News Round-Up: Winter 2018

It's been a busy winter with lots of literary news! Here's a peek at what's been happening:

1. The biggest one is that I was notified earlier this month that my short story collection was named a Finalist for the Iowa Short Fiction Award. Obviously SUPER exciting. Hard at work now adding/subtracting/re-tooling.

2. I'm also incredibly thrilled to have been awarded (Co-) First Prize for the Kelly Barnhill Micro-fiction Contest--the very first fiction contest ever sponsored by The Book Stall (one of the absolute best bookstores in the Chicago area - with smartly curated stock and incredibly knowledgeable staff). I got to give a reading of my (300-word) story, along with co-winner Lisa Jenn Bigelow (whose story was fantastic) and Newberry Medalist Kelly Barnhill (also the judge of the contest). They'll be distributing broadsides of my little story at an event in April and I get to make a recommended reading list and lots of other fun stuff. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

3. Just this morning, the winners of the latest round of the Bath Flash Fiction Award were announced, and my story, Why Shit Is Still Like This Around Here and Probably Always Will Be, was awarded 3rd Prize. I get to be in the 2018 anthology along with all of the other amazing writers who were long-listed, short-listed, commended, and winners. I'm still sort of buzzed from being in the 2017 Anthology (which is beautiful) so knowing I'll have two issues to nestle side-by-side is pretty great.

4. Earlier this month, I was invited to give a reading at Tuesday Funk (which, frankly, is my absolute favorite reading series in Chicago because the room is so full and cheerful and friendly; the readings are ALWAYS GREAT; and the whole thing gives off a great vibe, like the audience is actually rooting for you and not just waiting for you to be finished. Ha! Anyway, they will post video of the event soon and I'll share it here when it's available. Big love for Tuesday Funk.

5. I've always wanted to be a Slush Reader. (No, it's true!) And I'm so happy to finally have my chance. I went through a couple of selection rounds at The Masters Review and was finally chosen as a reader. Just as I'd always been told it would be, it is TOTALLY FASCINATING and very educational. So happy to finally be making time for this. Let me tell you something: there are a LOT of good writers out there.

6. Last but not nearly least: I am also majorly thrilled to share that I applied to be a part of AWP's Writer-to-Writer Mentorship program (again) this year--and this time, I was chosen! I've been paired with the rather impressive Pamela Erens, and kind of can't believe my luck. I get her all to myself (okay, not really) for a couple of months and already have a to-do list the length of South America. So that should be overwhelming (for her) and great (for me). :)

Ok. So that's the update! I'll post any and all links to stories, news, videos, readings, etc. as they arise.


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