This was a great week for me. I found out a few days ago that I’ve been granted a two-week writing residency at The Hambidge Center. I’m so incredibly grateful and excited that I’ll be given this quiet, concentrated time to create art. My fellowship is still several months away, but I’m sure I’ll be posting more about it afterward.
I’ll be participating in a flash fiction retreat this summer, run by Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish. I had a great conversation with Stohlman, and it’s featured this week on the retreat’s blog. Check it out!
I was lucky enough to snag an interview with Rebecca Makkai about her forthcoming novel, The Great Believers, which is due out June 19th. This is my first appearance in The Rumpus, and I’m incredibly grateful to Makkai for talking with me and to editors Ian MacAllen and Elon Green for placing the piece.
From the introduction: “Rebecca Makkai’s third novel, The Great Believers, travels between 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris, following a group of friends impacted by the AIDS crisis. The main characters, Yale and Fiona, confront the disease and its impact on their friends and family, as they struggle to make the best of their own lives. With its themes of reconciliation and redemption, and its focus on subjects such as activism and access to healthcare, the book feels spookily relevant in the age of Trump…”
You can read the full interview here.
I have a new piece of flash fiction called “Hotbox” up today in the online journal New World Writing. It’s another broken-hearted teen story, a subject for which I have quite an affinity. This story has had a tough and circuitous route to seeing an audience. It was accepted this past winter by a dream journal of mine, which ended up closing its doors while the story was still in queue to be published. I put it back out on the market, getting several rejections before finally finding this wonderful home. I’m hugely grateful to the NWW editors, and am so happy people will get a chance to read this piece.
Jules Archer made my weekend by including “Berta” in her favorite flash fictions of March. Jules is an incredibly talented writer, so it means a lot to me that she liked my work. Plus, the other pieces are by amazing people like Cathy Ulrich, Jonathan Cardew, Elisabeth Ingram Wallace, and Sharon Boyle. You can see her post and links to all the pieces here.
I found out early last week that one of the stories Lost Balloon published last year made the list of finalists for the Best Small Fictions 2018 anthology published by Braddock Avenue Books. Huge congratulations to Nicholas Cook! I’m so grateful he contributed his story “The Eclipse” to Lost Balloon, and I’m so happy the people over at Best Small Fictions recognized his wonderful piece.
I have a flash piece about ice cream and sibling rivalry and a mummy in the beautiful Issue 3 of Bad Pony. You can check out “Berta” here, and see the whole issue here. I thought about these two sisters for a long time before the piece revealed itself, largely because of a prompt in a Kathy Fish workshop to add an unexpected detail. Berta the mummy entered, and the story wrote itself. I think about these three “girls” a lot, and am so grateful to have this published in an exciting new journal.
I was so happy earlier this week to learn Kathy Fish made the finalist list for the 2017 Best of the Net. As editor for the journal Lost Balloon, I published her story “Terminals” in the spring of 2017, and nominated her for Best of the Net this past fall. I’m so grateful to Kathy for contributing this wonderful piece to the magazine, and so incredibly thrilled the people at Sundress Publications decided to recognize her! You can see the list of finalists here and read “Terminals” here!
I received my contributor copy of Passages North Issue 39 last night! My story “A Thousand Butterflies” is about a young woman who is nursing her sick husband while trying to hold onto a crappy telemarketing job. I’m proud of this story, and feel so honored to be in this great journal. It doesn’t look like it’s on sale quite yet, but I will post another update when it’s available to the public. In the meantime, you can view the table of contents for the issue here.
Gold Line Press announced their winners and finalists for their chapbook contests yesterday, and I was named as a finalist for their Fiction Chapbook Contest. Gold Line is affiliated with the creative writing program at the University of Southern California, and the contest judges included Danzy Senna, Maggie Nelson, and Safiya Sinclair. I feel incredibly honored to have been chosen as a finalist.
Contests like this are always hard because I, for one, was so happy to have made it to the final five. At the same time, when you find out you didn’t win, that means that particular chance at publication is now no longer available, and that’s really the ultimate goal, right? A book! So you’re happy for the winner but also somewhat sad for yourself. The editors for this particular competition let me know I was a finalist in early December, which was amazing. I so appreciated the early heads up. I told a close friend of mine I had a Schrodinger’s Chapbook that whole time, that it felt like the book was both published and dead at the same time. So in a lot of ways, this is somewhat heartbreaking good news. It’s also something all writers go through. I’ve done a lot of research on small presses who publish chaps, so I’m hoping this little baby finds a good home very soon!