Fresh Fierce Fiction Panel at BookFest 2018

BookFest 2018 is coming up the weekend of September 21-23 in St. Louis, and I’m beyond thrilled to participate in the Fresh Fierce Fiction panel on Saturday, September 22 at 12pm with Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Rebecca Makkai and Deborah Eisenberg. BookFest is sponsored by my favorite hometown independent bookstore, Left Bank Books, and will feature an amazing lineup of authors including Sally Field, Gary Shteyngart, Jacqui Germain, Tessa Fontaine, Dana Levin, Callista Buchen, Michael Nye, and many more. Looking forward to seeing you in STL!

BookFest St. Louis!

Left Bank Books has been my favorite independent bookstore since I was a kid and they do such wonderful work in St. Louis, which now includes putting on BookFest St. Louis each fall. I’m beyond thrilled to join the lineup of this fall’s #BookFestSTL, which includes readings and panels by Sally Field, Gary Shteyngart, Sarah Kendzior, and Tessa Fontaine, among many others. I’ll be discussing literary fiction on a panel with Rebecca Makkai and Blair Hurley on Saturday, September 22, with more details to come. See you in September, St. Louis!

Best of Iron Horse Literary Review


I’m tremendously grateful for my short story, “Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down,” which first appeared in Iron Horse Literary Review in 2014 and eventually became my debut novel, to be included in the just-released Best of Iron Horse Literary Review issue. This issue celebrates the journal’s twenty years with the editors’ favorite pieces of short fiction, non-fiction and poetry that they’ve published across two decades, and I’m so honored for this story to appear in these pages alongside six other stories by writers such as Lucas Southworth, Gina Ochsner and E.M. Tran. Many, many thanks to founder and editor Leslie Jill Patterson, who is one of the most generous, hardworking, supportive and passionate people in the entire literary world. This issue is gorgeous, and I’m beyond delighted to be included!

New Essay in Fairy Tale Review

While I’ve mostly been novel-writing as of late, I have a new essay, “No Girls Allowed,” up at Fairy Tale Review about the Berenstain Bears book of the same name. This was one of my favorite books when I was little, and rereading it as an adult, I was shocked by its messaging regarding gender roles. This essay is about the book, and also about the same messaging in literary and academic worlds. Many thanks to editor Joel Hans for publishing it!

Strange Theater: Reading at AWP

I’m delighted to be reading at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Tampa on Thursday, March 8 with a lineup of amazing, fabulist writers. Please join me and Sequoia Nagamatsu, Adrienne Celt, Tessa Mellas, Jason Teal, Daniel Hoyt, Dana Diehl, Anca Szilagyi and Melissa Goodrich at the 5 Star Dive Bar from 7-9 p.m.

I’ll also be serving on a panel the following day, Friday, March 9, at the AWP Conference on the teaching of undergraduate creative writing with Laura Van Den Berg, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Shane McCrae, and Sequoia Nagamatsu. Please join us at 12-1:15 p.m. in the Marriott Waterside’s Meeting Room 4!

Missouri Author Series

This week, I’m visiting my home state as part of the annual Missouri Author Series, which brings in writers who are from or who write about Missouri. It’s a true honor to have the chance to read at several Missouri universities from a novel set in Missouri, and as someone who grew up here. I read last night at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, which was such an amazing evening and event, and today I’m headed to the University of Central Missouri as part of the Pleiades Visiting Writers Series. Tomorrow, I head to the University of Missouri, and on Friday I’ll be in Springfield at Missouri State University as part of the Moon City Press Reading Series. Many, many thanks for Brad Modlin, Michael Czyzniejewski, Phong Nguyen, Jenny Molberg, and everyone at each of these institutions for a week of fantastic events.

New Fiction in Pleiades

Since I’ve largely been working on novels for the past two years, I wrote one short story last year and am absolutely delighted for it to appear in the new issue of Pleiades, a literary journal I’ve long admired. The story, “Here is Night, Brothers, Here the Birds Burn,” is about a grief-stricken man who visits the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis for a haunted tour after hearing the voices of his deceased family members on sound recordings of birds. The story appears alongside new work by Brenda Peynado, Micah Dean Hicks, David James Poissant, Matthew Minicucci, Susannah Nevison and Brian Brodeur, among others. Many, many thanks to editors Phong Nguyen and Jenny Molberg for including this story in the issue!

Reading at KGB Bar

Despite the bomb cyclone that blasted New York City this week with snow and frigid wind, CJ Hauser and I had a wonderful time this past Sunday night at KGB Bar in Manhattan. The theme was “resolutions” to kick of the new year, and we each read short pieces on this theme before both reading for the first time publicly from our new/forthcoming novels. It was a great evening – many, many thanks to Suzanne Dottino for inviting us to read!