Young author begins writing career by lampooning college life

By Staff Writer
November 7, 2002

from “Student BodyShots”

Steve Hofstetter, a 2002 graduate of Columbia University, knows all about how awesome the college life can be. To him, college is all about ” figuring out what matters to you, not sweating the small stuff and being able to go out with your buddies and get a plate of cheese fries at 3 a.m.,” plus having tons of fun along the way. Lucky for Hofstetter, he found a way to record some of his college memories and make some money off of them.

In his first book, “Student Body Shots: A Sarcastic Look at the Best 4-6 Years of Your Life,” Hofstetter includes various commentaries on topics that range from orientation and food to hooking up and RAs, each in its own hysterical way. He says that he got the idea for the book from a column he writes for Collegehumor.com. Titled “Observational Humor,” this column pokes fun at numerous topics, action flicks, stupid people, you name it and it is written about.

Hofstetter claims that the column began as an e-mail to friends and “a few months later Collegehumor.com began running the column, and I went from 100 subscribers to 2,500.” If “Observational Humor” is any indication of how entertaining “Student Body Shots” will be, this book will be a best seller for college kids.

Although Hofstetter does talk a lot about drinking in his book, he wants to be sure that no one thinks that he advocates underage drinking. While he knows it happens, he reminds people that no matter how good of a time you are having “when you wake up tomorrow you want to be the telling the stories about the crazy night that you had – not the one your friends tell stories about.”

Aside from his new book and column, Hofstetter also freelances for ESPN magazine and Maxim. When asked how he likes writing for such big-name magazines, he replied, “I know I’m reaching a wider audience, and that’s fun, because I have a chance to impact more people.” However, Hofstetter could never choose writing for a magazine over his own creative work. “I love both for different reasons. If someone put a gun to my head and told me to choose, I’d laugh at them for threatening to shoot me for such a silly reason.”

Hofstetter sites Dave Barry, his brother, Adam, Jerry Seinfeld and Jackie Robinson as his major influences throughout his life, “obviously each for their own reasons.” Also, sports played a big role in his life, culminating at the beginning of his writing career with an internship for hockey writer, Stan Fischler. Hofstetter believes that being part of a team is a great experience to have and the bond formed with teammates is like no other.

From books to magazines to the Internet, Hofstetter has done it all. When asked what is next, he does not give a definitive answer. Maybe another book, more things for his column and more freelance writing for magazines. The only reply Hofstetter gives is to “stay tuned.”

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