I have two new essays coming out soon in Fourth Genre and Cutbank, which I’m super excited about, and they both take their titles from clickbait articles. It’s a project I’ve been slowly, slowly working on during breaks between The Long Thing (I’m too superstitious to call it a novel, except in a whispered voice in a dark room), and it’s so much fun. The idea is to either use an existing clickbait article as a title or partial title, or make one up yourself–I like the ones with numbers because they suggest a form–and use that idea/structure to write something true about yourself. I have a huge list of possible titles that I haven’t yet written, including “The 7 Stages of ___” (Invisibility? Fatigue? Buyer’s Regret?), “9 Things That Make You Unlikable” (this one is straight from Forbes, unedited), “13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married” (from The New York Times), “10 Reasons to Binge Watch ____,” “Reasons for Daylight Savings Time,” “Cures for Nightmares….” So many possibilities! One of my favorite kinds of prompts for creative nonfiction is to juxtapose two or more unlike things and see how they speak to each other. I’d love to find other ways to work content and form against each other!

Head’s up: I’m taking a break from consulting as I work on The Long Thing through winter and spring this year, but I hope to get back to your writing soon! Wish me luck!

WWU Faculty at AWP 2019!

If you’re hoping to catch some of Western Washington University’s amazing faculty at AWP in Portland this year, here’s where we’ll be! Kicking it off with a faculty reading Wednesday–it’s going to be so good!!

Wednesday, 3/27

A Taste of WWU: Faculty Reading

Bruce Beasley, Elizabeth Colen, Stefania Heim, Kristiana Kahakauwila, Kelly Magee, Brenda Miller, Suzanne Paola, Christopher Patton, and Kami Westhoff


Taste on 23rd  (offsite)

2285 NW Johnson St, Portland, OR 97210


Thursday, 3/28

Black Lawrence Press Book Signing

Carol Guess, 1-2pm

Book fair


25 Years of Creative Nonfiction: An Anniversary Reading

Brenda Miller, 1:30-2:45pm

D137-138, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1


Come Celebrate With Me: Women of Color Writers and Literary Lineage 

Jane Wong, 1:30pm

B113, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1


Queering Genre Boundaries: The Speculative and Fantastic in LGBTQ+ Writing

Kelly Magee, 4:30-5:45

A107-109, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1


Disability Literature Consortium

Suzanne Antonetta, 6-9

Courtyard by Marriot Portland

Downtown/Convention Center


FC2, Sidebrow, Ellipsis, and Dorothy Reading

Carol Guess, 7-9pm

ADX (offsite)


In His Own Words: A Tribute to Brian Doyle

Brenda Miller, 7pm

McMenamin’s Mission Theater (offsite)


Friday, 3/29


The Coast is Queer: LGBTQ+ Voices from the Pacific Northwest

Carol Guess, 9-10:15am

Portland Ballroom 255, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2


Indigenous Womanisms: Decolonization & Na(rra)tivity

Kristiana Kahakauwila, 9-10:15am

E147-148, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1


Gold Wake Press Reading

Kelly Magee, 3-6pm

Ristretto Roasters (offsite)


“Shitholes of the World, Unite”: A Poetry Reading in Translation

Stefania Heim, 5pm

Holocene (offsite)


Readings from They Said Anthology of Collaborative Writing

Carol Guess and Kelly Magee, 5:30-7:30pm

The Fixin’ To (offsite)


Menacing Hedge Reading

Kami Westhoff, 6pm

The Bad Habit Room (offsite)


Swichback Books and Counterpath AWP Book Launch Party

Stefania Heim, 7-9pm

Strum Guitar Bar (offsite)


Correspondences Reading

Jane Wong, 7pm

Daedalus Books (offsite)


Burnside Review, Alice James Books, Canarium Books, Oversound

Jane Wong, 7:30pm (doors open at 7)

The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel (offsite)


Saturday, 3/30


Unsolicited Press Book Signing

Kami Westhoff, 9am

Book fair


Reimagining Borders

Jane Wong, 5pm

Ristretto Roasters (offsite)

Thai Translation

With Animal, the collaborative collection of short stories I wrote with Carol Guess, has been translated into Thai and will be released next month! This collection is accompanied by some truly gorgeous artwork that I couldn’t be more thrilled about. Here are a few of images and a video, but check out Chaichai books on Facebook and Twitter to see more!


Motherhood, Monkeys, and Morality

I published a short story, “The Neighborhood,” in Granta last month, and they asked me to write an essay about the story for their “First Sentence” series. The first sentence of the story is “The wire children move independently and have recognizable faces.” Read the story “The Neighborhood” here, and read the “First Sentence” essay here.

The story was heavily influenced by Harry Harlow’s disturbing experiments with baby primates. Listen to the radio show on which I first learned about these experiments here. (This American Life, Episode 317, “Unconditional Love.”)

And check out Lauren Slater’s book Opening Skinner’s Box, which has a chapter dedicated to Harlow here. Then read the rest of her book and write a story based on a psychological experiment!


Read More Books!

This is my resolution for 2017, and if it’s yours too, I offer a few of mine that have recently come out or are going to soon:

The Neighborhood — a collection of fairy tales and retellings


A Guide to Strange Places: Stories — a chapbook of stories, each of which gives a setting its own point of view


The Reckless Remainder — a collection of prose poetry, co-written with Carol Guess (coming out in May 2017)


I’m very excited about these books, and I’d be happy to send signed copies to anyone who’d like one. Email me at for more information!

The Neighborhood

My new collection of short stories, The Neighborhood, is out from Gold Wake Press, and the title story has just been published in Granta Magazine here. If you’re interested in picking up a signed copy of the collection, which will be officially released in January, send $12 to PayPal here and include your address, and I’ll get one right out to you!

One out of one cats recommend this book!


Origin Story

“Once a girl found a stray tornado. She lured it inside with a dog biscuit.”

Check out a new story of mine, “Origin Story,” in Eleven Eleven. This story is from my collection, The Neighborhood, which will be out soon from Gold Wake Press.


Orlando Love

I’ve had a couple of stories come out recently that I’m super happy about: Telltale Signs of Disaster in Booth and Ten Ideas for Small Talk Upon Re-entering the Dating Scene in Monkeybicycle. I’m excited to see both of these stories appear in such fantastic journals.


I’ve been in Orlando the past week, and that has overshadowed everything else. I couldn’t be sadder for, and prouder of, my hometown. Orlando is known for being a place of many theme parks, and while I’ve certainly gotten in my fair share of digs about the weirdness and superficiality of growing up under Disney’s shadow, I’ve always been more interested in writing about the real people of this area. Simply, I love it here. And as a queer person, as a member of the LGBT community, I feel wrecked over the Pulse shooting. So here, too, are some images of O-town in the wake of this horrendous violence. It’s always been The City Beautiful, and the way the people here have come together to support queer people of color, and latinx people specifically, has made it all the more beautiful to me.



Mirrors and Prisms

Nimrod International Journal has just released their themed issue, “Mirrors and Prisms: Writers of Marginalized Orientations and Gender Identities,” and they’ve included my story “Nobody Understands You Like You” in it. Read it here.

The story is about a woman who may or may not have accidentally adopted a pet wolf, and though the story has queer content, the call for submissions for this issue was specifically about the identity of the writer, not the content of the writing. I’m really interested in the different ways attention to inclusivity and diversity are playing out in the literary marketplace. What are the reasons to issue a call for writing about marginalized orientations vs. a call for stories by writers who consider themselves part of that marginalized group?

As I’m gearing up to teach a course on Queer Literature this fall, I’ll be thinking about questions like this, so I’m really happy to have my own work in the mix! I hope you check out all the great work by writers in this issue!