Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Steve Wiegenstein  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1955 in Ironton, Missouri

-- Website --
-- Steve Wiegenstein on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Steve was a resident of Quincy, Illinois, from 1992 to 2009.

Biographical and Professional Information

Steve Wiegenstein is an academic scholar of utopian movements, a published fiction writer, and a fourth-generation native of the Ozarks. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he published Ozark Review, a literary journal, while working as a newspaper reporter. His short fiction has been published in Southern Humanities Review, Louisiana Literature, Nebraska Review, Oxford Magazine, and others. He currently serves as president of the Missouri Writers’ Guild. His debut novel, Slant of Light, was published in April 2012 by Blank Slate Press of St. Louis.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Slant of Light: A Novel of Utopian Dreams and Civil War (The Daybreak Series)
ISBN: 0982880669

Blank Slate Press. 2012

Set during the brink of the Civil War, this beautifully written novel traces James Turner, a charming, impulsive writer and lecturer Charlotte, his down-to-earth bride and Cabot, an idealistic Harvard-educated abolitionist as they are drawn together in a social experiment deep in the Missouri Ozarks. Inspired by utopian dreams of building a new society, Turner is given a tract of land to found the community of Daybreak: but not everyone involved in the project is a willing partner, and being the leader of a remote farming community isn't the life Turner envisioned. Charlotte, confronted with the hardships of rural life, must mature quickly to deal with the challenges of building the community while facing her husband's betrayals and her growing attraction to Cabot. In turn, Cabot struggles to reconcile his need to leave Daybreak and join the fight against slavery with his desire to stay near the woman he loves. As the war draws ever closer, the utopians try to remain neutral and friendly to all but soon find neutrality is not an option. Ultimately, each member of Daybreak must take a stand--both in their political and personal lives.


Slant of Light's first chapter was the winner of the "Novels – First Chapter" category in the Green River Writers 2008 competition and was a semifinalist in the William Van Wert Fiction Competition.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Please contact Steve at or Steve Wiegenstein, 4700 Roemer Rd., Columbia, MO 65202