Like a lot of writers, Larry Stains started early. He grew up in a small town outside Buffalo, New York, and began writing bad science fiction when he was eight. In high school Stains edited the student newspaper, wrote poetry during his callow undergraduate years and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Rochester. Then Stains went to Columbia for a more practical grounding in journalism. After a brief stint in newspapers, he gravitated toward magazines. As an editor, he started up two magazines for Rodale Press: New Shelter, which briefly flourished during the 1978-1982 oil crisis, and Men’s Health, which has enjoyed a better run. Stains was also on staff at Philadelphia magazine from 1987 to 1992.
As a writer Stains has freelanced for many national publications—and continues to do so. He’s written for AARP; Better Homes & Gardens; Child; GQ; Men’s Health and its spinoff, Best Life; Money; The New York Times Magazine; Philadelphia; Rolling Stone; Sports Illustrated; This Old House; The Washington Post, USA Weekend; and Worth. He has co-authored five books and has been a finalist twice in the National Magazine Awards.
Stains came late to teaching. He first taught Magazine Article Writing at Temple as an adjunct professor in spring 2001. Eighteen months later, he was teaching full-time—and was hooked. As director of the Magazine sequence, Stains tries to get to know every student in the sequence by teaching the Introduction to Magazines course every semester. His teaching schedule also includes a rotation of: Advanced Magazine Writing, Magazine Article Writing, Magazine Editing and Design, and the graduate courses The American Magazine and Magazine Writing.