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.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Storyglossia's Issue 25

is a special flash fiction issue and is now live. Among others, it has pieces by Aaron Burch, Randall Brown, and me.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Myfanwy Collins

has a gorgeous new story up at Monkey Bicycle.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Xujun Eberlein interviews NEA 2008 winners

here on her blog.

Clearly Five Points has good taste.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Jim Tomlinson and Viet Dinh Win NEA Grant

Congratulations to Jim Tomlinson, author of Things Kept, Things Left Behind, and SLQ contributor, for winning a 2008 NEA Grant!

And congratulations to Viet, another talented writer I know from Zoetrope!!

Monday, December 03, 2007


What great news!! Congratulations to Laura!!!

December 3, 2007, Ann Arbor, MI—Dzanc Books is pleased to announce that Laura van den Berg of Boston, Massachusetts is the winner of the first annual $5,000 Dzanc Prize. Selected from more than 160 applicants for her proposal to teach creative writing in area prisons and on the quality of her fiction writing, the Emerson College MFA student will begin her service in 2008 with half of the prize awarded in January and the other half awarded once the service is completed.

Steven Gillis, Publisher of Dzanc Books, says van den Berg’s application won over the reading panel because “[her] commitment to working with prisoners and helping Dzanc put together a written anthology from these workshops, coupled with her remarkable writing, moved her consistently and undeniably to the front of the list.” Van den Berg is currently working on a short story collection, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, and plans to begin a novel. She says, “When I found out I had been selected for the prize, I was astonished and deeply honored. . . Steve Gillis, Dan Wickett, and Keith Taylor are wonderful champions of literary fiction and gifted editors, and it's a huge gift to have the opportunity to work with them.”

A native of central Florida, Laura van den Berg is the editor-in-chief of Emerson College’s literary and arts journal, Redivider, and a Ploughshares staff member. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Indiana Review, The Literary Review, StoryQuarterly, American Short Fiction, and One Story, among others, and has received awards from Glimmer Train and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She previously taught writing at Emerson College, and currently teaches fiction at Grub Street, an independent center for creative writing in Boston.

Dzanc Books was created in 2006 by Steven Gillis and Dan Wickett to advance great writing and to champion those writers who do not fit neatly into the marketing niches of for-profit presses. As a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, Dzanc Books not only publishes literary fiction, but works in partnership with literary journals to advance their readership at every level. Dzanc is also fully committed to developing educational programs in schools and organizes workshops and Writer-In-Residence programs in Michigan and elsewhere to meet that goal.

In 2007, to further its mission of fostering literary excellence, community involvement, and education, Dzanc Books created the Dzanc Prize, which awards $5,000 annually to a writer working toward completion of a novel or short story collection who is also interested in bettering their community through literary community service. For further details and more information on Dzanc Books, its mission, titles, authors, awards, and programs, please visit www.dzancbooks.org .

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Call for Submissions: Storyglossia

Submissions have opened once again, for Issue #27, guest edited by me. I'm thrilled by this invitation to be a part of Storyglossia, a journal I've long admired.

Please note that the guidelines have changed.

I'm looking forward to reading your submissions!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Word Riot

The latest issue is live with work from SLQ's past editor and interviewer Randall Brown, an interview by SLQ's past guest editor and contributor, Joe Young, an interview by past SLQ contributor Blake Butlerand many more...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Opium's 250 word contest

Polish up your 250 word pieces for Opium's bookmark contest judged by Aimee Bender! Details here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dzanc Books and Kyle Minor

Here's some excellent news for both Kyle and Dzanc Books:

Dzanc Books to Publish Kyle Minor

November 26, 2007 - Ann Arbor, MI—Dzanc Books is proud to announce that it will publish a collection of stories and a novella by Kyle Minor in late 2008. Kyle Minor's work has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, among them The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Surreal South (Press 53, 2007), and Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers: The Best New Voices of 2006 (Random House, 2006). His work, much of which falls into the category of longer stories, has been nominated twice for Pushcart Prizes, and one of the stories won the Tara M. Kroger Prize for Short Fiction.

Kyle is also co-editor, with Okla Elliott, of The Other Chekhov (New American Press, 2008). His writing has been lauded by The Atlantic Monthly, The Columbus Dispatch, and Random House. Originally from Florida, he now lives in Ohio, where he is Visiting Writer at the University of Toledo.

“Both Steve and I had been well aware of Kyle’s fantastic non-fiction writing,” said Dan Wickett, “but it wasn’t until reading his incredible novella, “A Day Meant to Do Less,” in The Gettysburg Review that we had really thought about the possibility of publishing his fiction. When we investigated, it turned out he was nearly ready to put finishing touches on his manuscript, and it was during these talks with Kyle that we realized how much of his material we had read, and enjoyed, and remembered fairly vividly. We are really excited to bring the first full book of Kyle Minor-only fiction to the literary world. He’s an incredible young writer to keep your eyes on.”

About Dzanc Books

Dzanc Books was created in 2006 to advance great writing and champion those writers who don’t fit neatly into the marketing niches of for-profit presses. As a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, Dzanc Books not only publishes literary fiction, but works in partnership with literary journals to advance their readership at every level. Dzanc is also fully committed to developing educational programs in schools. For more information on Dzanc Books and its mission, books, authors, awards, and programs, please visit www.dzancbooks.org.

Friday, November 16, 2007


the latest issue is live with pieces by Claudia Smith, Aaron Burch and Elizabeth Ellen.


On a political note, here's a piece by Mark Morford. And if you haven't seen Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on Waterboarding, google it and watch it.

Thanks to Bev Jackson for the link to the article.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Amazon's Best of 2007

Amazon has listed editors' picks for top 100 books of 2007.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I'll be away next week visiting my son at his college and then attending a discussion at a different college of one of my favorite books A Perfect Stranger. My sister-in-law also kindly arranged for a dinner with Roxana Robinson. Should be a fun week!

Hope you all get lots of writing in! Go Nanowrimos!!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Storyglossia Issue 24

is LIVE!

So far I've read Jamey Genna's story. It's a knock-out. There's something so soulful, warm, and human about this piece. Love it! And that ending! Wow.

And now for a little levity...

I found this hilarious post (scroll up to the top and then read down) on Crooked House.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"The Essentials of Micro-Fiction" by Camille Renshaw

I came across this article at pif. I liked seeing the edits on her piece--generous of her to show us.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yemassee Journal

Yemassee, the literary journal of the University of South Carolina’s MFA creative writing program, is currently seeking submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. We are a relatively small journal and are very interested in finding fresh, new voices to publish alongside those of established authors.

Yemassee was founded in 1993 and has published writing by James Dickey, Susan Ludvigson, Robert Coover, Virgil Suarez, William Price Fox, Kwame Dawes, Ron Rash, Nikky Finney, and many others, as well as interviews with writers such as Derek Walcott, Robert Olen Butler, Kazuo Ishiguro, George Singleton, Leah Stewart, Vona Groarke, and Percival Everett. Our upcoming issue will feature a short story by Chris Offutt and an interview with him.

In addition to general submissions, which we read year round, we also accept submissions for our annual William Richey Short Story Contest and Pocataligo Poetry Contest.

For more information, please visit our website at Yemassee Journal

We look forward to reading your work.


Darien Cavanaugh & Jonathan Maricle

Submission Tool

Here's a nifty tool to help you determine how much postage you need to send your submssions:

Fiction on Demand.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dzanc Books

featured in Wired.

*Thanks to Kelly Spitzer for the original link.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Roy Kesey's All Over

I just received my copy of Roy Kesey's exciting short story collection, All Over. I can't wait to dig in.

He's coming to the states to do a book tour and here's his schedule:
October 23: Ann Arbor
Shaman Drum Bookshop
311-315 South State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Reading starts at 7:00 PM

October 24: New York
Happy Endings
302 Broome Street @ Forsyth
(B,D to Grand Street or F, J, M, Z to Delancey)
Reading with Benjamin Percy and Min Jin Lee starts at 8:00 p.m.
Hosted by Amanda Stern
After-party at Grotto: 100 Forsyth Street, just around the corner from Happy Endings

October 25: Chicago
The Fixx Reading Series
The Fixx Coffee Bar
3053 N Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, IL
Reading with Elizabeth Crane starts at 7:30 p.m.
Hosted by Amy Guth

October 26: Memphis
Burke's Books
936 South Cooper
Memphis, Tennessee 38104
Phone: (901) 278-7484
Fax: (901) 274-8863
Signing from 5-6:30 p.m.
Reading with Corey Mesler starts 7 p.m.

October 27: Asheville, NC
Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe
55 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Tel: (828) 254-6734
Signing at 3:00 PM

October 29: Greenwood, MS
TurnRow Books
304 Howard Street
Greenwood, MS 38930
(662) 453-5995
Time: TBA

October 30: New Orleans
Octavia Books
513 Octavia Street
New Orleans , LA 70115
504-899-READ (7323)
Reading with Pia Earhardt starts at 6 p.m.

November 2: Iowa City, IA
Borden NonFictionNow Conference
University of Iowa
Iowa Memorial Union, Iowa City
Panel Discussion with Philip Graham, LeAnne Howe, Roy Kesey, Michele Morano, Xu Xi
Travel Writing: To Simmer or Not to Simmer
8:45-10:15 a.m.

November 5: Urbana-Champaign, IL
University of Illinois
809 South Wright Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Tel. 217.244.2118
Carr Reading Series: Author's Corner, Illini Union Bookstore
Reading starts at 4:30pm

November 7: Davis, CA
University of California at Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 752-1011
Room 126, Voorhies Hall
Reading starts at 6:30 p.m.

November 8: Ukiah, CA
Mendocino College
1000 Hensley Creek Road
Ukiah, CA 95482
(707) 468-3000
Center for the Performing Arts
Room 5310
Reading starts at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Give Away #3

I'm giving away a hardcover version of Robin Romm's excellent The Mother Garden to the first person to email me with his or her address.


UPDATE: It's going to Jill from CA.

Steven J. McDermott

talks to Kelly Spitzer in her Writer Profile Project.

I've long been an admirer of Steven's blog, his journal, Storyglossia and his writing, so it's great to get to know him even better through this interview.

(Thanks to Cliff at Perpetual Folly.)

Writing on the Wall?

Kore Press is offering limited editions of Lydia Davis' pieces as frameable works of art. I think it's brilliant. I wonder if it will catch on in the non-writing pool of art collectors though.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Rebuttal

Many of us have already read Stephen King's "What Ails the Short Story," some in the front of the 2007 B.A.S.S., and some in The New York Times.

Here's writer Jean Thompson's response on Maud Newton's site.

Al Gore

was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, one hundred percent of which he says he and his wife will be donating to the Alliance for Climate Protection.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


If you like a mix of science, mystery, colonialism, exotic places, and a dash of violence in your fiction then I predict you'll love Rachael King's The Sound of Butterflies. I did. I was swept away by this mystery of why a butterfly collector returned to his wife from the Amazon, mute and in a state of shock.

Another book I read recently and would recommend is Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle. It's amazing on so many levels. Jeannette tells what is was like growing up with unconventional, self-centered, brilliant, neglectful and unique parents and living in dangerous poverty most of her life. Walls' tells her story with a compassion for her parents and with grace.

Doris Lessing

won the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

In the Valley of Elah

and for another glimpse of the war in Iraq (about which we the American people know too little) watch this film.

Yes, it's anti-war. Yes, it shows a side of the war in Iraq that some of us would rather not see. And yes, it's not as subtle and balanced as it could be. But if you can get beyond the obviousness of this movie (based on true events), then maybe you can appreciate its essence--that war is far-reaching and non-discriminating in its destruction.

Roland Thompson

writes Dispatches from Iraq.


"...Across from it four women sit against a wall, having sorted themselves by age. I'm guarding these women, who present an evolution in sorrow, which registers on the goggles as an evergreen glow.

The youngest, maybe 7, glows the least. But like a fish reeled up from the depths too quickly, her eyes are ruined. One points toward 2 o'clock, the other toward 9..."

Be sure to read his previous six dispatches. His writing is so beautiful it gives me chills.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007


In between essays of Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," which I'm thoroughly loving, I also read Katherine Taylor's "Rules For Saying Goodbye." Taylor's debut is funny is a fabulously dry way. It's smart, it's honest and it portrays that drifting, weird time in a woman's life before she slips fully into who she is. I loved it and it's brilliantly written. For me, it was all in the details, details so rich and fresh and abundant they had me hooked through the whole novel.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Edge-of-Your-Seat Read

If you like gorgeous language and an intense plot in your stories then read "Watch The Flashlight Girls Run" by Stephanie Dickinson, this year's winner of the Storyglossia Fiction Prize.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Writing News

I have a story coming out in Storyglossia's special flash issue scheduled for December and I've just had a story accepted by Passages North. I admire both journals so I'm quite pleased.

What You Wish For...

My husband and I were having a conversation about the wording of rejections prompted by this post by Cliff. Cliff's post also led me to David Keeling's blog A Writing Year and his rating of rejections. I think it's a great idea to encourage journals to consider their words carefully since they are, in fact, in the word business. Anyway, I was telling my husband about some of the less-than-desirable worded rejections and I ended up saying, only half joking, "my ideal would be something that read: Dear Katrina Denza, the only reason we won't be publishing your story is that we ran out of room." Hehe.

So a week later what did I receive? A form rejection notice from New Delta Review that says (sans the Dear Katrina Denza):

We're sorry that we don't have room to publish your work in our upcoming issue. Thank you for submitting. Please forgive the form slip and consider us in the future.

At first I laughed at the wording of it until Tom reminded me it was exactly what I'd wished for in a form rejection slip. So...If I were grading rejections I'd have to give New Delta Review an A+.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Good Reading

The Storyglossia Fiction Prize Issue is live.

I'm looking forward to reading it!

and the new issue of SmokeLong Quarterly is also live.

So much great reading available...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Assassin's Song

Laila Lalami has an excellent review of M. G. Vassanji's novel The Assassin's Song in the Chicago Tribune.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Edward P. Jones

on North Carolina's The State of Things on NPR.

He's also visiting a local bookstore along with some writers from the New Stories of The South 2007 so I'm going to try to go up to hear him.

Big Lonesome

Jim Ruland discusses the inspiration behind each of the dynamic stories in his collection Big Lonesome. He's also giving away books, too, so head on over there!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Storyglossia Fiction Prize 2007

Congratulations to the winner and finalists of the Storyglossia Fiction Prize 2007!

The winner of the STORYGLOSSIA Fiction Prize for 2007 is:

Stephanie Dickinson for "Watch the Flashlight Girls Run"

First prize is $1000 and publication in Issue 23. The following finalists receive $50 and their stories will also appear in the prize issue:

Matt Bell for "Alex Trebeck Never Eats Fried Chicken"
Lydia R. Cooper for "My Brother, the Snakes, and Me"
Elizabeth Farnum for "Turtle Eggs"
Larry T. Menlove for "Rutting Season"

We can read the stories on September 15th. I'm looking forward to it and I'm looking forward to Steven's posts on each story.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rebecca Curtis and Yannick Murphy

I'm always delighted when I find a writer whose work excites me. I've been slowly making my way through the 2007 O'Henry Awards anthology and Rebecca Curtis' "Summer, with Twins" is a standout. This story works for me on many levels: its narrative is interesting and full of strife and tension, but there's all this stuff, this subtext, much of which I can't define, underneath it all heightening every emotion: fear, anger, outrage. Curtis is a subtle writer yet straightfoward. So when I read a story I like as much as I liked this one, sometimes I take the time to do a bit of research on the writer. I found this interview in Sunspinner, and this interview with Tao Lin on his blog. Still digging around, I ordered Curtis' story collection Twenty Grand and Other Tales of Love and Money, and found stories by her in The New Yorker and Harpers.
Of course, I'm always a bit late in my discoveries, but I'm not the only fan.

The other standout in the O'Henry anthology so far is Yannick Murphy's "In a Bear's Eye" which is just stunning to read--very emotive and beautifully written. I can't wait to read more of her work. Her short story collection by the same name is forthcoming from Dzanc Books. Here's an interview with Murphy published in the LA Weekly.

Happy Reading.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Give Away #2

I'll send a hardcover copy of Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk to the first person to email me his or her address.


UPDATE: It's going to Maria Robinson.

New Lit Journal Reviews and More...

at New Pages. My talented friend Myfanwy Collins gets a nod for her story "Cowless, Rainbowless" published in Quay. That has to be one of the best titles I've ever read.


Remember to check out the latest installments of STORYGLOSSIA'S Issue # 22. Editor Steven J. McDermott discusses his choices on his blog.


Congratulations to my friend Laila Lalami for her recent good news!


Kelly Spitzer has been busy while I was away. She has more writer profiles and a showcase and much more on her blog.

Dzanc Books Acquires OV Books

I'll help spread the good news:

In an effort to further our mission as a publisher of literary fiction, Dzanc Books has acquired OV Books as an imprint. Beginning in 2008, Dzanc Books will publish no less than one new OV book per year, allowing for OV Books’ Executive Director Gina Frangello, along with current Senior Editor Stacy Bierlein, to continue the wonderful tradition started in 2005 with titles such as Tod Goldberg’s Simplify and Corinna Wycoff’s O Street.

Earlier this year, Dzanc became aware that the editors of Other Voices/OV Books were in negotiations to stop production of their fine literary journal after the forthcoming Other Voices 47: All-Chicago-Writers. OV’s plan was to concentrate solely on OV Books, as Gina Frangello stated, “… focusing on the book publishing wing of our operation seemed the best use of our time, talents and mission at this juncture.” Joining Dzanc Books means OV Books has the logistical support to grow its operations as an independently operated imprint. Moreover, partnering with Dzanc allows Gina and Stacy to concentrate solely on searching for and editing manuscripts, leaving the time spent on production, printing and distribution to their new parent company.

OV Books has a new title deep into the process at this time (A Stranger Among Us: Tales of Cross-Cultural Collisions and Connections, an anthology of stories) and will complete their previous process, including being distributed by University of Illinois Press. As noted, Gina Frangello and Stacy Bierlein will stay on running the OV Books imprint for Dzanc Books, and all titles following A Stranger Among Us will be produced, printed, and distributed along with Dzanc Books titles.

Dzanc Books is extremely excited to have OV Books, Gina Frangello, and Stacy Bierlein as part of the team and looks forward to continuing their contribution to independent literature. For more information about OV Books, please visit www.othervoicesmagazine.org.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Going to Ct to see family and share the joy of my niece's wedding. I'll be away for two weeks, which is like three blog posts lately. I'm taking a few books and my own work-in-progress. Hope the two weeks is good for you.


Oh and if you haven't read this BRILLIANT book yet, whadaya waiting for? The end of the world or something?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thanks to Asad Amraee,

for kindly linking my work to his gorgeous blog.

Isn't written Farsi beautiful?

Monday, July 23, 2007


The Pet Palace by my friend Cliff.

Be sure to check out the rest of Storyglossia's latest issue.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Writers revealed?

What could be better? Have you checked out Writers Revealed yet? Brilliant project!

Monday, July 16, 2007


A Whiff of Grapeshot by Steven J. McDermott.

And while you're there be sure to read the rest of elimae's brilliant offerings.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Writers' Profile Project

This week she interviews me.

Kelly Spitzer is not only a talented writer (I still remember a short story of hers I read nearly five years ago) but a talented interviewer as well. I'm a very private person--but not so private I don't have a blog--but she didn't allow me to slide by with two-words answers. Kelly works at these interviews, and with an always graceful manner gets the answers she wants.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Claudia Smith

Her beautiful story Orbit is up at Monkeybicycle.

If you like what you read, Claudia's prize-winning chapbook is now available for purchase from Rose Metal Press.

"Tide is In"

Read Kristen Tsetsi's brilliant essay "Tide is In," at Over Due Karma.

..."A company marketing a popular brand of feminine hygiene products, in an effort to sell its scented variety, has a woman – a woman! – standing in a product aisle say to another woman (while holding a box of thin, deodorized mini-pads), "Feminine odor. Nobody likes it!"


I, uh, hate to disagree with the skilled marketing minds coming up with these blatant – I mean, brilliant – woman-bashing concepts, but I know of several people who very much enjoy feminine (ahem) "odor." ...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Give Away

I'll send my copy of Dennis Lehane's Coronado to anyone who wants it. Just be the first to email me at tdenza@nc.rr.com.

Update: It's going to Troy Jewell.

Good Reading:

The latest issue of Insolent Rudder is up.

Vestal Review Issue 30 is up.
The editor has limited the pieces available on the web with this issue, but you can see everything when you buy the print version.

And Issue 8 of Madhatters Review is live with a cool audio component.

The latest Night Train Firebox Fiction, "Sanctuary," by Jared Smith is live.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Good Reading

A few recommendations:

After you finish with the excellent new issue of SmokeLong Quarterly, then pick up a copy of Roger Morris' The Gentle Axe. You won't be disappointed with this atmospheric mystery. I devoured it. I've just started Pia Z. Ehrhardt's gorgeous short story collection Famous Fathers. Pia's writing is so breathtakingly honest and her details are so fresh, so exquisite, you'll want to read this slowly.

Also Storyglossia's Issue 20 has published with many great stories including my dear friend Myfanwy Collins' story "Orange Crush." I swear you'll fall in love with Myfanwy's story of painful teenage crushes.


this journal from Long Island University just took a story of mine. I'm delighted--I really like the stories they publish.

Friday, June 15, 2007

SmokeLong Quarterly Issue 17

is LIVE!

So many wonderful gems inside. Truly, this journal amazes me every time.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Isn't it Pretty?

Pia's new book is on my shelf at last! I found this copy at my local independent book store but it's also available from Powell's and the major chains.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Denver Syntax

The latest issue is live, and it sure is sharp looking!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Week's End May 12

In personal news I'm making good progress in my novel and my children are getting ready for graduation--one from preschool and the other from highschool. Ai!

In literary news this week, first I want to congratulate the writers of the list of MWA Notable stories of 2006!! And I'd also like to congratulate Steven McDermott of Storyglossia for winning Best Online Journal this year. I'm so happy he received this recognition because man, that guy sure does work hard to promote the short story and other writers. He's also a fine writer in his own right. So congrats, Steven!

Also if you somehow missed it, I want to point out the new issue of Narrative is out with lots of good fiction and an incredible story by my friend Pia Z. Ehrhardt, whose collection is coming out in June! Really if you only get a few books this year, make sure Pia's is one of them--her writing is so beautiful, so clear, you'll be breathless while reading.

Have a great week next week!

And what someone did in my neighborhood to make me smile: with black spray paint, added the word Bush under the word Stop on the stop sign down the street.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Week's End

My novel and family have been keeping me busy lately and I've had to let other things slide a bit, this blog being one of them. I plan on at least keeping up one post a week, however, with whatever I can find to throw in the pot.

First up is Kelly's Spitzer's Writers' Showcase in which five of us have chosen a piece of work to highlight.

There are new lit mag reviews at New Pages.

And Cliff Garstang has some interesting reviews over at Perpetual Folly

Dan Wickett has pronounced (along with other participating bloggers) May to be Short Story Month so be sure to check in to see which stories he's discussing on his blog.

Steven McDermott's short story collection "Winter of Different Directions" is now for sale. For anyone who isn't familiar with Steven and all that he does for the literary community both as a writer and an editor check out his blog and his literary journal, Storyglossia.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Dzanc Prize

Dzanc Books (www.dzancbooks.org) announces the inaugural Dzanc Prize – a monetary award to a writer with both a work in progress, and an interest in performing some form of literary community service.

The award itself will be a total of $5,000 to be distributed in two payments over the course of a twelve month period. The purpose of this prize is to give monetary aid to a writer of literary promise, in order to provide a budgetary cushion for them, allowing the author to concentrate his/her efforts on the completion of their work in progress.

Eligibility: Any author with a Work in Progress, and a project in mind that can be deemed Literary Community Service.

Timing: The Inaugural Dzanc Prize will be issued for the 2008 calendar year. We will accept submissions from authors from now through November 1, 2007. The announcement of the winning author will be made during the month of December 2007. The announcement will be made both via email to the author, and on the Dzanc Books website (www.dzancbooks.org), as well as sent to trade journals (P&W, Publisher’s Weekly, etc.).

Submissions: Authors please send your current cv, a description of your Work in Progress, along with a ten page excerpt, and your planned Literary Community Service. These should be sent as MS Word Attachments in an email to info@dzancbooks.org.

Dzanc Books will be selecting the author who will receive this $5,000 Prize based on a combination of the Work in Progress, and the intended Literary Community Service. It would probably benefit authors who are submitting to become familiar with Dzanc Books and the types of authors we will be publishing, as well as the Educational Programs Dzanc Books sets up and runs.

Some examples of Literary Community Service:
- Running a series of writing workshops in a school
- Volunteering to do a storytime session or series at your local library
- Volunteering to work at a local book festival (if the festival is run as a non-profit)

The winner of the Dzanc Prize will receive a check for $2500 in the month of January 2008. The remaining $2500 will be paid once the Literary Community Service has been completed.

Dzanc Books will make no claims towards the winner and their Work in Progress. If at the time the author has completed the work, they wish to submit it to Dzanc Books, we will be delighted to have a look. Their manuscript will go through the same reading process every other submission goes through.

The submissions for the Dzanc Prize will be reviewed by, and the prize will be awarded by a panel of Steve Gillis, Dan Wickett and Keith Taylor. All writers, including friends and associates of the panel, are eligible for the prize. The integrity and objectivity of Dzanc Books will not be compromised and, given our vast connections to so many great writers, exclusion of any kind would be impossible.

Any questions can be submitted to info@dzancbooks.org.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Storyglossia Issue 19

has published.

I'm looking forward to reading all these new stories.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Various things have kept me from updating this blog as regularly as I'd like. But I'll try to do a quick catch-up in this post.

First, there's a beautiful piece by Claudia Smith called Catalog in Literary Mama. Next, the Emerging Writers Network has announced their fiction prize winner and the finalists. Congrats to all! And there's an announcement regarding the second annual EWN contest. Good luck to all who enter!

Also Kelly Spitzer has yet again dazzled us with another way to connect to other writers in her new Showcase. Don't forget to check out her Writers Profile Project which is always fascinating.

Next, the fabulously talented Pia Z. Ehrhardt announces her upcoming book tour for her short story collection Famous Fathers

Susan Henderson talks about Indie Presses over at LitPark and Steven Mcdermott has another story in his collection podcasted called Gas Money

My talented friend, Myfanwy Collins, has stories here and here.

In case you missed it, New Pages has a new batch of literary journal reviews.

Ron Currie Jr.'s website is up and looking fresh. And Claire Cameron's book, The Line Painter is available for purchase. I ordered mine through Amazon CA and it should be here in NC soon.

Not only is Robin Slick a talented writer, a cool person, and a great mom, she also is a savvy business woman. Here's her very own Cafe Press Store.

And the new elimae is live.

I'm sure I missed a ton of other things, which I'll be adding here as I think of them.

Hope you're all having fun writing and reading.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

RIP Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut, 84, has died.* In my early twenties I read my first two Vonnegut books: Cat's Cradle and Galapagos. Those two books completely changed the way I viewed literature. Mixing satire, science and politics, his work stands out among the best work of all time. Twenty years later, the last Vonnegut book I bought was A Man Without a Country.

The world will miss him for sure. I will miss him.

Two years ago I entered a writing contest sponsored by the Writers' Workshop of Asheville. I don't often enter writing contests, but this one was guest-judged by Kurt Vonnegut. My story was awarded an Honorable Mention, which was nice, but even better was receiving my story back with Kurt Vonnegut's compliments on the first page and the fact that when I took the story out of the envelope the smell of cologne on the manuscript knocked me on my ass. :)

Thank you, Mr. Vonnegut, for all you've done.

*Article courtesy of The New York Times

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sharon Hurlbut

Or in the writing world known as Ann Walters is up next in the Writer's Profile Project. Once again Kelly digs out some great answers from her guest and you have to love the spunk of that girl Sharon!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Insolent Rudder Spring 2007

The new issue is live and it is full of cool things like A Quarterly Conversation with the talented and lovely Sue Henderson, an author spotlight on the soulful and handsome Jeff Landon, poetry by Dennis Mahagin and stories by Debbie Ann Eis, Andrea Fitzpatrick, William R. Stoddant, Davin Malasam, and me.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Writers Profile Project

This time Kelly talks with one of my favorite people: SmokeLong founder and editor, Dave Clapper.

Again, another insightful, interesting interview. Kelly does such a fine job as interviewer. If you've missed any along the way, you can easily scroll down and read more.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Isn't It Pretty?

The colors I mean, not the butts.

Dzanc books unveils the cover for their upcoming title, All Over, by Roy Kesey. More information about this and other future releases here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

And Speaking of Alicia Gifford...

Kelly Spitzer has another fine interview on her blog, this time with Alicia.

While you're there, scroll through her past interviews with writers. Kelly has an amazing knack for interviewing.

SmokeLong Quarterly

The newest issue, guest-edited by Alicia Gifford is LIVE!

And as our amazing guest editor says in her interview, "If a short story is a dish to linger over, flash is like popping a scrumptious chocolate in your mouth."

Please indulge.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Rebel Press

Rebel Press is about to launch its serialized novel "Like I've Never Been Born" by Donald Capone.

Look for updates every Monday and Friday. There are 30 chapters in all (that’s 15 weeks!).
To read the first chapter, go to:
Like I've Never Been Born

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mary Akers

Kelly Spitzer has begun her Writers' Project, an ongoing series of interviews with writers, with my talented friend, Mary Akers.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Kyle Minor

has "First, The Teeth," a deeply moving essay in Redivider.

One of his essays is also a Work of the Day over at Emerging Writers Network.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Roy Kesey in BASS 2007!

Congratulations to the talented (and humble) Roy Kesey who recently received news that his story "Wait," published in The Kenyon Review was chosen by Stephen King for Best American Short Story!

Anyone who knows Roy will not be suprised by this glorious news, but rather, feel assured that things are right in the literary world.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


REAL, the journal from Stephen F. Austin University has a brand new website.

Yearly subscriptions are just twenty dollars (fifteen for contributors) and it's a gorgeous journal. The next issue is due out this spring and will have my story "Crossing Cape Fear." Yay!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Giraffes" by Steven Gillis


Steven Gillis must be one part sorcerer, one part mad scientist and one part romantic. I’m not sure any other kind of writer could have delivered such a unique group of twisted stories of love and fortitude. Gillis unifies the collection with threads of science and the absurd, but what really unites is the compassion Gillis shows toward his characters—-even those that are not destined to escape the reader’s judgment. Inside this book you’ll find children as human pendulums, a man with a tail, a community of shared spouses, a lonely runaway, a Little Person in love with Cinderella, and young boys who risk their lives to mark their passage into adulthood.

The strongest stories are the ones which navigate in weirdness and the absurd, and those pregnant with metaphor. In “Korematsu Love,” a man copes with strange changes in his body brought on by the emotional challenges of a serious relationship. In “Coveting,” a man struggles between his obligation to his odd community and his love for his wife. In the title story which begins “M.E. hung the children in the yard…,” M.E. is obsessed with proving his scientific theories while his girlfriend simply wants him to surrender to the inexplicable: love.

Perhaps my favorite is the last story, “Lift,” in which boys are expected to take a Rite of Passage exam: to build their own contraption and achieve flight. The story is a brilliant metaphor for what we do to our young men (and women) by sending them to war, essentially to pay for the sins of their collective fathers, while the rest of us carry on “nibbling on wafers and jelly sandwiches, oohing and ahhing with each new crash.”
So what happens when a sheltered boy of privilege, exempt from this peculiar Rite of Passage, decides to prove himself? You’ll have to read this unusual collection to find out.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dzanc Books Announces Two New 2008 Titles

..."February 2008 will see the publication of our second book, Yannick Murphy’s In a Bear’s Eye. Murphy’s collection includes 24 stories, 16 of which have been published in journals such as The Quarterly, McSweeneys, and StoryQuarterly. The title story will soon be included in The O’Henry Prize Stories 2007 (Anchor, May 2007).

Murphy’s earlier work has been very well received. The New York Times Book Review stated her debut collection, Stores in Another Language (Knopf, 1987), was “…disturbing and provocative … the stories in this debut collection from a twenty-four year-old writer have surprising assurance,” and named The Sea of Trees (Houghton-Mifflin, 1997), Murphy’s debut novel, as one of their Notable Books of the Year. Mark Richards deemed it “an extraordinary first novel, harrowing, brutal, funny, and extremely wise.” The Sea of Trees was also included in The Best Novels of the Nineties by Linda Parent Lesher. Murphy’s second novel, Here They Come (McSweeneys, 2006) was a Litblog Co-op Read This! Nominee last year, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and was called “a hell of a book …” by Frank McCourt. Wendy Smith, in the Los Angeles Times, praised Murphy’s “remarkable use of language, the expressive way she puts together ordinary words and images to create surprisingly lovely and moving metaphors.” Yannick Murphy’s new novel, based on the life of the infamous courtesan, Signed, Mata Hari, will be published by Little, Brown in November of this year. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award, a national Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a MacDowell Artits’ Colony fellowship.

Dzanc Books will follow In a Bear’s Eye with Peter Markus’ Bob, or Man on Boat in the Fall 2008. Peter’s fourth book, Bob, or Man on Boat, will be his debut novel. Markus’ three story collections have shown him to be a master of repetition and rhythm and have earned him a loyal following of readers, as well as seeing his work frequently anthologized. Markus’ third collection, The Singing Fish, spent its first few weeks atop Powell’s Small Press bestseller list..."

Friday, February 09, 2007

Mary Akers

has a superb piece in the current issue of Brevity

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Storyglossia Issue 18

is now available to read. Happy reading!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Introducing G.U.D.

"Greatest Uncommon Denominator Magazine publishes 200 pages of literary
and genre fiction, poetry, articles, and art, twice a year (though we're
hoping to increase our output as things pick up). We pay semi-pro rates
as an advance on royalties, in essence making our contributors
shareholders for the issue. Issue 0 is currently in its second print run!"

Lots of great stuff inside Issue 0, which you'll be able to read for only $10.00 an issue, $18.00 for a year's subscription, or $3.50 for an electronic issue (pdf). I like tthat there's a choice.

New-to-me Site:

Clusterflock, of which the brilliant and kind editor of elimae is part.

Thanks to Dan Wickett for posting the link to my elimae story on his Emerging Writers' Network.

And speaking of EWN's work of the day...there's a new link to Pia Z. Ehrhardt's story, "Train Crossings."

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Alicia Gifford

has an excellent piece in 3am.

Alicia is one of my favorite writers. She is a force of nature.

Thanks to Perpetual Folly for the original link.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Small Spiral Notebook

editor Felicia Sullivan has always had an eye for cutting-edge material, innovative work by innovative writers. Once again Sullivan bravely leads the way by offering a free digital copy of Small Spiral Notebook #4.

Read her editor's note as to why she chose to be so generous.

Thanks, Felicia! I'll enjoy reading, and yes, I will still order my hard copy, because there's nothing like a book in my hands. :)

Thursday, January 25, 2007


The latest issue is live and it's a beauty, as usual...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Steven J. McDermott

discusses his process of re-visioning on his blog.

Storyglossia Fiction Prize 2006

The print version of this collection of stories is now available for purchase!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


The new issue is live with my very short piece, "When Alone," a wonderfully wild short fiction by Deb Eis, and many more reading treats.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Emerging Writers' Network

Dan Wickett continues to pour out reviews of stories on his website.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Winter of Different Directions

You can listen to Steven J. McDermott read the stories in his SSC "Winter of Different Directions" on his new website.

First up is "Tough Act" a story first published at Smokelong Quarterly.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Reading area. But where did I hide all the books??? They're all around the house. :)

Whew. This house renovation has been years in the works. Finally finished.


Nearly Done With the Move

Dining area...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Bad Poetry from Noo Journal:

I bought a bad poem by Tao Lin:

poem for katrinza denza about paper airplanes
--Tao Lin*
my brother was good at making paper airplanes
he was a good soccer player and received awards for essays and art
in high school he was a skateboarder and received C's and D's in scho ol
he went to a shitty art school in philadelphia with like a 2.0 GPA
then he went to graduate school at Yale
he came home and kept saying, 'I make $100 an hour'
he gave me a $1000 check for christmas
i think everyone should make christmas gifts and not buy them
but money is okay because you can get what you want
and you don't waste anything or have to return anything
*this is not Tao Lin's "handwriting."
this is a font.

It arrived in a PDF which I couldn't reproduce here, so you'll have to believe me when I tell you the font is pretty. If you want a bad poem specifically written for you, just click on the link.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I have too many books

and now I have to move them all. Do you think this daunting task has stopped me from buying more? Is the sky green?

The answer is yes, on rare occasions. That's about right. Extremely rare occasions.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Storyglossia Fiction Prize 2006

The print issue has been sent to the printers and will be available soon!

The New Issue of Narrative

has a story by Richard Bausch (one of my favorite writers!) and many more exciting pieces.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Monet in Normandy

Tom and I took our youngest to the Monet exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art. This was one of the pieces among 50 of his works. (This one I think belongs to the museum as well as another favorite of mine) The power of a master painter: his work actually brought tears to my eyes.
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