Robert Olmstead is author of the novels America by Land, A Trail of Heart's Blood Wherever We Go, and Soft Water. He is also the author of a memoir Stay Here With Me, as well as River Dogs, a collection of short stories and the textbook Elements of the Writing Craft. His work has appeared in Mid-American Review, McSweeney's, Willow Springs, Epoch, Idaho Review, Cutbank, Black Warrior Review, Greensboro Review, The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Story, Story, Ploughshares, The Graywolf Annual 4, Granta, AKC Gazette, Faultline, Fiction Writer, Writers Digest, New York Times Book Review, Spin, and Sports Afield.

In addition, Robert Olmstead has been a regular book reviewer and food critic. He has received an Idaho Press Club Award, Honorable Mention O. Henry, Honorable Mention Best American Short Stories, Black Warrior Review Fiction Award, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Literature Fellowship, an APEX award in journalism, National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Fellowship, a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Pennsylvania Council on the Senior Arts Literature Fellowship and an Ohio Council for the Arts Literature Fellowship. He is currently the Director of Creative Writing at Ohio Wesleyan University.