Charles Lamar Phillips

Fiction Writer

1055 Harvard Street
Rochester, NY 14610
585 244-5079

Author's Bio

Charles Lamar Phillips’s novel, Estranged, appeared in February 2021 from Regal House, won the year's New York City Big Book Award as a Political Thriller, and was listed as one of the year's top mysteries by The Strand. His collection of short stories, Dead South, was published in 2020 by Fomite. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Phillips’s fiction and literary work can be found in such journals as New England Review, Massachusetts Review, Cincinnati Review, Raritan, Fifth Wednesday, The Brooklyner, and The Chaffin Journal.  His story “Show of Hands” received the Chaffin Award for Fiction, and his story collection “Long Odds” was a finalist for the St Lawrence Book Award. 

Currently managing editor of the scholarly quarterly American Journal of Play (Strong National Museum of Play), Phillips is author, co-author, editor, and producer of a couple dozen trade nonfiction and historical works for a variety of houses, including Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Grove/Atlantic. For the Strong, Phillips compiled and edited Brian Sutton-Smith’s Play for Life: Play Theory and Play as Emotional Survival (2017); for several years, he wrote the “Day to Remember” column for the popular American History Magazine (2004-2009); and he was editor-in-chief of the three-volume Encyclopedia of War (2005), Time-Life Books’ 14-volume 40th anniversary edition of Shelby Foote’s The Civil War: A Narrative (1999-2000), the two-volume Encyclopedia of Historical Treaties and Alliances (2000), and Macmillan’s four-volume Encyclopedia of the American West (1996.) 

Among the titles Phillips has co-authored with Alan Axelrod are What Every American Should Know About American History: 225 Events that Shaped the Nation (3rd Edition 2008), The Macmillan Dictionary of Military Biography (1998); Cops, Crooks, and Criminologists (1996, reprinted 2000); What Everyone Should Know About the 20th Century: 200 Events that Shaped the World (1995); Dictators and Tyrants (1994); The Environmentalists, A Biographical Dictionary from the 17th Century to the Present (1993); and My Brother's Face: Portraits of the Civil War  (Chronicle Books, 1993, reprinted by Barnes & Noble as Portraits of the Civil War [1998]). With Patricia Hogan, he produced A Culture at Risk: Who Cares for America's Heritage? and The Wages of History (1985). And he has written a few works-for-hire: Passion by Design: The Art and Times of Tamara de Lempicka (1987) with the artist’s daughter; Missouri: Gateway to the American West (1988), and Archie: His First 50 Years (1991).  

Phillips has also served as consultant to numerous museums and cultural institutions, including the American Association of Museums, the Chicago Historical Society, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Strong Museum, the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, the Airman Memorial Museum, and the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum. For the Airmen Memorial Museum, Phillips co-scripted and produced a 90-minute documentary on James Doolittle’s raid over Tokyo in World War II entitled Count Me In, which aired on PBS and won an award for historical videos from the American Association of Museums. 

Phillips has written for Time-Life Books’ Time-Frames (a multi-volume history of the world) and has served as editor of History News for the American Association for State and Local History; as editor of Higher Education and National Affairs for the American Council on Education; as contributing editor for the international art magazine Contemporanea; as editor-in-chief for the State Historical Society of Iowa; as a city editor for The Washington Star; and as editor-writer for Congressional Quarterly.

Publications & Prizes

Estranged (Regal House Publishing, 2021)
Dead South (Fomite, 2020)
Journals: ,
Fifth Wednesday Journal
, , ,
The Brooklyner
Prizes won: 

Chaffin Award for Fiction; New York City Big Book Award for Political Thrillers; The Strand Magazine Top Mysteries of the Year

More Information

Gives readings: 
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Born in: 
Anniston, AL
Raised in: 
Washington D.C. area, VA
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: May 26, 2023