Tag Archives: writer

Updates and AWP

I’ve been really busy in the past few months, first with going through revisions of the collection with the fantastic Andrew Sullivan (a very positive experience overall), with some marketing/promotional stuff, and also still chugging along at my WIP.

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First copies have arrived.

The above are my author’s copies, which have mostly been distributed at this point. You can start pre-ordering copies directly from the publisher here or purchase from Amazon here. Copies will be available for sale at AWP as well. Keep an eye out for C&R Press’s booth!

For AWP next week, C&R Press are holding a party and reading event on Friday night, starting at 7PM, at 18th Street Lounge in DC. If you find yourself free, stop on by!

Lastly, I just want to give this update on the WIP: the first draft (after four separate re-starts) is finally complete, though it took me a year longer than I expected it to. I’m starting the revision process now — it’s daunting and exhausting (there’s so much work to do on it!), but I think it’s going to be worth it.

Back to work. Maybe I’ll see you next week.

 

MEDITATIONS ON THE MOTHER TONGUE short story collection forthcoming from C&R Press

I am ecstatic to report that, with thanks to editors John Gosslee and Andrew Sullivan, my short story collection MEDITATIONS ON THE MOTHER TONGUE will be released in 2017 by C&R Press. I’m honored to be part of this family–C&R has released some wonderful work and they are already showing a passion and commitment to my own work that I could not be more grateful for. I owe a deep thanks to everyone out there who helped to make this possible.

In related news, it seems I will be in New York City next month for the Brooklyn Book Festival. There will be more readings to come, I’m sure. Will keep everyone updated.

Pushcart Prize Nomination

I owe tremendous thanks to the Southern Humanities Review and Fiction Editor Aaron Alford for nominating my short story, ‘A Clear Sky Above the Clouds,’ for the Pushcart Prize.

It would be a dream come true for me to win such an award–one of my lifetime goals, in fact. This is my second story that has been up for nomination, and while I don’t expect to win (considering the competition is literally everyone who is amazing), I am deeply honored that as prestigious a journal as SHR has nominated me for such an incredible award and given my work the opportunity to contend with the American greats.

Southern Humanities Review 49.1

It’s been a long time–as always–since my last update here, but I’m happy to share that I’m in the latest issue of the Southern Humanities Review. The cover is beautiful and the issue is elegantly laid out and typeset. I have to say a huge word of thanks to former managing editor Chantel Acevedo for accepting the piece, and to current fiction editor Aaron Alford for all of his support with this story. There’s even an excerpt of it on the website, which you can read here.

In other news: I’ve been working really hard on this novel-in-progress, having written over 150 new pages this past summer alone. The draft is nearing completion (I think) and I can’t wait to get into the editing process. But it may be a long time coming, and I’m impatient. We shall see.

I also have some other short work forthcoming, so keep an eye out!

storySouth Million Writers Award Finals

The short-list for storySouth’s Million Writers Award has been released and is now open to public voting.

I’m happy to report that my story, ‘The Grinning Man’, published by Eclectica Magazine, has made the cut. Please go check it out and, if you are so inclined, place a vote through this GoogleDocs Form. I’d greatly appreciate it!

Thanks to the judges! And Eclectica’s editors Tom Dooley and Anne Leigh Parrish!

Also, in other news, the Sententia Books website has been redesigned, and my short story–one of the favourites I’ve produced–“Conversations with the Rest of the World” has been put up online. Thanks to Paula Bomer and Adam Robinson for allowing me to share this story with the world, and in so many different mediums!

Gargoyle #61 and Other Updates

I’ve made my selection for my week of guest editorship at Smokelong Quarterly. It wasn’t easy; there were a number of really great pieces. Even pieces I could see myself loving very deeply, had they not had a fatal flaw or two that said to me they weren’t quite ready for submission. The selection I made was everything I look for in a piece of flash, was elegantly executed, closed in a way that resonated back through the rest of the piece. I’ll be excited to see it up.

In other news, a short story I’ve waited nearly a year to see released has come in Gargoyle #61, along with many other great writers and friends. This was one of most dear pieces to me, one of the first times I wrote candidly about racial shame. There’s a strange and fairly universal phenomena in being a visible minority, since you live your whole life being compared against the dominant culture, and that’s a deeply-seated sense of shame for being born the way you are. Everyone grows out of it at a different rate, but that shame can manifest into guilt, into rage, into self-hatred. I wrote a character that experiences all of this well into adulthood, and has to come to terms with his own racial identity. Plus, there are squid and lots of linguistic playfulness. The result is titled “The Message of My Skin.” Order a copy, if you feel so inclined.

I’d also like to an extend a very heartfelt thanks to editor Richard Peabody, who recently let me know that my story was one of Gargoyle‘s Pushcart Prize nominations. I’m incredibly honored, not only to be included in Gargoyle’s rich history in American independent literature, but to have my work represent it for the Pushcart. I can hardly believe it, really.

Lastly, a recent piece of mine has been picked up by another indie press I’m rather fond of. More on that later. 🙂

The Collection Moves Forward

For the past year, I’ve been making edits to, arranging, and re-arranging my short story collection into some form that I’m happy with. Every detail has been considered, stories pulled and replaced, older pieces revisited only to get slashed apart and reconstructed into new experiences, and the sequence of stories–oh, the sequence! I wrote each title on Post-It Notes and arranged a horizontal line on my wall. I flipped the first and last stories a hundred times over. I read everything I could find on arranging a collection.

And then I began to submit and to enter contests. Each response I’ve received has been utterly elating, whether just a small friendly comment like ,”We liked this. Good luck,” accompanying a rejection letter or a response to a partial asking for the full manuscript.

Press 53 announced yesterday the ten finalists for the Press 53 Award for Short Fiction, and I am happy to say I’ve made the short list. I won’t find out until May 3rd, but to even be a finalist is surprising, unexpected, absolutely wonderful. Thanks so much to Kevin Morgan Watson and Christine Norris! I’ve got my fingers crossed. 🙂 I did take a peek at some of the other finalists’ work and it is all very good, so a pre-emptive congrats to whoever wins this year.