Sanderson has previously published about eighty short stories, essays, or scholarly articles. He won the 2012 Kay Cattarulla Award from the Texas Institute of Letters for best short story by a Texan or about a Texan for his short story "Bankers," published by Descant. Sanderson has a Ph.D. in fiction writing from Oklahoma State University. For a living, he teaches fiction writing and American literature and film at Lamar University, and after serving as Writing Director, he now serves as chair of the Department of English and Modern Language. He is the 2002 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer at Lamar University. In 2006 he was selected as that year's University Scholar.
Jim Sanderson was born in San Antonio. Much of his work is set in Texas, particularly West Texas and border. Currently, Sanderson is a Professor of English at Lamar University in Beaumont.