About Me

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My work can be found in REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, Pank, New Delta Review, and Gargoyle #57, among others. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. Currently, I'm an Associate editor for Narrative Magazine. In 2011, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Katie Weekley

Recently, when I asked writer and extraordinarily hilarious woman, Katie Weekley how the movie business was going, I was referring to her business as usual movie business. Little did I know she's been very busy (along with partner Goeff) on making a movie of her own!

Congrats, Katie and Geoff!

E Panel: Writing Women's Voices

Dan Wickett of Emerging Writers Network has another wonderful

"The following is a live e-panel conducted with Lauren Cerand, the fifth such panel since we began the concept last March. This one, as Lauren explains in the introduction, ran a little differently as Lauren actually joined in to co-moderate, and two of the particpants actually did so via e-mail after the chat due to either scheduling, or technological issues..."

Young Writer

My four-year-old son peered into his glass of sparkling orangeade and told me "the bubbles looked like a crowd of people dancing."

Yes. I'm proud.

It also underlines how natural creativity is to kids. When I taught art, the four to eleven-year-olds had an innate sense of design and their work took my breath away. The same is true for writing. Kids don't seem to listen to "inner critics." Instead, their minds are free. A great lesson for us adults: listen to your inner kid! ;)

Kay Sexton

If you haven't seen Kay Sexton's new blog, check it out. Offering writing tips, publishing savvy and plenty of encouragement, it's useful for writers at all stages of experience.

Heather Sellers

It seems I'm always falling in love with new work. Heather Seller's work is not new--she has five books under her belt, but her short story collection, "Georgia Under Water," bought directly from Sarabande Books has drawn me right into the wonderful mind of Heather Sellers. In Georgia she's created a memorable, delightful, funny character, a young woman in love with her body, her sexuality (even before she knows exactly what it all is) and her father. One of the best collections I've read all year. Sellers' honest and fresh writing brings to mind the work of this writer which has similar qualities.


One of the things I like about the ezine Lily is its photos and occasional interview with a photographer. For May, they offer an interview with Manny Librodo, a photographer from the Philippines.

The Literature List

Budd Parr, administrator of Metaxu Cafe is the editor of the new PubSub list, The Literature List.

While I'm not sure what all the data means, it looks interesting and it offers links to a lot of litblogs.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dan Wickett

writes about community on Gina Frangello's blog.

Gina Frangello follows up with Community Part II

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Story

by Steven J. McDermott in Thieves Jargon

Thanks to Dan at EWN for the original link!

Friday, May 26, 2006

SmokeLong Quarterly

I have had a blast guest-editing issue 13. I'm so excited about the stories that will appear and it's been an honor and a privilege working with such talented writers.

Here's the line-up:

Roberta Allen
Christopher Battle
Matt Bell
Lisa K. Buchanan
Jai Clare
Ron Currie, Jr.
Steve Cushman
David Erlewine
Kathy Fish
Mike Hagemann
Jennifer A. Howard
Jeff Landon
Steven J. McDermott
Srdan Papic
Ellen Parker
Mary Lynn Reed
Chad Simpson
Claudia Smith
Girija Tropp
Joseph Young

Issue 13 will be posted June 15.

And I'm also delighted to announce I've been invited to remain on staff! This thrills me as I've enjoyed the aesthetics and concept of this jazzy journal and its supportive staff since its beginning.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Storyglossia Fiction Prize 2006

Storyglossia is sponsoring a new fiction contest--looks to be excellent! The deadline is October 1, 2006.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


After five days and four nights at the coast I'm back rejuvenated and ready to dig in to the hard work of reading and writing. (Someone has to do it) ;)
I had a fabulous time. One thing troubles me though. How did I not know there were gators in North Carolina??? I thought I knew everything to fear here, the black widows, the recluse spiders, the cotton mouths, rattlers, copperheads, the water moccasins. The alligators were a complete surprise.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

An Essay by Laila Lalami

in the Huffington Post

New Lit Journal Reviews

are up at New Pages.


I'll be away for a week enjoying the coast of North Carolina. I hope you all get lots of reading and writing in.

To my friends in rainy New England, I hope you get some relief.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Public Space Announces...

(It sounds great. I wish I could go.)
A BEA Event: Please Join Brigid Hughes and A Public Space, along with
Charles D'Ambrosio, Kelly Link, John Freeman, and Rick Simonson for a
Conversation about the Short Story

We're currently witnessing a renaissance in short story writing. But
selling short story collections (to agents, publishers, booksellers,
and eventually to customers) remains a challenge on many levels.
Please join A Public Space for a discussion about the short story
from three perspectives: the writer—Charles D’Ambrosio and Kelly Link—
the critic - John Freeman - and the bookseller - Rick Simonson. With the
help of committed editors, publishers, critics, and literary
journals, short fiction collections have the chance to become more
than just the novel's weaker sibling.

Embracing the Short Story Collection
Friday, May 19th, 2:30 - 3:30PM, Room 202B

Charles D’Ambrosio - author of The Dead Fish Museum
Kelly Link - author of Magic for Beginners
John Freeman - President of the National Book Critics Circle
Rick Simonson - Bookseller, Elliott Bay Book Company

Moderated by Brigid Hughes - Editor, A Public Space

Tom Roberge
A PublIc Space
323 Dean Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
tel: 718.858.8067
email: tom@apublicspace.org

Laila Lalami

Congratulations to Laila Lalami--she's been shortlisted for the Caine Prize!


Elimae's new issue is live

Roy Kesey

My friend Myfanwy has reminded me it's Roy Kesey week at The Elegant Variation. His new book Nothing in the World is now available for preorder!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

O'Henry Prize Stories 2006

Ever since I started writing a few years ago, I’ve made it a point to buy the “year’s best” anthologies. The O’Henry Prize Stories is a must-read for me; it showcases stories which for various reasons, someone determined to be the best of the year and I want to read them for myself to see why. Every year reading these winning stories elicits joy, awe, and excitement in me and deepens my love for the short story. Some of these I'd read before in short story collections or in literary journals (and loved even more after another reading) and some were new.

This year the stories were chosen by series editor Laura Furman and three jurors, Kevin Brockmeier, Francine Prose, and Colm Toibin chose their personal favorites. In the back of the anthology is a section for writers to talk about the inspiration for their stories (I love this section) and each juror writes why his or her favorite story stood out among such an excellent group.

Edward P Jones begins the series of twenty stories with “Old Boys, Old Girls,” an amazing story in which he illuminates the life of one of Jones’ earlier characters, Caesar Mathews, as he endures his days in prison and beyond.

Jackie Kay’s “You Go When You Can No Longer Stay” is a hilarious and poignant story of a couple’s break-up.

Lydia Peele’s “Mule Killers” is an achingly sad story of loss and acceptance. (This one made me weep)

In “The Broad Estates of Death” by Paula Fox a man travels cross country with his new wife to see his father for the first time in over two decades.

“Pelvis Series” by Neela Vaswani is the gorgeous story of a woman who communicates, using ASL, with chimpanzees.

David Lawrence Morse’s “Conceived” works on so many levels. Not only is the story rich and beautiful, but this multi-layered story of a man living on the spine of a giant fish with his village offers much to examine and explore.

William Trevor writes of a man’s guilt over an accident in “The Dressmaker’s Child.”

In Stephanie Reents’ “Disquisition on Tears,” an ill woman is visited by a woman carrying her head in her hands.

David Means’ characters are hard and wild in his gritty “Sault Ste. Marie.”

In Karen Brown’s “Unction” a young pregnant woman finds love and attempts to match make.

A family travels to New Zealand looking for safety in Teresa Svoboda’s “‘80s Lilies.”

In Alice Monroe’s “Passion,” a woman recalls a turning point in her life upon returning to her home.

In George Makana Clark’s “The Center of the World,” the new world encroaches on the old in Rhodesia.

Susan Fromberg Schaeffer writes of a woman’s despair in “Wolves.”

Douglas Trevor writes of class differences in Boston in his story, “Girls I Know.”

In Louise Erdrich’s “The Plague of Doves,” stories are handed down through generations.

The narrator in Xu Xi’s “Famine,” flies to New York and tries to quiet feelings of desperate pain through opulence and abundance.

In Lara Vapnyar’s “Puffed Rice and Meatballs,” a woman recalls two moments in her Russian childhood.

A young battered woman writes to people who have touched her life in Melanie Rae Thon’s “Letters in the Snow.”

And allow Deborah Eisenberg to take you on a journey with her amazing story “Windows.” This is a fine example of a writer following the story rather than dictating the story. Stunning.

I liked each of these for different reasons, but my personal favorites were:

“Old Boys, Old Girls”
“You Go When You Can No Longer Stay”
“Mule Killers”—it’s not often a story can make me weep.
“Disquisition on Tears”

Pick up a copy and see which ones will be your favorites. Happy reading!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

painting by Mary Cassatt

Celebrate life.

Friday, May 12, 2006


Susan Henderson has news of a reading in NYC and news of what others are reading on her blog.

I sure wish I could attend that reading in New York. What a group of talented writers!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

An Essay by C.M. Mayo

Here's another must-read by a highly accomplished writer.

Charles D'Ambrosio

Thanks to Moorishgirl for the link to this interview.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Writers have a lot of experience with rejection. And we learn to deal with it in different ways. I’ve heard the stories of writers who paper their walls with form rejection slips, who ritualistically burn the letters they receive in sacred ceremonies (okay I made that one up) but for me, receiving rejections has been a mixed bag. On the one hand, they’ve been proof of how serious my commitment is to writing. They’ve also been like some sort of editor-code which I’ve spent the last four years or so trying to crack. At least I thought they were.

Since 2002, when I started to send things out for publication, I’ve kept each story in its own folder (a real one, one I can hold in my hands) and I’ve piled in all the rejections with it. Some of my folders are mighty fat. Considering I’ve sent out approximately 10 long stories (my short ones I tend to not sim-sub so much) that’s a lot of rejection letters hanging around my house. The other day I asked myself why I wanted to keep them at all. What purpose could these varied, but boring slips of paper serve? I know I’m committed. I don’t need the growing pile of forms to tell me I want to write. Now, I just write. I don’t need them to try to convince myself not to write, because if I listened to my negative side I wouldn't be writing at all (bear with me).

So with great satisfaction I cleaned out all my story folders. I threw away all the little forms, all the handwritten records of when each journal responded (I’m trying a carefree approach: when they arrive, they arrive; patience is a life-long so far unlearned lesson for me) and even the forms with the inky signatures and hastily-scrawled Thanks or Sorry. (I used to try to divine meaning out of the tiniest of pen marks.) The only rejections I’m keeping are the ones in which the editor took the time to write whole sentences, ones that tell me specifically what the editor liked or didn’t like, ones that might offer encouragement during those bleak moments of doubt. These rejections (and the pile is sadly thin) are placed in a special bowl on top of my letter writing desk. These are the only rejections out of the hundreds I receive that actually mean something. Even if only to me.

Some fun rejection links:

Slush Killer
Ten Things About Literary Rejection
Handling Rejection

and the amusing

Paper Napkin Email Rejection Service (Ouch)

Rusty Barnes Interview Part 3

Wayne Yang interviews Rusty Barnes, editor of Night Train.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Must Read

This essay by Gina Frangello is an absolute must-read.

Hunger Mountain Fundraiser


We hope you will join in to help support Hunger Mountain's non-profit Fundraising Auction, featuring items of literary interest for writers, readers and collectors. Many of these items will be made available exclusively during this auction! To view Hunger Mountain's Fundraising Auction items, use Ebay's search tool to find "Hunger Mountain Fundraising" and you'll get a full list of the available items, each with full descriptions and images. www.ebay.com.

New items will be added each Monday through May. This week's new items up for bid: William Blake, "Songs of Innocence", 1911 rare collector's edition with illustrations by Honor C. Appleton; Robert Lowell, "Day by Day", first edition in perfect condition; Patchwork Farm Writer's Retreats Weekend Workshop or a discount on the Scotland Retreat for Writing and Yoga; Nantucket Writer's Workshops for Women 4-day or Weeklong Workshop; and two Manuscript Critiques by Alison Hedge Coke and Bob Hicok. More items are listed below; more Manuscript Critiques and workshop opportunities are forthcoming.

This auction is also the premiere of the Stinehour Broadside Award. Award winners for Hunger Mountain's first three years are Alice Hoffman, Neil Shepard and David Rivard. The Stinehour Broadside Award Series of limited edition, signed and numbered broadsides will be available exclusively through the Fundraising Auction, while supplies last. Broadsides offered in the auction will begin with number ONE of 100, and continue on a consecutive basis as bids are won.

All donations are tax-deductible and support Hunger Mountain's mission to publish outstanding creative work by both established and emerging writers and artists.




Alice Hoffman, Stinehour Broadside Award. This broadside features an excerpt from Alice Hoffman's short story "The Token," selected by Bret Lott from the Fall 2003 Issue of Hunger Mountain, and includes feather artwork. Each broadside is letterpress printed by Stinehour Press of Lunenburg, Vermont, in a one-time edition of 100, each signed and numbered by the author.

Robert Duncan Broadside, signed & numbered

Two Brad Richard Broadsides, signed & numbered

Four new poetry broadsides, measuring 16 x 20 each, published by Alfred A. Knopf, each presenting a selection by a distinguished poet: Arabian Night by James Merrill; Puzzle Piece by Mary Jo Salter; Colored Stones by Richard Howard; Kitty and Bug by John Hollander.

Neil Shepard, Stinehour Broadside Award, This broadside features Neil Shepard's poem, "Leap Day," from the Spring 2004 Issue, selected by Lynn Emanuel, and artwork based on a Sabra Field woodcut. Each broadside is letterpress printed by Stinehour Press of Lunenburg, Vermont, in a one-time edition of 100, each signed and numbered by the author.

David Rivard, Stinehour Broadside Award. This broadside features David Rivard's poem "Self Portrait as a Blind Snowy Owl," from the Spring 2005 Issue, selected by David Wojahn. Each broadside is letterpress printed by Stinehour Press of Lunenburg, Vermont, in a one-time edition of 100, each signed and numbered by the author.


A signed copy of the manuscript pages of Bret Lott's novel-in-progress, Ancient Highway (due from Random House in 2007), excerpts of which have already appeared in Georgia Review, Colorado Review, and Gettysburg Review. Signed confidentiality agreement required.


A copy of A Postcard Memoir signed by author Larry Sutin accompanied by 15 vintage postcards from Larry's personal collection.

A Poetry Chapbook Collection from Chapiteau Press including poets Jody Gladding and Wyn Cooper.

James Laughlin, Gists & Piths, A Memoir of Ezra Pound, in a 1982 Limited Edition hardback, one of only 250 copies.

Beautiful editions of new, signed cookbooks from two of Vermont's most renowned country inns: The Dorset Inn in Middlebury (Flavors from the Heart signed by author Sissy Hicks) and The Inn at the Round Barn Farm in Waisfield (Recipies & Reflections, signed by authors Anne Marie Defreest and Annie Reed Rhoades).

The Floating World: The Story of Japanese Color Prints by James A. Michener.

Sonnets From The Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, with illustrations by Fred A. Mayer, printed by The World Publishing Company as an Illustrated Edition in 1937.


Thanks for your support!
Caroline Mercurio, Managing Editor
Hunger Mountain, The Vermont College Journal of Arts & Letters


Please join us at the 18th Street Lounge for a party sponsored by A Public
Space, Bomb, Melville House Books, and Small Beer Press

Friday - May 19th
6:30 - 9pm

The Gold Room
18th Street Lounge
121 18th St (18th St & Connecticut Ave)

rsvp: bea@apublicspace.org

Monday, May 08, 2006

Playful Writer Summer Workshops

Author Roberta Allen has passed along this announcement:

"Hi to everyone!

I have 2 Playful Writer Workshops coming up.

"As a writer, Roberta's class excites me because I get detailed, thoughtful criticism that inspires me to go home and write and revise." --Patricia Hawkins, Kingston, NY

"Roberta's encouragement and guidance has inspired me to discover a love and talent for writing." -- Leah Rothchild, Former dancer, Joffrey Ballet

"With Roberta's help, I am revising my memoir and loving every minute of it!" -- Ann Cappozzoli, Kingston, NY

"Roberta is a gifted teacher. I started writing--and writing well--after not having written for years! Her "energy" method really works." --Barbara Pokras, Saugerties, NY

New York: The new Tues. night workshop starts June 7
from 7:30-10 PM. It meets twice monthly for 8 sessions (4 months).
and costs $400.

Woodstock: The new Mon. night workshop starts June 12
from 7-9:30 PM. It meets twice monthly for 8 sessions (4 months)
and with the special $50 discount only costs $350. Trial class for first
timers costs $50.

I also have an opening in my ongoing Sat. workshop from 1-3:30 PM that also meets twice monthly.

Space is limited so sign up soon!"
I have two of Roberta's books: Certain People--excellent! and The Playful Way to Serious Writing. I liked the latter so much I bought a few for friends and relatives.

A Review

Pete Anderson has a review up at Donavan Hall's The Angler of my short short What She Gave to the Sea published in issue 11 of SmokeLong Quarterly.

Where Do You Buy Books?

Read this article from The Guardian

I try to support my local bookstores as much as possible. I have to admit, I buy online occasionally because it's easier to find some of the more obscure books. But I never buy books from the chains--only lit journals. What about you? Would it matter to you if the independents died out?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Million Writers Award

Congratulations to Richard Bowes for his winning story There's a Hole in the City!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Black Swan Green

Jim Ruland reviews David Mitchell's latest novel on The Elegant Variation.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Aroostook Review

New online journal from Maine.

Stories of Mexico

The new issue of Mississippi Review is live.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Myfanwy Collins

talks to Mark Pritchard about her short story collection Freak Magnet.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Dire Reader Series


Mark your calendar for the May 5 event featuring my dear and talented friend, Myfanwy Collins, Norman Waksler and David Surette.

I wish I could be there!

Susan Henderson

is interviewed on Deep Blue Journal. Check it out!

LA Festival of Books

Laila Lalami offers her own recap and pics of the event on Moorishgirl.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Goodbye Ink Pot

Read the final issue of Bev Jackson's Ink Pot

Bev, Carol, Myfanwy, T.J., Danielle, Jim, and Lalo, your hard work, dedication and compassion will be missed. What a talented group of editors and writers you are!

And Kay Sexton, your letter is inspiring and lovely.


In the last week I've read J.M. Coetzee's "Slow Man,"Brad Kessler's "Birds in Fall,""Eating Naked," a short story collection by Stephen Dobyns and a collection of stories and a novella by Cristina Henriquez, Come Together, Fall Apart.

I loved each of these for different reasons: "Slow Man" was an expertly written quiet story of a man's acceptance of his body's failings; "Birds in Fall," was a gorgeous novel centered around a tragic airplane crash and the people affected by it--lots of beautiful writing; I loved the Dobyns collection--original and some of it hilarious; and I fell in love with Cristina Henriquez's characters and her writing. She has a lot of heart and she doesn't withhold it from her writing.

A Story by Bev Jackson

read it here.

Gina Frangello

has a must-read essay on women's fiction on her Blog.

Here's an excerpt:

"Pam Houston once said to me that the most a reader can ask from a book is that it shake her to the core. How many books by women thesedays are being allowed to adhere to that imperative? Surely there are women out there writing such books, but the industry is increasingly afraid to touch them. And the more books by men ARE allowed to unsettle, frighten, worry and challenge their readers, while women's books are supposed to calm, amuse or inspire them, the more literary fiction will become the domain of men--because literature, real literature, has always been emotionally challenging and fraught with risk. If we no longer permit women to give voice to risk, we are ghettoizing them, if not to the domain of chick lit then at least to the domain of pie."

LA Festival of Books

Mark Sarvas of The Elegant Variation provides a recap of some of the events.
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