AWP 2017 Annual Conference and Bookfair

I’m going to be on a panel at the 2017 Associated Writing Programs’ Annual Conference and Bookfair. The conference, which commemorates the organization’s 50th anniversary, will be held at the Washington Convention Center & Washington Marriott Marquis from February 8-11, 2017.


Pointing out where to get free books, AWP ’09, Chicago.

Organized by Luke Rolfes of Northwest Missouri State University, the panel I’m on is titled “Singular Opportunity: Teaching Creative Writing to One-Time Learners.” It will focus on panelists’ experiences with and best practices for working with undergraduate creative writing students who are not pursuing English or creative writing degrees.

From AWP’s website: “The AWP Conference & Bookfair is an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Each year more than 12,000 attendees join our community for four days of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in contemporary literature. The 2016 conference featured over 2,000 presenters and 550 readings, panels, and craft lectures. The bookfair hosted over 800 presses, journals, and literary organizations from around the world. AWP’s is now the largest literary conference in North America.”

Looking forward to seeing lots of old friends.

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“A Horse Draws Near!” Accepted by Cartridge Lit

I just learned that “A Horse Draws Near!” my lyric essay about how horses in video games behave, will appear in the fall 2016 issue of Cartridge Lit.


Agro, kicking it in Shadow of the Colossus (2005)

“An online literature mag dedicated to showcasing the best lit – fiction, nonfiction, poetry – inspired by video games,” Cartridge Lit has published “games-inspired lit that takes risks and tempts edges, that sparks and burns” since 2014.

I’m looking forward to having a link to post here! Watch this space.

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“The Happy Family” Accepted for Curious Specimens Anthology

“The Happy Family,” my short-short about the Barnum-ian weirdness below, has been accepted to Sundress Publications‘ forthcoming e-anthology, Curious Specimens, edited by Jennifer Hanks and Beth Couture.


From the editors: “We want your Wonder Room’s creepiest inhabitants—think the Mütter Museum, reanimated Fiji Mermaids, and all creatures caught between life and death. While we’d love to see your poetry and flash fiction, we also welcome ephemera. Send us excerpts from taxidermy pamphlets, specimen lists, and medical notes. May your most unsettling work find a home with us: bottled, hand-labeled, and doused in formaldehyde.”

My kind of book! Release details to come.

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Among Animals 2 Website is Live

My short story, “Shooting A Mule,” is being anthologized in Ashland Creek Press’s forthcoming Among Animals 2, which comes out later in 2016.

Among Animals 2 “continues the tradition of gathering stories from the world’s most gifted contemporary authors—those who pay close attention to the creatures with whom we share our planet, and who inspire us to pay closer attention as well.”

The promotional website for Among Animals 2, complete with table of contents, just went live:


The cover.

Stay tuned either here or there for release dates, reading dates, et cetera.

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Buy “Based On A True Story” Here



A copy of StoryQuarterly 49, which includes “Based On A True Story,” a ton of other good writing, and (apparently) a bundle of rustic sticks can now be yours for $15 American via the handy Submittable link below.

Thanks again to the editors, and to 2015 StoryQuarterly Fiction Prize judge Mat Johnson, who I have not met, but now imagine as the ideal audience for a story I’m going to write sometime about the three unrelated(?) dogs named “Tiger” who disappear in The Brady Bunch, Edgar Allan Poe’s only novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, and an episode of Wonder Woman.

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Reading At Maryville University, 3/24/16

I’ll be doing a solo reading in the May Gallery at the Maryville University Library at 3 p.m. on March 24th, followed by a Q&A hosted by my colleague Johannes Wich-Schwarz.


Obligatory author photo.

My students wanted to hear me read, so it should be a fun crowd. I will be reading a story or stories from my geez-please-finish-me manuscript, which now answers to Horse Show.

This is the second reading in Maryville University’s brand new Writes of Spring series, which is presented by Maryville English, sponsored by the Medart Lectures, and organized by yours truly.

Our third and final reading in this year’s Writes of Spring series will be held on April 14 at 3 PM in LJ’s, Maryville University’s dry pub. It will feature the prose stylings of Luke Rolfes and his debut short fiction collection, Flyover Country.


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“Based On A True Story” Named Second Runner-Up for the StoryQuarterly Fiction Prize

“Based On A True Story” has finally found a home at StoryQuarterly, where it was just named second runner-up for the StoryQuarterly Fiction Prize, judged by Mat Johnson.


I will receive $50 American, publication in the next issue (which comes out early in 2016), and the deep abiding knowledge that I wasn’t completely cuckoo to write a short story based on John Travolta’s role in The Boy In The Plastic Bubble, which was an ABC Friday Night Movie in 1976.

“Founded in 1975, StoryQuarterly has been publishing emerging and established writers for over 30 years. Among the acclaimed writers who have written for the journal are Margaret Atwood, T.C. Boyle, Lydia Davis, Mark Doty, Jhumpa Lahiri, Elizabeth McCracken and Joyce Carol Oates.”

The official announcement about the prize winners can be found here.

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“Based On A True Story” Receives Robert and Adele Schiff Prize Honorable Mention

My (still!) unpublished short story, “Based On A True Story,” earned an honorable mention in The Cincinnati Review‘s annual contest, the Robert and Adele Schiff Prize in Poetry and Prose.


The prize proper was won by a fellow University of Missouri Ph.D. alum, the hilarious Robert Long Foreman, and I’m in good company in the honorable mentions section with another grad school friend, the inimitable LaTanya McQueen.

Here’s a list of all the finalists and honorable mentions.

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“Of Course, Of Course” Nominated for Sundress Publications’ Best Of The Net 2015

Animal: A Beast Of A Literary Magazine has been kind enough to nominate “Of Course, Of Course,” the short story about Mr. Ed that I placed with them earlier this year, for Sundress Publications‘ Best Of The Net 2015 competition and online anthology.

mr_ed_004The mission of the annual Best Of The Net competition is “to promote the diverse and growing collection of voices who are publishing their work online, a venue that continues to see less respect from such yearly anthologies as the Pushcart and Best American series. This anthology serves to bring greater respect to an innovative and continually expanding medium in the same medium in which it is published.”

It’s a huge surprise and thrill to be nominated!

Read “Of Course, Of Course” here, and keep your fingers crossed…

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“Based On A True Story” Finalist for 2015 Salamander Fiction Prize

For the second time, one of my stories has been named a finalist for the annual fiction prize at Salamander: A Magazine for Fiction, Poetry, and Memoirs.


The judge for this contest was Andre Dubus III, who in addition to being the author of six books, has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, and a 2012 Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature.

“Based On A True Story” is as yet unpublished. I was last a finalist for this contest in 2011 for “The Mammoth Horse Waits.”

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