Dwight V. Swain

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Dwight V. Swain
Dwight V Swain c.1951.
Dwight Vreeland Swain

(1915-11-17)November 17, 1915
DiedFebruary 24, 1992(1992-02-24) (aged 76)
Occupation(s)Screenwriter, author, novelist, educator
Years activec. 1935–c. 1974
  • Margaret Reaves Simpson
    (m. 1942; div. 1968)
  • Joye Rachael Boulton]
    (m. 1969)
Swain's novella "Drummers of Daugavo" was the cover story for the March 1943 issue of Fantastic Adventures, illustrated by Robert Gibson Jones.

Dwight Vreeland Swain (November 17, 1915 – February 24, 1992), born in Rochester, Michigan, was an American author, screenwriter and teacher.[1] Swain was a member of the Oklahoma Professional Writers Hall of Fame.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Rochester, Michigan, Swain was the son of John Edgar Swain, a railroad telegrapher, and Florence Marietta Vreeland. In 1937, he graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.[3]

Swain's first published story appeared in Target Magazine in approximately 1935. His first science fiction story sold was "Henry Horn's Super Solvent", which appeared in Fantastic Adventures in November 1941.[1] He contributed stories in the science fiction, mystery, Western, and action-adventure genres to a variety of magazines of the pulp variety. His first published book was The Transposed Man (1955), which appeared as Ace Double D-113, bound dos-à-dos with J.T. McIntosh's One In Three Hundred.[3] He wrote several more novels, including The Horde From Infinity, published as another Ace Double with The Day The Earth Froze by Gerald Hatch. During the 1960s, he scripted a motion picture, Stark Fear, featuring Kenneth Tobey and Beverly Garland.[4]


He joined the staff of the successful Professional Writing Program of the University of Oklahoma, training writers of commercial fiction and movies. He pioneered scripting documentaries and educational/instructional movies using dramatic techniques, rather than the previously common talking heads.

He later published non-fiction books about writing, including Techniques of the Selling Writer; Film Scriptwriting; Creating Characters: How to Build Story People; and Scripting for Video and Audiovisual Media, and was in demand as a speaker at writers' conferences throughout the USA and Mexico.[3]


In June 1974, the Dwight V. Swain Award, an annual scholarship given to the top undergraduate Professional Writing student, was instituted by the School of Journalism, University of Oklahoma.[1][5] In November 1991, Swain was inducted into the Oklahoma Professional Writer's Hall of Fame.[2]

Personal life and death[edit]

Swain married twice. In Chicago, on August 6, 1942, he married Margaret Reaves Simpson in Chicago on August 6, 1942.[6] They were divorced in 1968, having produced one child, a son, Thomas McCray Swain. From February 12, 1969 until his death, Swain was married to Joye Raechel Boulton.[3][7] While living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, they adopted Rocio Mendez Garcia (born 1959) and Antonia (born 1964). Later, in Costa Rica, they adopted Ronald, who would die of AIDS just two years after the death of his adoptive father.[3][8]

On February 24, 1992, Swain died of undisclosed causes at his home in Norman, Oklahoma. He was survived by his wife Joie and the son from his previous marriage, Thomas McCray Swain,[9] and his three adopted children.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Reginald, R; Burgess, Mary A.; Menville, Douglas (1979). Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature Vol. 2. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Company. p. 1095. ISBN 0-8103-1051-1.
  2. ^ a b Beckloff, Lisa (June 7, 1992). "Nominees Sought for State's Writing Hall of Fame". The Sunday Oklahoman. Sec. T&E, p. 6.
  3. ^ a b c d e askmar publishing Archived 2018-02-22 at the Wayback Machine 28 May 2013
  4. ^ "Feature Reviews: Stark Fear". Boxoffice. October 7, 1963. p. 45. ProQuest 1670977655. A production threesome—consisting of writer Dwight V. Swain, director Ned Hockman and Joe E. Burke—can be credited for an impressive study of contemporary psychological behavior, and while the more sensationalized selling, understandably, will lure the action-inclined crowds tin the bigger cities, it can just as easily be sold as competently developed entertainment concerned with topical theme and resolvement. [sic] [...] Swain's screenplay is not to be labeled conventional, nor is it to be characterized as something merely emulating the top-grossing theatrical films delving into the comlexities of psychological abnormality.
  5. ^ "Retired OU Pair Honored". The Daily Oklahoman. June 11, 1974. p. 46. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  6. ^ "Margaret Simpson Married in Chicago". The Norman Transcript. August 9, 1942. p. 3. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  7. ^ "United States, Social Security Numerical Identification Files (NUMIDENT), 1936-2007", database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:6K7X-P74S : 10 February 2023), Dwight V Swain in entry for Ronald Swain, .
  8. ^ a b "Deaths and Funerals: Swain, Ronald". The Daily Oklahoman. May 19, 1994. p. 32. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  9. ^ "Obituaries: Deaths Elsewhere". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. March 6, 1992. p. 19. Retrieved October 17, 2023.

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