Michael J. Atwood / CoachAtwood.com / HistoryofSantaMonica.com is a freelance blogger from the Boston, Massachusetts area who can be contacted at CoachMikeAtwood@me.com or (508)243-2591 for comments. He Tweets at @AtwoodWrites.
He is a graduate of U.S.C.’s Master of Professional Writing program and Boston College. He currently works as both a fiction and freelance writer in North Attleborough, Massachusett but his full-time pursuit is as an English Language Arts teacher at Middleboro High School. He has written for a number of publications including The Boston Globe, Patriot Ledger, North Attleborough Free Press, and Attleboro Sun Chronicle. In 2010, Aqueous Books published Atwood’s first short story collection, HiStory of Santa Monica: Stories was published by Aqueous Books. The collection was a “minor-league” success and sold many copies on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and is still available a number of bookstores across the U.S. and international cities. His second short story collection, HiStory of Santa Monica II: More Stories is due to be released in 2015.
Atwood was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island but spent most of his youth growing up in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, a small town 15 miles north of Providence and 40 miles south of Boston. He attended K-8 in the North Attleborough school system, then went onto a Catholic high school, Bishop Feehan in nearby Attleborough. While at Feehan, Mike excelled at track and cross-country, finishing runner-up in the Massachusetts All-State Meet mile in 4:21.5 . In between his meets, Mike began writing sports articles for the Attleboro Sun Chronicle and the North Attleborough Free Press covering track, baseball, road racing, and tennis.
Mike went on to Boston College, where he majored in English and Secondary Education and was an All-New England runner for four years. At B.C., Mike received his first break as a writer when he won an internship with The Boston Globe his sophomore year. He covered I.S.L. football and M.I.A.A. cross-country and track for The Globe, publishing over thirty articles in the School Sports section of this nationally recognized newspaper.
After graduation, Mike moved out to Boulder, Colorado for a few years, where he began writing for Howard Brinton Real Estate Seminars and then later for trade and business magazines. Upon his return to Massachusetts, he started teaching high school English and coaching track and field. He was extremely successful at Mansfield High School, where he coached both Hockomock League Championship and Class C runner-up teams and later captured the State Class Championship and won Boston Globe “Coach of the Year”. He was accepted to the University of Southern California’s Master of Professional Writing program in Los Angeles and moved out west with his wife, Melanie.
While at U.S.C. and living on 11th and Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica, Mike interned for Hurricane Entertainment in Studio City. He also tried his hand at stand up comedy, performing at the famous Improv as well as various clubs in Los Angeles along with a group of aspiring Boston comics. While pursuing his writing career, he was able to attend the famous Writer’s Bootcamp in Santa Monica and was mentored by writers and actors like Syd Field (Screenplay), Donald Freed, Susan Compo (Warren Oats: A Wild Life), Shelly Berman and Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm), George Zaloom (Encino Man) and George Wendt (Cheers) along the way.
Mike has also worked as a freelance editor, revising parts of Eric Wasserman’s first novel, Red Celluloid. He wrote comedy routines for comic Jason Vittorini and actor, Brian Frates while in Santa Monica. The three combined to write, direct, and produce a short film called Speedwalkah, a comedy about a Finnish Olympic race walker who is banned for steroid use. Mike has written six screenplays, two short-plays, and two collections of short stories along with his other projects. He also does freelance and editing projects for other fiction writers, as well as online website content work and ghostwriting. He lives in North Attleboro, MA with his wife and three children.