Scott Heim was born in Hutchinson, Kansas in 1966. He grew up in a small farming community there, and later attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, earning a B.A. in English and Art History in 1989 and an M.A. in English Literature in 1991. He attended the M.F.A. program in Writing at Columbia University, where he wrote his first novel, Mysterious Skin. HarperCollins published that book in 1995, and Scott followed it with another novel, In Awe, in 1997.
Scott has won fellowships to the London Arts Board as their International Writer-in-Residence, and to the Sundance Screenwriters Lab for his adaptation of Mysterious Skin. He is also the author of a book of poems, Saved From Drowning (1993).
After living eleven years in New York, he relocated to Boston in 2002. Mysterious Skin was adapted for the stage, premiering in San Francisco; it was subsequently adapted to film by director Gregg Araki and Antidote Films. Scott's third novel is We Disappear (HarperCollins), published in February 2008.