A few quick updates on my work in the midst of a busy fall semester.
Fiction Southeast was kind enough to post a brief piece from me in their “The Story Behind the Story” series on the origins of my story, “These People.”
My review of Ryan Werner’s If There’s Any Truth in a Northbound Train went up at Friends of Atticus a few months ago.
The Review Review published my review of the Georgetown Review‘s latest issue.
In October, I read my story “Reform, AL” on the short story panel at SCMLA in Austin. The panel was moderated by the wonderful Allie Mariano, and it was great getting to read with Scott Thomason and Stacy Austin Egan, two other McNeesians.
The new issue of Midway Journal came out in October. The nonfiction section includes pieces from the aforementioned Allie Mariano and Matthew Hummer. Submissions for Midway open in January, so any of you nonfiction folks, send me something to consider.
The summer (school-summer, not season-summer) is rapidly drawing to a close, and with it I’ve had a barrage of good writing news.
First, I’ll be going to the Virginia Quarterly Review Writers’ Conference as a Fiction Scholar. I’m thrilled to be heading to Charlottesville next month to spend a few days with writers like Richard Bausch, Tom Franklin, Beth Ann Fennelly, and Wells Tower (all of whom I admire greatly). As an added bonus, I’ll get to see my old MFA buddy Charles Heiner, who I haven’t seen since Ann and I got married.
I also just learned that my brief nonfiction essay “You’re the tower and I Rapunzel, she says” will appear in a future issue of Brevity, one of my absolute favorite journals for creative non-fiction.
The good word about When You’re Down By the River (quick plug: go order a copy if you haven’t already) is getting out, with two wonderful reviews from Todd Gray and Brittany Moore. Many thanks to both of them for reading the chapbook and singing its praises.
It’s been a busy month, as school winds down and the summer ramps up. The biggest news is that my chapbook WHEN YOU’RE DOWN BY THE RIVER came out at the end of May. It’s available to order here. It’s a gorgeous, limited edition chap from BatCat Press, a small publisher that is run by students at a performing arts school in Pennsylvania. They did great work on the book (and on Sarah Carson’s poetry collection POEMS IN WHICH YOU DIE and Davy Rothbart’s nonfiction book SURVIVING). Many thanks to them for all of their hard work.
I had a brief essay, “Me and Travis McGee,” published at the Pembroke Magazine site.
My review of Bianca Stone’s Someone Else’s Wedding Vows is up at the newly redesigned Friends of Atticus. Great poetry collection. Well worth your time.
I have a review of the new issue of The Sewanee Review up at The Review Review.
Finally, I’ve joined the staff of Midway Journal as nonfiction editor. I’m digging in to submissions now, and I’m looking forward to publishing some great essays over there.
Blurbs are in for When You’re Down By the River: Stories. Check out the page here to see what the great Neil Connelly, Michael Farris Smith, and Nicole Louise Reid have to say about the chapbook. I’m extraordinarily grateful to Neil, Michael, and Nicole for their kind words. Pictures of the cover design will be coming soon, and after that, I’ll be posting ordering info, so bookmark this page!
My essay “Scars and Dirt: Why I Teach the Modular Story” was published at Fiction Writers Review. It’s part craft essay and part creative nonfiction.
The new issue of Pembroke Magazine, which includes the story “When You’re Down By the River,” is out. It’s available here.
My story “Kudzu” was in the new issue of Ostrich Review a couple of months ago. Here’s the story, and here’s a review of the issue from Newpages.
The new print issue of Blue Lyra Review is available for order. It includes my story “A Guest of the Program.”
This year’s print anthology from Steel Toe Review is out, and it includes my story “Offender.”
I just got word that I’ll be part of the short story panel at this year’s SCMLA convention in October. I’ll be reading “Reform, AL,” which originally appeared in Baltimore Review and was longlisted for the Million Writers Award.
I have two reviews of recent poetry collections up at Friends of Atticus, J. Bruce Fuller’s great chapbook Flood and Christian Anton Gerard’s book Wilmot Here, Collect for Stella. They’re both fantastic and well worth your time.
Finally, my review of the newest issue of Confrontation is up at The Review Review.
I’m thrilled to announce that my fiction chapbook When You’re Down By the River will be published by Batcat Press this year. I’m honored to be their first fiction chapbook, and I’m doubly honored that my fiction will be published alongside their creative nonfiction offering for this year, Surviving by Davy Rothbart. Rothbart is a writer I’ve long admired. If you’ve not read his books The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas: Stories and My Heart Is an Idiot: Essays, then you ought to get on that.
My story “These People” was in the latest edition of Fiction Southeast. It’s also part of When You’re Down By the River.
My story “Kudzu” is forthcoming in Ostrich Review. It’s also part of the chapbook.
My review of Kirsten Clodfelter’s chapbook Casualties is up at Friends of Atticus.
Finally, I was pleased to speak to the Bayou Writers Group here in Lake Charles earlier this month. My talk, “Engaging Risk in the Writing Process” went well. It’s always nice to meet a group of dedicated writers, and I enjoyed getting to spend some time with folks who are enthusiastic about writing.
The end of the semester was jam packed with grading, writing, and traveling, so this update on publications and the like is long overdue.
First, I’m very pleased that my story “A Guest of the Program” will be in the new print issue of Blue Lyra Review. The issue’s coming out in time for AWP, so if you’re making the journey to Seattle, keep an eye out for it.
In November, I had a short craft piece, “Burn It Down” up at Passages North, as part of their Writers on Writing series.
My review of Delaney Nolan’s wonderful chapbook, Shotgun Style, was published over at As It Ought to Be, as part of their At the Margins review series.
My review of the new issue of ABZ: A Poetry Magazine is up at The Review Review.
In December, I spoke at the Mississippi Reading Association convention in Vicksburg. While I was there, I got to spend a few minutes at Lorelei Books, a wonderful independent bookstore. If you’re in the Vicksburg area, check them out.
October has flown by, and with mid-semester grading piling up, time is at a premium, but here are a few updates on my writing. My creative non-fiction piece “A Brief Discourse on the Nature of Multiple Realities Inspired By My Two Year Old” is up at Gravel Magazine.
I have a review of The Briar Cliff Review’s 25th anniversary issue at The Review Review.
My review of Matt Bell’s In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods is up at Friends of Atticus.
Finally, because everyone needs more good fiction in their lives, here’s a link to “Moscow” by Josh Russell. A great piece of flash fiction by a great writer.
I’m very pleased that my story “Reform, AL” has been named a notable story of 2012 for the storySouth Million Writer’s Award. storySouth will announce the top ten stories, drawn from the longlist of notable stories, next month. Fingers crossed.
My story “Offender” is available online in the new issue of Steel Toe Review.
My interview with Michael Farris Smith is up at Sundog Lit. It’s part of my Speaking of Risk series.
I have a review of Ron Carlson’s great book Room Service over at Friends of Atticus.
My creative nonfiction piece “A Brief Discourse on the Nature of Multiple Realities Inspired By My Two Year Old” has been accepted by Gravel. It’ll be published soon.
On the writing front, two pieces of good news. First, my chapbook When You’re Down By the River: Stories is one of three finalists for the RopeWalk Press Editor’s Fiction Chapbook Prize. Winner will be announced soon. Second, my story “Offender” has been accepted by Steel Toe Review. It’ll be in an upcoming issue.
My review of Michael Farris Smith‘s novel Rivers went up on Friends of Atticus today. It’s a great book, complex, frightening, humane. It’ll be out from Simon and Schuster next month, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
I also want to take some time to plug the new book by my old MFA professor, Neil Connelly. The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible is as fine a book as you’ll read all year. It’s funny, touching, and insightful. It came out yesterday from LSU Press, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
The summer is speeding by, more than half over now, and while I’ve mostly spent it teaching and chasing a now 3 year old, I do have a few updates on my writing.
First, the new issue of Beecher’s Magazine is out and available for order. It contains my story “Uncle Frank,” which was selected by Kevin Moffett as the winner of the Beecher’s Fiction Contest for this year.
My next piece in the Speaking of Risk series went up a few weeks ago, and new one should pop up in the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye out for the new one. I’ll be talking to Michael Farris Smith about the risks he took in his new novel, Rivers, which will be out from Simon and Schuster in September.
Finally, I’m excited to report that I’ve joined the reading staff for Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading series. If you’re not subscribing to Recommended Reading, I encourage you to do so. It’s free, and each week you’ll get a killer story in your inbox. Here’s a link to Roy Kesey’s great story “Any Deadly Thing,” which appeared in Recommended Reading last February.