stories that move readers’ hearts.

If my story goals resonate with you, Visions of Grandeur and Other Stories is the perfect place to start with my work. This short story collection explores ordinary people who need to figure out how far they’re willing to go to save lives when they’re gifted with supernatural powers. One reader described it as “The Martian Chronicles meets The Stormlight Archive,” and the stories should give you a good taste for my writing style. You can click here to download the short story collection for free.

When I’m not writing stories, I also analyze other great stories and explore what we can learn from them as Christians. You can find my articles doing so at Lorehaven, or my shorter social media posts doing so on Facebook and Twitter. (I do have an Instagram as well, but don’t expect polished, photogenic posts from me! I’m not a photographer.)

Stories have the opportunity to show us what virtue in action looks like. To whisk us away into fantastic settings with themes that help us face life in a broken world. And to leave us feeling better empowered to face the brokenness of our world with confidence.

I analyze and write stories because I want to see more of these kinds of stories in the world.

Will you join me?

Professional Bio

Josiah DeGraaf is a literature nerd who loves epic fantasy stories with imaginative worlds and authentic characters. He loves crafting fantastical stories about characters who face the same dilemmas we do when we try to do the right thing. He works as the program director of The Young Writer’s Workshop, the marketing director of Story Embers, and also as a staff writer for Lorehaven. Outside of work and writing, he enjoys engaging in lively intellectual discussions, playing board games, hiking to gorgeous overlooks, and hanging out with his eight younger siblings. He lives in a small river town just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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