links! Category

AWP 2014 & Recent Web Work Round-up

I will not be in Seattle for AWP this year, but my books will be! You can get a copy of Why We Never Talk About Sugar, my collection of short stories, at the Braddock Avenue Books table.

Or, you can grab a copy of my brand new chapbook, This Will Be His Legacy, from Lettered Streets Press at their table. This chapbook is a collection of my counterfactual biographies and it’s a split chap also featuring poetry by Alexis Pope. Grab it. You won’t regret it. 

In other news, I’ve had some work appear around the web that I wanted to link to here. First, I did a month-long guest blog for [PANK] Magazine during January. I collected a bunch of “found Twitter haiku,” tweets that just happened to exactly 17 syllables long. They range from silly to poignant and circle back around to hilarious. You can read the whole lot of them here. And I hope you will.

Next, I’ve written a couple of short blog posts for Brain, Child’s web offshoot, Brain, Mother. This one, on why I don’t think my son is growing up too fast. And this one, on why I refuse to enlist in the Mommy Wars. I find I have a lot to say about motherhood, which probably shouldn’t be as surprising as it seems. More to follow on that front.

Stay tuned!



Some Things.

  • A new story from my series of counterfactual biographies went up at Cobalt. It’s about Rachel Garrett, the only (ever) female captain of the USS Enterprise. Yes, it’s about Star Trek. I am not ashamed.
  • I wrote a column on learning about your own process for FFC.
  • Have you checked out Exits Are yet? This is the brainchild of Mike Meginnis who asked a bunch of writers (Matt Bell, Brian Oliu, Christopher Newgent, etc.) to help him out with an interesting project. The writers meet up on gchat and Meginnis acts as a text adventure game, giving a set-up and obstacles. The other writer responds as the player. The results are fascinating. I’m especially enjoying seeing how different writers respond differently to Meginnis’ prompts. I was stoked to be a part of this. Mine’s here. 

Getting Motivated

Well, it’s February and if you’re anything like me, your New Year’s resolutions to write more, submit more, write on a schedule, finally finish that scene, that story, that book have all faded away like champagne bubbles. To help you get back to being productive, here are some websites dedicated to helping writers get motivated:

  • You’re probably already familiar with National Novel Writing Month, where optimistic writers set out to write 50,000 word novels during the month of November.
  • 750 words is similar, but you can use it 12 months out of the year. It encourages users to write 750 words (about 3 pages) a day. You can earn badges for your writing by being speedy and consistent.
  • Written? Kitten! Give you a fresh image of a super-cute kitten every 100 words (or 500, or 1000; it’s up to you). This is a surprisingly good motivator, but it is hard to resist the urge to cut and paste the same 100 words over and over again!
  • Write or Die utilizes the stick, rather than the carrot. If you stop typing for long enough, it will start to delete what you’ve already written. I imagine this would be especially useful for shutting up an over-active inner-editor who never lets you get out a sentence unless it’s perfect.

If you know of any others, leave them in the comments! How are you getting motivated this year?

Where to Send Your Experimental Writing

Last weekend, I facilitated a workshop all about experimental writing as part of Dzanc Books’ National Workshop Day. During the workshop, I talked a bit about publishing experimental writing and gave the participants a (very incomplete) list of venues that are particularly amenable to this kind of writing. Below is this list. Of course, what is categorized as “experimental” varies largely from person to person, but each of these places in interested is work somewhere along the spectrum. As always, check out some writing from the magazine itself to see what they’re into. Happy sending!

What did I miss? Leave other possible markets for experimental writing in the comments and I’ll add them to the list.

What to Do With This Novella…

I’m currently writing a thousand things at once (it works for me; don’t judge) and, among them, I’m polishing up a novella-in-stories and getting ready to…what? It’s a tough sentence to finish for many reasons. First, I’m not even sure a novella-in-stories is a thing. (Anyone ever write one of these? What did you do with it?) Second, assuming it is, what do I do with it?

I’ve done a bit of research on the market for novellas, and I’ll share the results of that here. But I’m hoping others will chime in with other ideas. Please share them if you have them!

1. Apparently, you can send them to regular old literary magazines.

2. Or you can try a small boutique-y press. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few ideas.

  • Tiny Hardcore Press can get down with a novella-length manuscript. And they’ll make it look pretty.
  • Flatmancrooked’s New Novella imprint publishes (you guessed it) new novellas.
  • Mud Luscious Press can handle a novella up to 35,000 words. If you’ve got something really tiny (8,000 to 15,000 words), you can send it to their new imprint, Nephew.

3. You can send them to novella contests. I don’t love this idea because it costs money. $10 doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you send your novella to 10 contests, that’s $100 (for those of you who failed math class). Considering how many times a typical story gets rejected before I place it, those reading fees could really add up. But here’s a few in case you’re interested.

4. Finally (finally?), you can put your novella up against other genres in regular old chapbook contests, like these.

If you have some shorter pieces, you can package your novella together with short stories and try to place the collection with a small press, or send it to some contests. What did I miss? What is everyone else doing with their novellas?

P.S. Interesting little piece at The New York Times about why novellas are the real art form.

Things I Like Around the Interwebs (plus, a new story)

My partner tells me there’s a better, more standard way to do this. He’s very interested in the OFFICIAL INTERNET. My learning curve is hurting his insides.

  1. HTML Giant. I already miss Mean Week.
  2. The PANK blog. When my students are clueless about where to send their work, I tell them to read the PANK blog and click all the links. I do it too.
  3. Nothing makes me laugh harder than Slush Pile Hell.
  4. Joel Stickley’s How to Write Badly Well. I like to read the new (and old) posts and laugh and say I am on the inside of all these jokes!
  5. I love and hate Duotrope’s Digest. A longer discussion of this is forthcoming. It has turned me into an obsessive compulsive lit mag stalker. Refresh! Refresh!

What did I miss?

Also, I have a new story live today at Bananafish. Check it out!