Hello! I’m Erin Roberts! I am a Black speculative fiction and game writer and a Provost’s Early Career Fellow in the English Department at UT-Austin. I primarily write about worlds that don’t yet (quite) exist – visions of the almost future, sideways glimpses into magic realms, quick trips into the land of the horrifyingly possible. I am also fascinated by people who embody one of my favorite Sondheim lyrics: nice is different than good.
On the gaming and interactive side of things, I build worlds, develop lore, and write adventures for tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs) across systems. My recent credits include contributions to the Nebula Award finalist Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel (D&D), including an adventure and a new location created as an homage/love letter to the Black experience in the US South, Pathfinder: Lost Omens Travel Guide, which takes readers on an in-depth exploration of the world of Golarion through the eyes of in-world NPCs, and Hunter: The Reckoning, which places players in a world full of supernatural threats that they have only recently become aware of and decided to fight back against. I’ve also been part of the script writing team for several seasons of the long-form audio narrative exergame Zombies, Run!, and created/coded two interactive fiction pieces.
I am a graduate of the Odyssey Writers Workshop and hold an MFA from the University of Southern Maine. I’m proud to have been awarded the Speculative Literature Foundation’s 2017 Diverse Worlds Grant and Diverse Writers Grant and a 2019 Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, and been selected to attend Hedgebrook in 2022 and Storyknife in 2023 as a Writer in Residence. I’ve also had the honor of having one of my stories, “Sour Milk Girls,” included in the Best Science Fiction of the Year, vol. 4, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2019, and the Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2019. (More about that story here: story notes!)
And finally, I enjoy talking and teaching about writing – in addition to teaching at University of Texas at Austin, I’m one of the hosts of the weekly writing advice podcast Writing Excuses alongside Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, and DongWon Song. You can also check out my upcoming appearances here to see if any catch your fancy or check out my latest on Twitter at @nirele.