Wednesday, January 26, 2011

textBOX by The Missouri Review & an update

The Missouri Review launched their new online anthology last week, textBOX, a sort of greatest hits collection of fiction, poetry, and essays from the long history of that journal, available in their entirety, which is great news for readers, writers, and teachers all. A lot of great stuff has appeared in those pages since 1978.  Also TMR's new main website is live now, too, and incorporates their blog, co-written by several of the editors. This is one of the few writing/publishing blogs I find worth reading.

As for my doings, I have my usual course load this spring, four classes total with three of those writing workshops. I have a nonfiction workshop for the first time, as well, which is great, and challenges me to reach beyond the normal copia of answers I use in fiction workshops. While both courses are concerned with story-telling, and there are more similarities than differences, the shift away from an emphasis on scene and new conversations about the nature of "truth" in essay form brings moments when I really have to think about my response. It's exciting.

It also jives with the work I'm doing now. Most of my friends know that I'm all-in on the storm chasing memoir at this point. The tentative title is WHEN THE WIND TURNS TRAVELER, (from a Li-Young Lee poem), and essentially covers everything that happened in 2007, but with material from before and after as well. One thing I've discovered already is that my "research" is more or less complete; after fifteen years of chasing I don't have to do much fact-checking. I'm not a writer coming from some distant place to describe storm chasing. I am a storm chaser. The words, happily, appear without much struggle. Of course the subject matter won't be as easy to live with again for such time as it takes to write a book. But what I've come to realize is that while we typically choose our stories, sometimes the stories choose us.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New year, new story

The Emerson journal Redivider has accepted my short story, "Saturday Children." The staff asked me to help spread the word about their new fiction contest. Here's a blurb from Boston:

"Redivider, a journal of new literature and art, is having its first annual fiction competition, with a submission deadline set for March 1st, 2011. The winner will receive $1000 and publication, second place receives $250 and possible publication, and third place receives $100 and possible publication. The contest deadline is March 1, and full details can be found at

 is ranked in the top ten literary journals in New England by the Boston Globe, and takes pride in having published renowned authors such as Sherman Alexie, Robert Olen Butler, and Ron Carlson, alongside many promising new voices in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction."

That's a nice haul for would-be first place winners. Send them your work!