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Reading at Maryville University, 4/25

Each spring, a cohort of creative writing students at Maryville University, St. Louis work to assemble the latest issue of Magnolia, a student-run magazine featuring the artwork and writing of Maryville students, faculty, and alumni. The magazine’s 2023 issue, its nineteenth, comes out next week!

To celebrate, Magnolia‘s talented student editors are hosting a launch party for contributors to read accepted work. Most of the fiction included came out of my Writing Fiction class this semester, which has been one of those rare, magical workshops that basically runs itself, featuring inspiring guest appearances by Luke Rolfes, Niki Herd, and Bess Winter.

Although I didn’t submit anything to the magazine this year, I’m tickled pink that my students invited me to join in and read something from my forthcoming collection, Horse Show.

The launch party is free and open to the public, so come get your new copy of Magnolia and congratulate our student writers and editors!

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Horse Show Under Contract at Santa Fe Writers Project!

I am thrilled to announce that Horse Show, my debut fiction collection, is now under contract at Santa Fe Writers Project!

From the press’s website: “SFWP is an independent press founded in 1998 by Andrew Gifford. We publish exciting fiction and creative nonfiction of every genre, maintain an online literary journal, and run an annual internationally-recognized Awards Program. All of our titles are distributed globally by the Independent Publishers Group. We aggressively pursue sub-rights, working closely with the Susan Schulman Literary Agency, and have sold audio, translation, and film/TV/streaming rights. Our books are available worldwide, in every format, everywhere books are sold.”

More Horse Show news to share very soon! Watch this space…!

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“One Trick Pony” Receives Second Pushcart Nomination

“One Trick Pony,” my short story about the horrific making of the movie Jesse James (1939), has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Ashland Creek Press, which anthologized the story in Among Animals 3.

The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series, published every year since 1976, is one of the most honored literary projects in America, collecting the finest work from small literary magazines across the nation.

This is my fourth Pushcart nomination, and the second for “One Trick Pony.”

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Horse Show Longlisted for SFWP Awards

My short story manuscript, Horse Show, made the long list for the Santa Fe Writers’ Project’s annual Literary Award, judged this year by Deesha Philyaw.

Although the MS didn’t make the shortlist, making the long list means the book stood out among more than 2,000 entries!

Good job, Horse Show. >pat pat<

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“One Trick Pony” in Among Animals 3

I’m thrilled to announce the publication of Among Animals 3: The Lives of Animals and Humans in Contemporary Short Fiction, a new anthology just out from Ashland Creek Press!

In it, you’ll find “One Trick Pony,” my short story about a 1930s stunt horse’s ill-fated run-in with the Lake of the Ozarks. This story was originally published in Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, where it was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

This is the second Among Animals anthology that features my fiction–you can find “Shooting A Mule” in Among Animals 2.

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“Two On A Horse” Featured at Guesthouse

Two On A Horse,” my short story about the long-defunct Coney Island Steeplechase amusement park ride, has just been republished online by the mighty Guesthouse as part of their blog series Relish: An Internet Archive.

Riders enjoy the Coney Island Steeplechase, c. 1940s

You can read “Two On A Horse” right here!

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“Lady, The Mind-Reading Mare” reprinted in the Santa Fe Writers’ Project Quarterly

My mysterious short story about Lady Wonder, the Nostradamus of horses, has been graciously reprinted by the Santa Fe Writers’ Project Quarterly, just in time for spooky season.

One starlit night when I was working on this story, my good friend Karen and I tried to contact Lady Wonder using an ouija board at her barn.

It didn’t work.

I don’t know if that’s good or bad?

At any rate, you can read “Lady, The Mind-Reading Mare” right here:

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“The Lost Hoof of Fire Horse #12” in Footnote, 7/14/20

“The Lost Hoof of Fire Horse #12,” my short story surmising the provenance of a very particular gutta-percha dipped paperweight, will be published in the fourth edition of Footnote: A Literary Journal of History on 7/14/20.


From the publisher, Alternating Current Press:

“The fourth issue of our annual literary publication contains 48 works of poetry, photographs, fiction, essays, articles, and nonfiction by 33 authors about various historical topics. Within these pages, you will find contemporary outlooks on history right alongside little-known public domain works that feel as fresh and as vibrant (and as scary) as if they were written today. Here, the old meets the new, and you’ll discover fascinating history from a personal, accessible, non-scholarly literary approach.”

“Trigger Warnings: slavery, racism, gun violence, animal amputation, death in childbirth, bullfighting, suicide, Native American massacres and betrayal by whites, climate trauma, light sexual content of transgender transitioning, light nudity in 16th-c. paintings, animal cruelty, child death (mild horror).”

Get your copy for $10.99 right here!

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There hasn’t been much news to post here since I’ve spent the past year working on a novel instead of short stories, which are easier to publish and read aloud at bookstores.

What you should picture in this space instead is a scene akin to the fourth season of The Real World: London (!) when the MTV casting execs thought, “you know what would be a hip addition to this aspirational Notting Hill loft? A real live WRITER!”

Remember how that writer, who was also named J(ay), spent the whole season scrunching his face up at Microsoft Works on his giant boxy 1990s computer monitor?

That’s where I’m at right now.

In other words, watch this space.

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Reading at Left Bank Books With Allison Coffelt, 5/31


Allison Coffelt Eventt

Allison Coffelt, out of doors.

I’ll be reading at 7 p.m. on Thursday, 5/31 at Left Bank Books in St. Louis, as the opening act for the amazing Allison Coffelt! The event is free and open to the public.

Allison is promoting her debut essay collection, Maps Are Lines We Draw: A Road Trip Through Haiti, out now from Lanternfish Press.

From the publisher’s website: “Maps Are Lines We Draw explores the culture and natural beauty of the island as well as its discomfiting realities: the threat well-intentioned aid organizations can present to the local economy; the privilege that determines who gets to travel between a “here” and a distant “there” which is foreign and other; and the challenge of doing short-term good without creating long-lasting harm.”


Me, indoors.

As for me, I’m still repping Ashland Creek Press’s Among Animals 2: The Lives of Humans and Animals in Contemporary Short Fiction, though I’ll probably read something newer.

Hope to see you at Left Bank, St. Louis!






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