Best Small Fictions 2017



The Best Small Fictions 2017 is here, and it’s absolutely gorgeous! I’m delighted for my work to be included among flash-fiction pieces by Allegra Hyde, W. Todd Kaneko, Stuart Dybek, and many others. I’m very grateful to series editor Tara Masih for including my work, and to guest judge Amy Hempel for selecting my short piece. “A Personal History of Arson,” which was initially published in Puerto del Sol in 2016, received nice special mention in this weekend’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review of the anthology. Delighted to be included in this beautiful volume of flash fiction!

An Elegy for Mathematics Re-Release


I’m thrilled and grateful that following the closure of Origami Zoo Press, a beloved publisher that released my chapbook in 2013, Bull City Press has re-released An Elegy for Mathematics complete with a new story. Many thanks to editor Ross White for taking on this project, along with chapbooks from other OZP authors including Laura Van Den Berg, BJ Hollars, Lena Bertone and Ben Hoffman. Thank you as well to editor Rebecca King Pierce and Sam Martone for publishing the original chapbook and editing the reissue. I’m very excited to be part of the Bull City Press family!

It has been a busy summer with a cross-country move these past few weeks, but I’m also very excited to have had the chance to interview Jac Jemc about her new novel, The Grip of Itfor The Rumpusas well as Molly Patterson about her debut novel, Rebellion, for Vol. 1 Brooklyn. These are both such intricate and well-crafted novels, and I so loved both of them. Congrats to Jac and Molly!

Sewanee Writers’ Conference Reading


I’ve had the great pleasure of attending the Sewanee Writers’ Conference these past two weeks as a Walter E. Dakin Fiction Fellow, where I’ve met so many amazing writers and kind people and been inspired by their work as I begin to build my next fiction project. As a Fellow, I had the chance to read the opening pages from Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down this week, which was workshopped here three years ago. Given the novel’s beginnings here at Sewanee, it was a special treat to have the chance to read from it here. I had the privilege of reading alongside Fellows Bryan Hurt and Chelsea Woodard, two incredibly talented writers and friends. I’m grateful to Wyatt Prunty, Adam Latham, Megan Roberts and the entire staff at Sewanee for providing me the opportunity to participate in this wonderfully inspiring conference.

Essay in Prairie Schooner


I’m very excited to have an essay, “How to Breathe in Deep Space,” in the Summer 2017 issue of Prairie Schooner. The issues arrived in the mail yesterday, and I’m thrilled to share pages with my friend Brenda Peynado, who has a story in this issue, as well as with many other fine writers. This essay is about moving from Cincinnati to Ohio and is patterned after old NASA manuals for breathing apparatuses in space exploration. Many, many thanks to the editors at Prairie Schooner for including my work in this beautiful issue.

Second Novel Forthcoming!

I am thrilled to announce that my second novel, Utah, is forthcoming from William Morrow/HarperCollins in 2019. This novel is dear to my heart, a book about two sisters – one a former NASCAR driver and the other a falconer just released from prison – who take to the road from Illinois to Utah to attend their mother’s funeral, a former paleontologist who has left them geocached clues at multiple sites along their route to ease their grief and help them find their way. Complicating their journey are a series of plane crashes that have been occurring around the world as the climate shifts, forcing them to take their journey by car. For me, this is a book about the earth, and a book about women being where they’re not supposed to be. I’m so gratetul to my agent, Kerry D’Agostino, for providing me the chance to work with HarperCollins again, and I’m so excited to work with Jessica Williams at William Morrow. The photo below is from my own solo road trip last summer to Arches, Canyonlands, Salt Lake City and the Spiral Jetty to research the book.

Happy summer!


Sewanee Fiction Fellow

Amid end-of-semester activities this week, I am beyond delighted to learn that I’ve been awarded a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Fiction at this summer’s 2017 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. As a fellow, I’ll be participating in workshop and giving a reading, and I’m very much looking forward to traveling to Sewanee in July. Having attended three years ago as a scholar, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to return to such a magical, supportive and generative place with such a fantastic group of writers. Happy summer!


Texas Tech Creative Writing

I know I’ve already posted this week about my visit to Texas Tech University as part of their Creative Writing Program Reading Series, but it was such a wonderful trip that I’m going to go ahead and post twice. The faculty and graduate students are some of the most generous I’ve had the fortune to meet, and it was a particularly special visit for me since Iron Horse Literary Review published the short story of “Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down” that became this novel. Professor and founding editor Leslie Jill Patterson is one of the kindest, most generous literary citizens and people, and it was such a pleasure to spend the week with her, creative writing professor Katie Cortese, and a cohort of really amazing graduate students. In addition to having the chance to read from the novel, I also conducted a Master Workshop with several of the doctoral students in fiction, and it was a such a pleasure to read and workshop their beautiful work.

Below is the podium where I had the pleasure of reading from the novel. Many, many thanks to Texas Tech University for an amazing visit!


Texas Tech University Reading Series

I’m really delighted to be visiting Texas Tech University’s creative writing program this week, where I’ll be giving a reading from Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down and working with Texas Tech’s doctoral students on their fiction manuscripts. This is a near-and-dear visit for me, as Iron Horse Literary Review published the short story of “Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down” that eventually became my first novel. I’m so excited to visit and meet everyone at the program, and many thanks to Leslie Jill Patterson for inviting me as part of Texas Tech’s Creative Writing Series.