Firecracker Awards Finalists Announced

Firecracker Awards Finalists Announced

Congratulations to the finalists and their presses! It was truly an honor to judge this year’s fiction entries alongside Natanya Ann Pulley and Irene Yoon. For more info about the winner, tune into the virtual awards ceremony, which will be hosted by The Center for Fiction on June 23, 2021 at 7pm ET.

Fiction Finalists and their Presses

David Tung Can’t Have a Girlfriend Until He Gets Into an Ivy League College by Ed Lin, published by Kaya Press
Fiebre Tropical by Juli Delgado Lopera, published by Feminist Press
Further News of Defeat by Michael X. Wang, published by Autumn House Press
Hezada! I Miss You by Erin Pringle, published by Awst Press
Silence Is My Mother Tongue by Sulaiman Addonia, published by Graywolf Press
Silverfish by Rone Shavers, published by CLASH Books
Telephone by Percival Everett, published by Graywolf Press
Temporary by Hilary Leichter, published by Coffee House Press
When the Whales Leave by Yuri Rytkheu, translated by Ilona Yazhbin Chavasse, published by Milkweed Editions
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda, translated by Polly Barton, published by Soft Skull Press

Boom! I’m a Judge for the 2021 Firecracker Awards!

Boom! I’m a Judge for the 2021 Firecracker Awards!

I’m proud to announce that I’m a fiction judge for the CLMP’s Firecracker Awards, which “are given annually to celebrate books and magazines that make a significant contribution to our literary culture and the publishers that strive to introduce important voices to readers far and wide.”

You can read more about the awards (and the open submission period, which is Oct 1 to Nov 16, 2020) here.

Papirmass Archive Sale

Papirmass Archive Sale

I’m proud that one of my first publications was in the Canadian art journal Papirmass. When my novel was published, Kirsten helped share the news. Nearly a decade after my stories first appeared in Papirmass, my debut collection got published, and Bec and Kirsten were among the first to congratulate me and help spread the word.

Aside from being run by lovely people, Papirmass was one of the first art journals/subscription services to make art affordable and accessible, and they’ve supported so many up-and-coming artists and writers. Sadly, they’re closing down after 13 years. If you’re interested in buying a print (or packages of postcards, quote cards, or coloring cards), they’re having a limited-time archive sale. You can check it out here.

Impossible Children reviewed in Pittsburgh Quarterly!

Impossible Children reviewed in Pittsburgh Quarterly!

In the creative writing classes I teach, scene often becomes an early point of emphasis, especially when it applies to fiction. Hemingway’s classic “Hills Like White Elephants” stands as an exemplar, as the brief story relies on little more than setting and dialogue. According to Nancy Pagh, author of the thoughtfully written “Write Moves: A Creative Writing Guide and Anthology,” scene “can be as forceful as an explosion at a fireworks factory or as subtle as a lover’s eye contact shifting slightly away… creat(ing) the impression we’re there, experiencing what happens through our senses. This is ‘showing.’” In his latest, the Mary McCarthy Prize winning collection of 18 short-stories, “Impossible Children” (Sarabande Books), novelist Robert Yune clearly gets this, using place and well-rendered, self-aware characters to great effect, making for some of the most compelling reading I’ve done in a while.

Special thanks to Fred Shaw for this lovely review. Really missing my friends and the special literary community in Pittsburgh this evening.

Adoption in the Wake of War

Adoption in the Wake of War

I’m lucky that I only live a couple hours from NYC. Very happy I could make it to this panel. LiLi Johnson did a great job as moderator, and I honestly wanted to hear the panelists talk for another hour or two. The crowd had some great questions and insights as well.

I wasn’t adopted in the direct wake of the Korean War, but as someone who was adopted in the 80s by a US Military family and who grew up on military bases, the discussion hit close to home in so many ways.

Also, I wish I’d talked to Kori about Hines Ward, who’s probably the most famous person who’s half black and Korean.

#NewPublicationAlert

#NewPublicationAlert

I’m thrilled to announce that “One Person in Fair Health,” the first story from my collection-in-progress, has been accepted for publication by MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine.

“One Person” is about law enforcement, technology, guns, and The Oregon Trail.

Authors recently published in MAKE include Kate Zambreno, Randa Jarrar, Cathy Park Hong, Alissa Nutting, and Adam Levin.

Kamilah Foreman is the Director of Publications at Dia Art Foundation and former Senior Editor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (!). She’s also an outstanding fiction editor, and I’m grateful for her thoughtfulness, candor, and editing prowess.

Summer Reading at Hemingway’s

Summer Reading at Hemingway’s

The long-running Hemingway’s Poetry Series is hosting an evening of fiction and nonfiction on Tuesday, May 19.

I’ll be reading with Kristin Kovacic, Julie Spicher Kasdorf and Karen Lillis. I love how inclusive this series is, and Joan is one of the nicest, kindest, and most talented writers I know. I also met most of my MFA peers–and lifelong friends–in the back room of Hem’s, so reading there is always extra special for me.

At any rate, hope to see you there!

Details: Hemingway’s Cafe, 3911 Forbes Avenue,  8 p.m. Ages 21+, free and open to the public.

Image from MabelAmber/Pixabay.