I'll be teaching a new 4-week craft class, "Four Week: Special Topics in Fiction" at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver on Mondays, November 13 - December 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m. In this four-week craft class, ideal for writers who've mastered the basics, we'll discuss some trickier craft moves in fiction, including multiple timeline narratives, multiple perspective stories, and ways to incorporate humor and social justice themes in our fiction.
I'll be participating in the Colorado Local Authors Open House on Sunday, October 8 (3-6 pm) at the Nederland Community Library. Author and journalist Tracy Ross has put together a great event to benefit the Nederland library. Tracy will lead three panel discussions with three sets of local writers. There will be live music, wine tasting, and books for sale. Admission is $10 and you can use that as a credit toward $10 off the book of your choice. Register by October 4 on the library website.
Could the Indie Author & Press Book Fair be the Denver literary event of the fall? Yes, I think it will be. Powerhouse local author Hillary Leftwich has invited all the local authors publishing with small, university, or experimental presses for a grand day of book sales, readings, networking, and even a dance party a the Indie Author & Press Bookfair. (Saturday, September 30, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Counterpath Press, Denver, 7935 East 14th Avenue). I will swing by in the afternoon and join the reading at 5:30. Learn more in Westword.
In the September edition of The Tumbleweed, I wrote about two harrowing weeks without internet in my home.
My essay about how my grandparents lost their family farm during the 1980s farm crisis, "Three Wishes," appeared in Hunger Mountain Review.
The Tumbleweed rolled along all summer long. In June, you know I wrote about the Nuggets, our world champions. in July I wrote about a Hudson Valley rivalry I learned about on my summer vacation, and in August I wrote about climbing my first fourteener.
My essay about what we can learn about the Nuggets was reprinted in The Lever.
I reviewed James McBride's "The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store" for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Lighthouse Writers Workshop's Lit Fest schedule is open for registration! I'm teaching five classes at their brand new building at 3844 York Street in Denver. Two-hour craft seminars are $65 for members, $75 for nonmembers:
For this month's edition of The Tumbleweed, I wrote about "Rippling Forward: What Baby Elephant Seals Can Teach Us About Embarking on Big Projects."
An excerpt from The Ringer: A Novel will appear in the anthology Reading Colorado: A Literary Road Guide, edited by Peter Anderson, Bower House, May 2023.
I wrote about The Dream Builders by Oindrila Mukherjee for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
For this month's edition of the Tumbleweed, I wrote about "The Benefits of Late-Arriving Flowers."
For The Millions, I interviewed Chip Livingston about Love, Loosha: The Letters of Lucia Berlin and Kenward Elmslie, a book he edited that collects the correspondence between our teacher Lucia Berlin and her friend Kenward Elmslie, March 2023.
For High Country News, I reviewed The Holly book and film by Julian Rubinstein, March, 2023.
I moderated a panel for the March 2023 Seattle AWP conference, "Writing the Real West: Diverse, Urban, and Contemporary," with Jonathan Evison, Leland Cheuk, Sameer Pandya, and Erika T. Wurth.
I wrote about two wonderful novels--Michelle Gallen's Factory Girls and Angie Cruz's How Not to Drown in A Glass of Water for America Magazine.
For this month's edition of The Tumbleweed, I wrote about what Deion Sanders knows about storytelling.
For the Minneapolis Star Tribune, I wrote about Allegra Goodman's new novel Sam, about a straightforward girl who suffers hard knocks and learns to climb rocks as she undergoes the traumas and revelations of growing up.
For the December edition of The Tumbleweed, I bestowed the Jenfolk Awards for Other People's Books.
On December 14, I celebrated the launch of Love, Loosha: The Letters of Lucia Berlin and Kenward Elmslie, with my friends Chip Livingston, who edited this beautiful volume, and Erika Krouse.
Scott Semegran, who interviewed me earlier this year for the podcast Austin Liti Limits, put Mixed Company on his list of best books of 2022.
For the November edition of The Tumbleweed, I wrote about Mastering the Art of Collaboration.
I reviewed Ryan Lee Wongs's debut novel Which Side Are You On, in which an idealistic college student plans to drop out to focus on community organizing, while his old-school Asian activist parents try to dissuade him, for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
My friend Shann Ray was kind enough to interview me about Mixed Company for Full Stop.
The October edition of The Tumbleweed: Collating Until it All Makes Sense.
Love In The Time of Time's Up, edited by Christine Sneed, with a story by me ("Comeback") is out now.
I reviewed Elizabeth McCracken's wise, heartfelt new "The Hero of This Book," about grief over the loss of a remarkable mother, for The Star Tribune.
I've got some readings coming up! First is on November 1 with my colleague Traci L. Jones and my former student, now twice-published author Hillary Leftwich. We’ll read at the Westminster Tattered Cover.
Christy Steadman for this interviewed me about MIXED COMPANY for Colorado Community Media. The piece ran in the Wash Park Profile and Life on Capitol Hill (neighborhoods that are two of my old stomping grounds).
The September edition of The Tumbleweed: "What's Growing in Your Trial Garden?"
I reviewed LaToya Watkins' Perish for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
I'll have a story in the anthology Love In The Time of Time's Up, edited by Christine Sneed, which will hit bookstores in October. You can pre-order it now to be the first to read great fiction by Lynn Freed, Karen Bender, May-lee Chai, Gina Frangello, Cris Mazza, Amina Gautier and more!
Thanks to writer Mary Trimble for this fantastic review of Mixed Company. She wrote, "The mix and ideals of the various characters in the stories are told with humor, grit, honesty and an innocence that I found spellbinding...Each story has its own message and I found myself alternately laughing, cringing, or close to tears."
The August Tumbleweed: "Catching the Spirit of La Rentrée."
I wrote about what I learned from a visit to Cezanne's atelier for this month's edition of The Tumbleweed.
Judy Christie recommended Mixed Company for summer reading in her column for The Shreveport Times.
On August 5, I'll talk about how art influences my fiction and Denver's graffiti history at the Bob Ragland Branch of the Denver Public Library.
Mixed Company won the Colorado Book Award for General Fiction!
I'm teaching 6 classes and participating in 2 panels during this month's Lighthouse Writers' Workshop's Lit Fest!
I wrote about what writers can learn from visual artists in this month's edition of The Tumbleweed.
The Colorado Book Awards finalist reading for the General Fiction and Anthology categories is Friday, May 20 at BookBar! Join me and all the fine finalists at 7 p.m.
Come to the Westminster Tattered Cover for an open mic night sponsored by the Mile High MFA on May 27!
I wrote about how to finish a project in this month's edition of The Tumbleweed.
I was so proud to win First Place in the Personal Column category in the Society of Professional Journalists' Top of The Rockies Excellence in Journalism Awards. There were 1500 entries from 75 newsrooms in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming...plus a handful of entries from us freelancers.
Mixed Company is a finalist for the Colorado Book Awards in the General Fiction category! There will be a reading at BookBar on May 20.
I'll be talking with MacArthur "genius grant" winner Patricia Limerick of the Center of the American West on April 26. The first 40 people to RSVP to email@example.com will get a free copy of Mixed Company! The event will be held at 6 pm in Humanities 250 on the CU Boulder campus and via Zoom.
Lit Fest classes are open for registration! I'm teaching a bunch:
The Psychology of Story, Friday, June 10, 9:00am - 11:00am
Mixing Life Up: Contemporary Memoir Structures, Monday, June 13, 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Building the Writers' Notebook, Monday, June 13, 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Getting Published: Stories, Essays, Articles and Books, Wednesday, June 15, 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Laughing for Change: Funny Stories with Serious Purpose, Saturday, June 18, 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Personal Essays with a Twist, Saturday, June 18, 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Navigating the Lows of Your Writing Career: Panel Discussion, Sunday, June 19, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
I get to make one last stop on the Mixed Company book tour! I will be at the Tattered Cover Colfax on Wednesday, March 2 at 7 p.m. to read and sign books, and I hope to see you there.
The Rally Hotel in Denver and the Tattered Cover have selected Mixed Company for its Readers' Night In promotion. If you book a room, you'll get a copy of Mixed Company and a cocktail inspired by it called "Denver Sunshine."
I'll speak about "Writing the Real West: Diverse, Urban, and Contemporary" at the Denver Women's Press Club on April 7.
I volunteered for the National Book Critics' Circle's John Leonard Award Committee, and I got to write the citation for our winner, Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So. I was quoted in the New York Times.
I reviewed Sindya Bhanoo's elegant, sensitive debut story collection Seeking Fortune Elsewhere for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
I had a great time participating in the Aims Community College Words With Writers series. You can watch the Zoom talk here.
I enjoyed talking to Nathan Heffel of Colorado Matters on Colorado Public Radio about Mixed Company. The interview ran on February 7.
Notre Dame Magazine featured Mixed Company in its winter issue.
Regis University Magazine mentioned Mixed Company along with books by my stellar colleagues in the Mile High MFA.
I reviewed Tiphanie Yanique's Monster in the Middle for America.
I had a great time talking to Scott Semegran on Austin Liti Limits. Check out the interview here.
Mixed Company was longlisted for the 32nd Reading the West Book Award in fiction.
Thanks to Denver North Star for this great review of Mixed Company.
December & January
Mixed Company is the KGNU and Boulder Book Store Radio Book Club selection for December! Read the book and then listen to KGNU at 9 a.m. on December 23 to hear the discussion. And if I see you around Boulder, I will be administering a pop quiz! The podcast is available here and the extended "afterhours" interview is here.
I reviewed Lauren Groff's Matrix and Claire Luchette's Agatha of Little Neon for America.
I wrote a playlist for Mixed Company for Largehearted Boy.
Stumped on how to end that story? Check out my advice, "How to Write an Ending," in Catapult's Don't Write Alone.
I had the wonderful experience of chatting about writing with one of my favorite writers and publishing mavens, Gessy Alvarez, on her podcast Digging Through.
5280 recommended Mixed Company for holiday gift giving.
Mixed Company went into a second print run. Thanks, everyone who bought it, shared it, or wrote a review!
Mixed Company hits bookstores November 15! Ask for it at your favorite bookstore, or or order it online at Bookshop.org.
Bree Davies interviewed me about Mixed Company for the wonderful podcast City Cast Denver.
Mike Alberti wrote a fantastic review of Mixed Company for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Erin O'Toole interviewed me for Colorado Edition on KUNC.
My dear friend and brilliant writer Paula Younger interviewed me about Mixed Company for Fiction Writers Review.
My essay "Lucia Berlin: My Mentor in Being An Outsider" appears in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.
I was featured as a crazed pumpkin enthusiast in Westword's report, "The Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2021."
Caitlin Rockett interviewed me about Mixed Company for Boulder Weekly: "Now and Then."
Izzy Fincher interviewed me for CU Independent: "'Mixed Company': Jenny Shank portrays Denver’s diverse communities."
My Mixed Company readings are all set! I would love to see you at any of these fine establishments:
Saturday, October 16: Mixed Company Denver Book Launch, BookBar (4280 Tennyson St. Denver, CO), 7 pm, free Eventbrite tickets here
I reviewed Made in China by Anna Qu for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
I have a short essay about a tumbleweed in Dear McSweeney’s: Two Decades of Letters to the Editor from Writers, Readers, and the Occasional Bewildered Consumer, edited by Daniel Levin Becker. You can preorder it now, and I will be on hand to celebrate its release with Claire Boyle at the Boulder Book Store on October 5 at 5 p.m.
I reviewed Patricia Engel's Infinite Country for America magazine.
I reviewed Kirstin Valdez Quade's The Five Wounds for America magazine. It's their book club selection for September.
The Texas Review Press fall catalog is out--Mixed Company is making its way into the world!
I reviewed Elizabeth Gonzalez James' very funny novel Mona at Sea, about a "sad millennial," unemployed and emotionally adrift in Arizona, for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Advance review copies of Mixed Company are available now--request one here if you'd like one.
On July 27, during the Mile High MFA summer residency, I will be reading with my colleagues Suzi Q. Smith, Christine Sneed, Addie Tsai, and David Heska Wanbli Weiden (5-6 p.m., Zoom link to come.).
My short creative nonfiction piece "Playing Graveyard" appears in the new issue of The Cincinnati Review.
My review of Jaime Lowe's excellent book Breathing Fire: Female Inmate Firefighters on the Front Lines of California’s Wildfires appeared in High Country News.
You can pre-order Mixed Company now from your favorite bookstore!
I'm proud to have a new story, "The Sit-In," in the spring issue of the Santa Monica Review, alongside many other fantastic writers. "The Sit-In" will also appear in Mixed Company, as the final story in the collection.
My story "The Sit-In" appears in the Spring 2021 issue of the Santa Monica Review, and I and the other contributors will celebrate the issue launch with an online reading on Sunday, April 18 at 5 p.m. PST. Tickets are available here.
Lighthouse Writers' Workshop's Lit Fest classes are open for registration now! I'm teaching three online classes:
Fierce Remix: Writing the Multiple Timeline Book, June 4, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Getting Published: Stories, Essays, Articles and Books, June 10, 9-11 a.m.
City, Town, Countryside: Making a Place's Story Your Own, June 13, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
My essay about the shooting at my neighborhood grocery store, "The shooting at my King Soopers also destroyed a haven of warmth and inclusion," appeared in the Washington Post.
I reviewed Miracles on the Hardwood: The Hope-and-a-Prayer Story of a Winning Tradition in Catholic College Basketball by John Gasaway for America magazine's March issue.
My short story collection, Mixed Company, won the George Garrett Fiction Prize and will be published by Texas Review Press in October!
My satire, "Remember Me, Your Travel Coffee Mug?" appears in the new issue of The Museum of Americana.
I reviewed Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Committed for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Dec. - Jan.
For the Mile High MFA winter residency, I'll interview writer and editor Evette Dionne on January 2 at 2:30.
For the Mile High MFA winter residency, I will participate in a Zoom reading with Erika T. Wurth and Rachel Weaver on January 4 at 5:30 p.m.
Oct. - Nov.
My essay "Hockey Forever, or for as Long as it Lasts," appeared in The Missouri Review.
I reviewed Elena Ferrante's "The Lying Life of Adults" for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. In this novel, Ferrante conjures the raw emotions of adolescence, when an overheard, offhand remark can sear like a branding iron.
I reviewed Phuc Tran's "Sigh, Gone" for America.
I'm teaching a one-day class for Lighthouse Writers Workshop on writing endings called "And Then I Woke Up: Revising Endings" on September 19 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
I wrote about working out with trainers in San Diego via YouTube during the early days of the pandemic for Colorado Sun, "Even a consummate gym rat needs some training help during the pandemic."
For Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, I wrote about unusual celebrations of love around the world.
I wrote about a new biography and documentary of Dorothy Day for Image Journal, issue 105.
I couldn't visit California in person this spring, as I'd planned, so instead I took readers on a literary road trip of California with five fresh new reads about the Golden State for High Country News.
I recommended Lidia Yuknavich's Verge for Lighthouse Writers Workshop's stay-at-home reads on their YouTube channel.
Lighthouse Writers' Workshop's Lit Fest is going online this year. I'll be teaching 5 classes via Zoom and would be so pleased if you'd join me!
GETTING PUBLISHED: STORIES, ESSAYS, ARTICLES, AND BOOKS, Tuesday, June 2, 2-4 p.m.
TWO-FACED: THE ART OF MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES, Friday, June 5, 9-11 a.m.
GETTING UNDER THE SKIN: TECHNIQUES FOR CLOSING NARRATIVE DISTANCE, Tuesday, June 9, 9-11 a.m.
PERSONAL ESSAYS WITH A TWIST, Tuesday, June 16, 2-4 p.m.
THE CLASSICS OF STORY STRUCTURE…AND THE EVER-POPULAR B-SIDES, Thursday, June 18, 9-11 a.m.
My sixth video book recommendation for Lighthouse is Rishi Reddi's transportive historical fiction epic, Passage West.
Every Wednesday this month, Lighthouse Writers Workshop's YouTube channel featured my recommendations for stay-at-home reads. I talked up Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn, Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, God Shot by Chelsea Bieker and Home Baked by Alia Volz and TaraShea Nesbit's fabulous novel Beheld.
I reviewed Children of the Land by Marcel Hernandez Castillo for America magazine's April 13 issue.
I'll be teaching five classes for the amazing annual Lighthouse Writers Workshop Lit Fest in June:
GETTING PUBLISHED: STORIES, ESSAYS, ARTICLES, AND BOOKS, Tuesday, June 2, 2-4 p.m.
TWO-FACED: THE ART OF MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES, Friday, June 5, 9-11 a.m.
GETTING UNDER THE SKIN: TECHNIQUES FOR CLOSING NARRATIVE DISTANCE, Tuesday, June 9, 9-11 a.m.
PERSONAL ESSAYS WITH A TWIST, Tuesday, June 16, 2-4 p.m.
THE CLASSICS OF STORY STRUCTURE…AND THE EVER-POPULAR B-SIDES, Thursday, June 18, 9-11 a.m.
I reviewed Olga Tokarczuk's Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead for Orion magazine's Winter issue.
I reviewed Jeanine Cummins' novel American Dirt for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
For the Mile High MFA's winter residency, I gave a reading with fabulous local writers Mario Acevedo and Rachel Weaver.
I wrote about Christmastime celebrations in Denver for Marriott Bonvoy Traveler.
I volunteered to help judge the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Award for first book. There were seven fabulous contenders. Congratulations to the winner, announced January 13: Sarah M. Broom for The Yellow House.
I reviewed Kevin Wilson's hilarious novel Nothing to See Here for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
I wrote about 6 Swashbuckling New Graphic Novels that Will Transport Middle Grade Readers for the Barnes & Noble Blog.
I wrote about the 70s-inspired design choices at the new Sky Residences at W Aspen for Marriott Bonvoy Traveler. (photo above by Jason Dewey Photography)
I wrote about five neighborhoods to check out when you visit Denver, for Marriott Bonvoy Traveler.
I wrote about A Cat Collector, A Murmuration of Starlings, and a Fashionable Ghost: 10 New Picture Books that Entertain, Inform, and Amaze for the Barnes & Noble Blog.
I reviewed Kali Fajardo-Anstine's debut story collection, Sabrina and Corina, for High Country News.
I reviewed Edwidge Danticat's new story collection, Everything Inside, for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
For the Barnes & Noble blog, I wrote about 6 Picture Books You'll be Excited to Re-Read at Story Time , 9 Picture Books for August Birthday Kids and Attack Cats, Time Machine Beds, and Cooking for the Whole Neighborhood: 9 New Picture Books We Love. Barnes & Noble re-posted my piece Where to Start Reading the Transcendent Work of Toni Morrison
For the Mile High MFA's summer residency, I will give a reading with Carolina Ebeid and Sophronia Scott on July 29. Westword says the residency readings are one of the best things in Denver to do this week!
I wrote about summer fun in Aspen for Marriott Bonvoy Traveler.
I reviewed Nicole Dennis-Benn's new novel Patsy for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
I reviewed Sarah Blake's novel Naamah for America Magazine.
I will be teaching four classes at Lighthouse Writer's Workshop's fabulous Lit Fest in June! Registration opens April 10:
June 13: Personal Essays with a Twist, 2-4 p.m.
June 13: Crash Course in Character, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
June 20: Getting Under the Skin: Techniques for Closing Narrative Distance, 2-4 p.m.
June 20: Not Your Daddy's Book Review: Writing About Books Today, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
I will be teaching a workshop, Getting Published, at the College Hill Library in Westminster's Writing for Success event on May 4.
For Barnes & Noble, I wrote about 5 of the Best New Memoirs of Spring, 6 Books to Read Next if you Loved Where the Crawdads Sing, and 12 Picture Books to Shower Your April Birthday Kid with Fun.
I wrote the introduction for the 2019 issue of the University of Colorado's Journal Twenty Twenty, a journal of creative nonfiction written and edited by undergraduates. I will be giving the keynote address at the issue launch at the Boulder Book Store on Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m.
For Barnes & Noble, I wrote about 5 of the Best New Memoirs of Spring, 10 New Picture Books About Rocks, Seeds, Soccer, and Everything in Between and 11 Picture Books for Kids with March Birthdays.
Darrell Laurant featured The Ringer on his blog Snowflakes in a Blizzard.
For Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, I wrote about the design of the new Gaylord Rockies Resort near DIA.
For The Atlantic, I wrote about how the government shutdown is affecting my family in my essay, "What We Cut."
I volunteered to help judge the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Award for first book. There were seven stunning contenders. Congratulations to the winner, announced January 22: Tommy Orange for There There.
I interviewed Chris Cander about her novel The Weight of a Piano for the Dallas Morning News.
My reading during the Mile High MFA's winter residency with Khadijah Queen, Kristen Iversen, and Carolina Ebeid made Westword's list of 21 Best Events in Denver for the week.
I reviewed Buffalo Cactus & Other New Stories from the Southwest for High Country News.
I reviewed R.O. Kwon's The Incendiaries for America.
I reviewed three terrific new short story collections and a memoir, including books by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, May-Lee Chai, Nicole Chung, and May-Lan Tan for Dallas Morning News.
I profiled Jonathan Evison for the High Country News special book issue: “Without writing, I’d be an IV drug user or out yelling at parking meters.”
For Barnes & Noble, I wrote about 6 Robot Picture Books That Will Give You All the Feels, and 5 Joyful Books for Kids with January Birthdays.
It was such a pleasure to interview Fatima Farheen Mirza about her debut novel, A Place for Us, for Dallas Morning News.
I reviewed four fall novels for Dallas Morning News that share a common interest in nature & science, including new books by Barbara Kingsolver, Esi Edugyan, Abby Geni & Imogen Hermes Gowar.
I reviewed Andre Dubus III's Gone So Long for Dallas Morning News.
I wrote about 5 new transportive fiction books for Dallas Morning News, including novels by Frances de Pontes Peebles, Laura Van Den Berg, Olga Tokarczuk, & Anne Tyler and a debut story collection by Alexia Arthurs:
I wrote about 8 picture books for kids excited about taking political action, 6 Flamingo Picture Books to Keep Kids in the Pink, From the Big Bang to the Barnyard: 10 New Picture Books, and the Middle Grade Books of Kwame Alexander for BNKids.
I interviewed Francine Prose for the Dallas Morning News about her new book What to Read and Why.
For the Barnes & Noble kids blog, I wrote about 5 Books for Kids with July Birthdays and A Dino Gets a New Sibling, The Letter Z Takes Charge, and a Little Boy Grows Wings: 12 New Picture Books for Summer Storytimes.
On Thursday, September 6, I will be teaching a class on The Art of Literary Submission for the brand new Lighthouse Writers Workshop satellite, Lighthouse North (in Louisville, CO). Come learn all about how to submit your writing for publication and where to submit it! (6-8:30 p.m.)
My novel-in-progress, TAG, was a finalist for a 2018 Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grant in Fiction.
For the Barnes & Noble Blog, I wrote about Meg Wolitzer's new novel The Female Persuasion, Six Perfect Books for Kids with May Birthdays, 6 Picture Books to Get Your Kids Hiking, Cool Off with 6 Funny, Philosophical Penguin Picture Books, 12 New Picture Books for Summer Storytimes, 6 June Birthday Picture Books by Beloved Children's Authors, and 5 Books That Explore the Deep Sea.
For the Dallas Morning news, I interviewed Rick Bass about his new book The Traveling Feast and I reviewed Meg Wolitzer's The Female Persuasion, Aja Gabel's The Ensemble, Nafissa Thompson-Spires' Heads of the Colored People, Sloane Crosley's Look Alive Out There, and Elaine Castillo's America is Not the Heart.
Lighthouse Writers Workshop's Lit Fest is just around the corner! I will be teaching the following four craft classes--registration is open now!
Lighthouse Writers Workshop, 1515 Race St., Denver
Tuesday, June 5, 2-4 p.m.
Lighthouse Writers Workshop, 1515 Race St., Denver
Tuesday, June 5, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Lighthouse Writers Workshop, 1515 Race St., Denver
Wednesday, June 6, 2-4 p.m.
Lighthouse Writers Workshop, 1515 Race St., Denver
Wednesday, June 6, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
My story "L'Homme de ma Vie," which originally appeared in Barrelhouse, has received Special Mention in the 2018 Pushcart Prize anthology.
I interviewed Luis Alberto Urrea about his new novel House of Broken Angels and I reviewed five spring novels by Tadizio Koelb, Nafkote Tamirat, Uzo Iweala, Rachel Kauffman, and Chesey Johnson for the Dallas Morning News.
For the Barnes & Noble Blog, I wrote about Easter picture books (the first 5 in this post are my picks), A Couch-Sitting Llama, a Crime-Fighting Sibling Duo, and the Perfect Pillow: 8 Rousing New Picture Books, 6 Picture Books for Kids with March Birthdays, and 6 Books to Shower Your April Birthday Kid With Fun.
I will be teaching a workshop on revision for the Mile High MFA's spring open house on April 7 from 1-3 p.m. The class is free with advance registration.
I will be teaching a workshop on how to write personal essays with a news hook for the Writers Studio 13th Annual Literary Celebration at Arapahoe Community College on Saturday, April 14. The event is open to the public with advance registration.
I will be reading at the February 18 At the Inkwell event in Denver at BookBar (4280 Tennyson St.) with Mairead Case, Richard Froude, and Elwin Michael Cotman.
I will be moderating a discussion of creative nonfiction with the fabulous writers Kristen Iverson and Helen Thorpe at the Mile High MFA's winter residency, Sunday, January 7, 6:30-7:30 p.m. (Regis University, Claver Hall, Mountain View Room).
I interviewed one of my favorite up-and-coming fiction writers, Kirstin Valdez Quade, for the January 22 "Women in the Church" edition of America Magazine.
For Dallas Morning News, I wrote about 5 Novels You Won't Want To Miss that were published in January and February, including books by Xhenet Aliu, Will Boast, Sam Graham-Felsen, Brandon Hobson, and Meghan Kenny.
I reviewed Don Waters' story collection The Saints of Rattlesnake Mountain and two books examining legacies of violence in the West, Free Bird by Jon Raymond and Idaho by Emily Ruskovich, for High Country News.
I wrote about 6 Reasons to Reread A Wrinkle in Time Before the Movie Comes Out, 5 Middle Grade Novels from Your Childhood that Your Kid Must Read, 5 Politically-Minded Picture Books for President’s Day, 6 Gold Medal Picture Books for the Winter Olympics, 6 Picture Books for Kids with February Birthdays, 6 Splendid Story Collections for 2018, 6 Debut Novels to Watch for in 2018, and 7 Lines from Classic Literature for Incurable Romantics for the Barnes & Noble blog.
I reviewed Idaho by Emily Ruskovich and Free Bird by Jon Raymond, two novels examining violence in the West, for High Country News. I interviewed Gabriel Tallent about his debut novel My Absolute Darling for HCN's Fall books issue.
I reviewed Alice McDermott's The Ninth Hour for America Magazine.
I wrote about 7 Notable New Picture Books, 8 Great Reasons Your Kids Should be Reading Dav Pilkey's Dog Man Series, Books for Kids with December Birthdays, 6 Life-Affirming Feel-Good Picture Books for Troubled Times, Books for Kids with November Birthdays, Books for Kids with October Birthdays, 5 Fascinating Middle Grade Books About the Salem Witch Trials, 7 Scenes We Can't Wait to See Illustrated in the New Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 6 Swinging Picture Books About Music & Musicians, 6 Stupendous Sound Picture Books and Shel Silverstein's Runny Babbit Returns is Here, 110 Can't Miss Fiction Reads for Fall, and Top Ten Frog & Toad Stories Ranked for the Barnes & Noble blog.
The dates for the Wheat Ridge Reads events for The Ringer have been set!
Wheat Ridge Public Library's Thursday Morning Book Club
Ye Olde Firehouse, 3232 Depew St; Wheat Ridge, CO
Free & open to the public
Thursday, September 21, 9 a.m.
Wheat Ridge High School
Thursday, September 21, afternoon
Books & Brews
El Aguascalientes Mexican Restaurant
4105 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Free & open to the public
Saturday, September 23, 4 p.m.
I discuss Dr. Brian Volck's luminous memoir, Attending Others, about his years as a volunteer doctor for the Navajo Nation for High Country News.
I wrote about 5 Books to Prep You for the Great American Eclipse, 6 Chill Picture Books to Keep You Cool This Summer, 6 Buoyant Balloon-Themed Picture Books, 6 A-Roar-Able Lion Picture Books and 5 Characters From Children's Literature Who Could Have Used Fidget Spinners for the Barnes & Noble blog.
The Ringer has been selected for this year's Wheat Ridge Reads community reading program in a suburb of Denver! I will participate in multiple events in September for this.
Thanks to Judy P. Christie for recommending The Ringer for summer reading in her column for The Shreveport Times.
I reviewed Adam Alter's Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology for MediaShift.
I reviewed Richard Russo's Trajectory for the Dallas Morning News.
I reviewed Andria Williams' The Longest Night and Elizabeth J. Church's The Atomic Weight of Love for High Country News.
For the Barnes & Noble Blog, I wrote about "5 of Our Favorite Mercer Mayer Books," Pablo Cartaya's The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, "5 Picture Books About Not-So-Scary Monsters," "5 Book And Activity Pairings for Mother's Day," "5 Picture Books for Take Your Child To Work Day," and "5 Great Novels About Refugees and Migrants."
I will be teaching a new online weekend workshop for Word Tango, May 12-14th, called "Disobedient Fiction." Learn from disobedient masters Alice Munro, Zadie Smith, and Donna Tartt how to get away with breaking rules in your fiction!
I wrote "How I Got My Productivity Groove Back with Internet Restriction Apps" for MediaShift.
For the Barnes & Noble Blog, I wrote about "5 Picture Books to Inspire Spring Cleaning," "6 Things Young Readers Will Love About Big Nate," "6 Characters from Children's Literature to Unfriend Immediately" and "Spring Forward! 6 Splendid Books About Clocks and Telling Time."
My essay "The Secret Life of an Activist Mom" appears in The Development Set.
For Dallas Morning News, I reviewed Rachel Cusk's wonderful Transit and I wrote about how I gave away my beloved Baby-Sitters Club book collection. I also reviewed Katie Kitamura's A Separation and George Saunders' Lincoln In The Bardo.
I wrote about "5 Big, Marvelous Books to Read When You're Snowbound," "6 Superb Debut Novels for 2017," "7 Spectacular Story Collections for 2017," "5 Picture Books for Black History Month," and "5 Books for Weather Obsessed Kids" for the Barnes & Noble blog.
I'm teaching two classes this winter for The Colorado Writing School in Louisville, CO. First up is Fiction Writing Lessons from Disobedient Masters on February 1 (6- 8 p.m., $50-$60, Office Evolution, 357 S. McCaslin in Louisville). Next is Freelance Writing: Getting Started and Building Your Career on March 8
(6- 8 p.m., $50-$60, Office Evolution, 357 S. McCaslin in Louisville). I will also lead a nonfiction craft class, highlighting the faculty of the Mile High MFA at Regis University on February 25.
I'm looking forward to teaching my first online class for Word Tango in May. I'll teach the Weekend Workshop on Disobedient Fiction from May 13-14.
Thanks to Barrelhouse for selecting my short story "L'Homme de ma Vie" as one of its two 2016 fiction nominees for the Pushcart Prize.
For the High Country News special Books & Authors issue, I interviewed Stephen Graham Jones ("Native American Shape Shifter"), and reviewed two new novels set in Alaska ("The Promise of Alaska's Wilderness").
For the Barnes & Noble Blog, I recommend 7 Books That Celebrate the Joys of Being Alone, 5 Great Picture Books About Thanksgiving, 5 Picture Books About Pets (That Aren't Cats or Dogs) and 5 Picture Books Filled with Great Sound Effects.
On Saturday, October 22, I'll be teaching at the Colorado Writing School's first conference at Left Hand Grange Hall in Niwot, Colorado. Learn from writers, editors, and agents including Stephen Graham Jones, Lisa Jones, Sara Megibow and Rebbeca Taylor. Sign up today!
For the Barnes & Noble blog, I pick 5 More Singular Women Writers to Discover if You Love Nell Zink, and 5 Feel-Good Short Story Collections.
On Friday, September 2, I will represent team fiction with my colleagues on the Mile High MFA faculty in the first annual Denver Lit Crawl, kicking off at Book Bar. Join the lit party as it moves along Tennyson Street to Mermaid Fine Books, the Oriental Theater, and more, 6 p.m. through midnight.
For the Barnes & Noble blog, I recommended Five Terrific Novels About Artists, 5 Fabulous Works of Fiction for Musicians, 5 Picture Books About Kids Who Run Businesses, 5 of the Least Supervised Children in Literature, 5 Wilderness Survival Books to Include on Your Camping Vacation, 5 Picture Books That Introduce Kids to Great Artists, 6 Construction-Themed Picture Books and 5 Disturbing Details from Roald Dahl Books.
I reviewed The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis for Dallas Morning News.
My essay "Mystery at Work: Three Novels in Review" appears in the new issue of Image (Summer 2016, Number 89).
My short story "L'Homme de ma Vie" appears in Barrelhouse Issue 15.
I reviewed Ramona Ausubel's Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty for the Los Angeles Times.
For the Barnes & Noble Blog, I wrote "Five Novels That Mess With Time," "Keep Kids Reading This Summer with Readalikes of Popular Books and Series," "Quiz: Which Shakespearean Character Are You?" "5 Picture Books About Owls" and "The Perfect Read for Each Type of Vacation."
Lighthouse Writers' Workshop's Lit Fest is just around the corner! Starting June 4, 'll be teaching five craft classes (listed here) and participating on two panels and also just generally lingering around the Lighthouse porch and party tent during those two weeks.
My satire "How Did We Do?" appeared on The Toast. After you read it, I have a five-part customer satisfaction survey for you to fill out.
For the Barnes & Noble blog, I wrote about ways book nerds can make up for lost reading time after Daylight savings and 6 Veggie-Focused Picture Books That Emphasize the Fun in Vegetables.
I kicked off my first semester of teaching with the Mile High MFA at Regis University with the winter residency in January.
I wrote about 6 Beep-Tastic Robot Picture Books and And The Winner Is…10 Award-Worthy 2015 Books, 6 Sparkling Debuts to Watch For and 7 New Story Collections to Savor in 2016 for the Barnes & Noble blog.
My friend Chip Livingston interviewed me about our mentor Lucia Berlin's teaching methods in this wonderful essay for Literary Hub.
I wrote about "Five Fictional Grinches We Love," "Five Read-Aloud Books for Parental Hams," "Beyond the Pigeon: 5 More Sassy Animals in Picture Books," "5 Outings to Pair with Gift Books for Kids," and "5 Transportation Books for Parents Who Have Read Deeply in Truck Literature," "Five Novellas to Read in Line on Black Friday," "Writing Advice from Great Authors to Get You Through NaNoWriMo," and "6 Literary Fiction Novels Invaded by Mythical Creatures" for the Barnes & Noble Blog.
My short story "La Sexycana" appeared in Printer's Row Journal in the Chicago Tribune's literary supplement.
I interviewed Sanjoy Roy about the Jaipur Literature Festival for 5280.
For Barnes & Noble, I wrote "Where to Start Guide: Louise Erdrich" "5 Songs That Need Book Adaptations," "5 Fictional Characters with Dirty Jobs" "Totally Mad for Southern Gothic? 5 Books You've Got to Read," "Where to Start Guide: Toni Morrison," "Where to Start Guide: Don DeLillo," "Where to Start Guide: T.C. Boyle" and "5 Books That Give You That Back-To-School Feeling."
I'm teaching a class called "Writing the Internet: Blogs, Essays, and Tweets" for the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver on August 22 from 2-4:30 p.m. Come join us!
I am looking forward to participating in the Fucking Fabulous Fiction Fest at the Oriental Theater on Friday, July 31 at 8 p.m. There will be music, beer, burlesque, literary readings and book signings, a literary costume contest, circus acts, and who knows what else!
Inspired by Jon Ronson's So You've Been Publicly Shamed, I give five tips for avoiding a public shaming and three tips for recovering on MediaShift.
For the Barnes & Noble Blog, I wrote about Five of the Strongest Single Mothers in Fiction, how to Get Into the American Spirit with Five Fairbound Works of Fiction, and 5 Overlooked Books Impossible Not to Love. My nine-year-old daughter helped me write 5 Books to Read While You're Traveling with Kids.
My satire "At This Fondue Restaurant, the Word is Romance" appears on The Rumpus Funny Women column.
I wrote about the many events going on at the Lighthouse Lit Fest for 5280.
I'm gearing up to teach six classes and participate in two panels at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop's 10th annual Lit Fest in June. Please sign up to get my top tips on The Art of Literary Submission (June 8), Lessons in Fiction from Disobedient Masters (June 9), Mighty Microstructure for Your Book (June 9), Building Your Web Presence (June 15), Freelance Writing: Getting Started and Building your Career (June 15) and Shouts and Murmurs: Writing Short Comedy (June 16).
In May, I blogged for Barnes & Noble about "Authors with Crazier than Fiction Personal Lives," "Books We'd Give to Aliens to Convince Them of the Worth of Humanity," "Yum, Crunch, Yuck: Famous Foods in Literature" and "7 Great Reads by Mexican-American Authors for Cinco de Mayo."
My reviews of Jane Smiley's Early Warning and Kate Atkinson's A God in Ruins appear in Dallas Morning News and my reviews of The High Divide by Lin Enger and Into The Savage Country by Shannon Burke appear in High Country News.
I interviewed Lior Zoref about his new book Mindsharing for PBS MediaShift.
My essay about the time I met Father Ted Hesburgh at O'Hare airport ran in the Washington Post. Here's to a man of great and abiding faith.
The Ringer finished as one of the top four finalists for the Book Pipeline competition, which means the people at Script Pipeline will be pitching it to various film production companies as a possible movie or television idea. Congratulations to the winner, Milo Behr.
I wrote about public schools use and misuse of tech for PBS MediaShift in my article "How to Unplug Your Kids Despite Schools Pushing Tech for Common Core."
There's still room in my continuing education class for adults at the University of Denver in April, "Funny Words: Writing Humor Under the Influence of Mary Roach." It will be a two-session craft class, followed by a reading with Mary Roach, a part of Denver Post's Pen and Podium series.
My reviews of the magnificent debut story collection Night At The Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade and Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant appears in Dallas Morning News in March. I reviewed Kim Zupan's The Ploughmen and Molly Gloss's Falling From Horses for High Country News.
I just started blogging for Barnes & Noble. My first four posts are "How to Prioritize that Looming Stack of Books on Your Bedside Table," "Irish-American Reads for the Irish at Heart," "5 Basketball Reads for March Madness" and "5 Baseball Books Full of Wonder, Defeat, and Triumph for Opening Day."
I'm happy to announce that I'm joining the faculty of Regis University's brand-new Mile High MFA in creative writing. It's a low-residency MFA, perfect for those with busy lives. They're accepting applications now!
I will be reading from a story at the first ever Future of the Catholic Literary Imagination conference at USC from February 19 through 21. Headliners include Julia Alvarez, Tobias Wolff and Alice McDermott.
The Ringer is one of 12 semi-finalists out of 576 entries for the first Book Pipeline contest, which sought books to connect with production companies for film or television adaptation.
My report on Mark Zuckerberg's new Facebook book club appeared in PBS MediaShift:"Reading with Zuck: Inside the Facebook Book Club."
I'm teaching a class for the University of Denver in April, "Funny Words: Writing Humor Under the Influence of Mary Roach." It will be a two-session craft class, followed by a reading with Mary Roach, a part of Denver Post's Pen and Podium series.
Thanks to Mark Wisniewski, who nominated my story "Signing for Linemen" for a Pushcart Prize! The story appeared on Five Chapters early this year.
Thanks to Benjamin Dancer who invited me to come meet with the high school writing workshop at the Jefferson County Open School and teach a comedy workshop to the students.
I reviewed Lydia Millet's hilarious Mermaids in Paradise and Alice Munro's Family Furnishings: Selected Stories 1995-2014 for Dallas Morning News. I reviewed Smith Henderson's Fourth of July Creek for High Country News.
To celebrate the World Series, I joined nine other authors of baseball-themed fiction and nonfiction books on TheBaseballReader.com. Our publishers are offering our ebooks for Kindle at a discount during the World Series. Download The Ringer for its lowest price ever, $1.99, and pick up the other books for 99 cents or $1.99 a piece.
My satire, "Brad's Post-Disaster Community Newsletter," appears on The Toast.
I talked to a bunch of fabulous librarians making waves for my PBS MediaShift piece "Bright Orange 'Book Bikes' Signify Changing Times for Libraries."
Have I mentioned that I like to read? Well, yes, it's true. I interviewed Malcolm Brooks about his novel Painted Horses and reviewed Emma Donghue's Frog Music and Rachel Weaver's Point of Direction for High Country News. I reviewed David Mitchell's Bone Clocks and Jane Smiley's Some Luck for the Dallas Morning News.
I have a new satire up on McSweeney's this month, "I Produce Sex-Drenched Uptempo Club Bangers to Inspire Moms at 6 AM Boot Camp Classes." That makes four pieces in McSweeney's Tendency. The day I hit five, I'm buying myself a commemorative knuckle ring.
My review of The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit appeared in the High Country News.
I will have another new satirical piece on the fabulous new website The Toast one of these days!
I reviewed Susan Jane Gilman's The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street, Haruki Murakami's Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage and Mira Jacob's The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing for Dallas Morning News.
I'm teaching up a storm at Lighthouse Writers Workshop's annual Lit Fest: five classes, three panels, bring it on! I hope to see you there.
For Nationswell I've been covering crowdfunding for scientific studies, how participation in the arts makes people happy, a cooking school started by celebrity chefs to increase Philadelphians' literacy, and more.
March - April 2014
My essay, "No Longer A Cowtown," about dragging my French husband around my hometown in an effort to convince him of Denver's greatness, appears in the new issue 3 of Offline, a magazine you can download for iPad or iPhone for 99 cents. It includes 5 stories each issue on culture, comedy, and design, with actor-recorded audio of each story.
I wrote about the annual AWP Conference for PBS Media Shift, "After Publishing Dinosaurs Falter, Little Literary Creatures Thrive."
Jan. - Feb. 2014
I'm so pleased that my short story "Signing for Linemen" is featured on FiveChapters this first week of the new year!
My review of Denver novelist Gary Schanbacher's thoughtful novel of the American frontier, Crossing Purgatory, and of Russell Rowland's introspective novel of baseball, Montana, and addiction, High and Inside, ran in High Country News.
I wrote about Catherine Steiner Adair's The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age and Thomas E. Patterson's Informing the News for PBS MediaShift.
I interviewed the eloquent Richard Rodriguez for the High Country News fall books issue on the theme "intimate geographies."
I'm an editorial curator now for the new website NationSwell, which is in its beta phase currently. Check it out!
I wrote about my family's experience in the Colorado flood disaster for The Atlantic, "Notes on A Thousand-Year Flood."
A letter I wrote about a tumbleweed attack I once suffered appears in the new McSweeney's issue 44. I am delighted that my small contribution to this issue is next to stories by fiction champs Stuart Dybek, Jim Shepard, Rebecca Curtis, and more!
I interviewed novelists (and my pals) David Abrams and Craig Lancaster for PBS MediaShift's special series on authors as entrepreneurs: Two Novelists' Love/Hate Relationship with Social Media.
I reviewed Marisha Pessl's Night Film, Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland, and Jennifer duBois's Cartwheel for Dallas Morning News, Ramona Ausubel's A Guide To Being Born, Nina McConingley's Cowboys And East Indians, and Shawn Vestal's Godforsaken Idaho for High Country News.
I was proud to write about my home town for The Guardian's series on Denver. I've also had a blast re-exploring my city recently.
A letter I wrote about a run-in I had with a tumbleweed will appear in the August issue of McSweeney's Quarterly.
PhoneFiction is republishing stories that previously appeared in literary magazines in a phone-readable format, and they've done so for two of mine: "Hurts," a basketball story,and "Last Summer's Song," a short-short.
Thanks to the BeerAdvocate for interviewing me about "Welcome to My Nanobrewery!" in their June issue.I reviewed Alex Espinoza's The Five Acts of Diego Léon, Anna Keesey's Little Century, and Jess Walter's We Live in Water for High Country News.
"Welcome to My Nanobrewery!" is up on McSweeney's. I'm thinking of printing t-shirts with certain key phrases from it, such as, "Anyone can over-hop a beer." The San Francisco Chronicle gave a shout out to the "perfect nano brewery."
I am gearing up to teach four classes at Lighthouse Writers Workshop's always awesome Lit Fest. I'd love to see you there, so sign up today for: Building Your Writing Web Presence, Freelance Writing: Getting Started and Building Your Career, Shouts & Murmurs: Writing Short Comedy and Microstructure for Your Book. I'll also participate in the panel discussion Scent of a Woman's Ink: The Question of Gender Bias in Publishing with Nick Arvin, Amanda Rea, and Missouri Review editor Michael Nye.
I'm honored to have been selected to participate in the Generations in Dialogue program at USC, which brings six writers together to work with mentor Gregory Wolfe, editor of Image.
I reviewed Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings, Claire Messud's The Woman Upstairs, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah, and Anton DiScalfani's The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls for Dallas Morning News. I reviewed Susan Steinberg's Spectacle for High Country News.
I'll be teaching two classes for Boulder Writing Studio this winter and spring. On March 16, I'll teach a workshop about building your web presence, and on April 9, Robert Gatewood and I will teach a class about writing query letters, finding an agent, and submitting your work. Check the Boulder Writing Studio website for details.
I reviewed The Snow Child by Eowen Ivey for High Country News.
My writing buddies and I established the Denver Literary Kidnapping and Drinking Club last year. Join us on Facebook, and come to our kidnapping of Emily Rapp at the Tattered Cover on March 11. Stay tuned--we'll be kidnapping Benjamin Percy in May.
I reviewed new documentary Out of Print, about the rise of digital reading and the decline of printed books, for PBS MediaShift.
My review of Louise Erdrich's The Round House appeared in Dallas Morning News.
I interviewed literary agent Jason Ashlock for PBS MediaShift about how publishers are responding to the rise of e-books.
Thanks to Elissa Bassist, editor of the Funny Women column at The Rumpus, for running my "New Ways to Summit Everest."
I wrote "Giving the Gift of E-Reading: New Developments in E-Book Giving and E-Reader Cozies" for the PBS MediaShift "Beyond the Book" series.
I reviewed Dana Johnson's wonderful novel Elsewhere, California for High Country News.
My review of Bill Roorbach's novel Life Among Giants appeared in Dallas Morning News.
I've been busy reviewing books this month. I reviewed Zadie Smith's NW and Susan Straight's Between Heaven and Here for Dallas Morning News, and Harrison Candelaria Fletcher's Descanso for My Father and Matthew Batt's Sugarhouse for High Country News.
I'm looking forward to reading at the High Plains BookFest in Billings, Montana on Saturday, October 20 at 2:30 p.m. in the Yellowstone Art Museum, along with Adele Dueck, author of Racing Home, and Robin Troy, author of Liberty Lanes.
The High Country News fall book issue is out now, and I happily contributed three pieces to it--an appreciation of Kent Haruf's Plainsong in "Best of the West: Our Favorite Books," a review of T.C. Boyle's San Miguel, and an interview of three terrific fiction writers whose debut books are set in Nevada: Tupelo Hassman, Claire Vaye Watkins, and Ben Rogers. You have to be a subscriber to read the interview, but you can find the outtakes on my blog.
Thanks to the Billings Gazette for this great review of The Ringer, "Shank Masterfully Mixes Baseball, Social Unrest" by Montana bookseller Kate Manley. I'm looking forward to attending the High Plains Book Award festival in October.I reviewed Chris Cleave's Olympic cycling-themed novel Gold and Claire Vaye Watkins' debut story collection Battleborn for the Dallas Morning News.
And over on PBS MediaShift, I wrote about my love for the Olympics, and how much trouble I'm having preventing myself from finding out the results before I see the athletes compete in "The Quixotic Quest to Avoid Olympic Spoilers on Social Media."
Thanks to Michael Merschel, my fabulous editor at the Dallas Morning News, for this shout out for being one of the "guys" who writes reviews for his fine book section.
I wrote about libraries' difficulty in fulfilling their patrons' e-book demands for PBS MediaShift, "As E-Book Demand Rises, Libraries Struggle with Publishers, Budgets to Deliver."
The Ringer is a finalist for the High Plains Book Award in fiction! The winners will be announced in Billings in October.
I'll be teaching several classes at the super-fun Lighthouse Writers Workshop Lit Fest in June. Click through for the details: "Envisioning Your Novel" (June 4, 2-4:30 p.m.), "Shouts & Murmurs: Writing Short Comedy" (June 6, 5-7:30 p.m.), Reading at the Lit Fest Book Fair (June 15, 12 p.m.), "Writing and Publishing in the 20th Century Marketplace" with Sandra Bond, Nadia Bolz-Weber, and Erin Blakemore (June 15, 1-2:30 p.m.).
The McSweeney's Book of Politics & Musicals, with one of my pieces in it, hits stores on June 26. Order it from the Tattered Cover here.
I'm reading at the SoBo Reading Series with poet Chip Livingston on May 10 at Vic's Espresso, 4770 Table Mesa Dr., Boulder, 7 p.m.
My story "Casa del Rey" appears in the spring issue of Santa Monica Review. Stop by the journal's table at the Los Angeles Times Festival of the Book (April 21-22) for a free copy of the issue.
I weigh in with other Dallas Morning News book critics on this blog by Books Editor Michael Merschel on what book I would have picked for the fiction Pulitzer.
I spoke to publisher Richard Eoin Nash and library specialist Samantha Becker about the results of the new Pew study on the rise of e-books for PBS Media Shift.
My review of Lauren Groff's novel Arcadia and Jim Lynch's Truth Like the Sun appeared in Dallas Morning News and my review of Dagoberto Gilb's Before the End, After the Beginning appeared in High Country News.
I'll be participating in the Longmont Library Book Festival on Friday, April 13 (1-5 p.m.).
January - Feb 2012
I'm starting to teach a new 8-week novel class for Boulder Writing Studio on Monday, January 23. There are a few spots left, so check it out!
My review of Mary Doria Russell's Doc ran this month in High Country News. It's a fascinating novel that gave me a new appreciation of Doc Holliday. I also reviewed Joe Henry's Lime Creek, a beautiful book about a Wyoming ranch family, for HCN. I reviewed Best of the West 2011, an anthology of Western short fiction edited by Seth Horton and West of 98, an anthology of essays about the West, edited by Russell Rowland and Lynn Stegner, for the Dallas Morning News.
My article "Print Books Still Rule the Holidays: The Trouble With Gifting an E-Book" ran on PBS MediaShift, and PBS posted it on its Facebook page.
Poets & Writers Magazine published my literary guide to Denver as a part of their City Guide series. It's long--I wanted to include everybody who makes Denver a great, bookish place to be.
Algonquin Books asked its authors to write about their favorite books of 2011, and Jonathan Evison, author of the awesome West of Here, was kind enough to mention The Ringer! He writes, "As good as Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding is (and I wrote a blurb for it which started with the word “spectacular”), The Ringer may be even better. Like Harbach’s Fielding, baseball serves only as a framing device for this promising debut about such durable American themes as race, class, and family." Evison mentioned The Ringer on Northwest Book Lovers and Three Guys One Book, too!
I did my annual reading tally: I read 48 books this year. That's down about seven from my high a few years ago. I blame it on the fact that my own book came out this year and I had a lot of gallivanting around to do.
Happy news: my "Recycle, Compost, or Trash: A Guide" that originally appeared on McSweeney's Internet Tendency will be included in a forthcoming anthology, The McSweeney's Book of Political Discourse, Scandals and Musicals, to be published by Vintage this summer. And my short story "Casa del Rey" will be in the spring issue of Santa Monica Review.
Thanks to Sally Evans, who interviewed me about The Ringer for her website Embracing Creativity.
Recent book reviewery: Here's my take on Naomi Benaron's Running the Rift and Dan Chaon's Stay Awake for the Dallas Morning News, and Anna Soloman's The Little Bride and Bonnie Nazdam's Lamb for High Country News.
Thanks to Amy Steele for including The Ringer on her best books of 2011 list on Entertainment Realm!
I'll be reading from The Ringer as a part of the Colorado Authors Series at the Schlessman Family Branch of the Denver Public Library on Saturday, October 22 at 2 p.m.
Thanks to my friend David Abrams for his generous review of The Ringer for The Quivering Pen. He calls it "one of the best overlooked books of 2011."
Recent book reviews and essays: My essays A Brave New Book World: How Authors Become Entrepreneurs and 5 Reasons E-Books Are Awesome, Even for the Very Reluctant appeared on PBS MediaShift, and my reviews of Jeffrey Eugenides' The Marriage Plot, Michael Ondaatje's The Cat's Table, and William Giraldi's Busy Monsters appeared in the Dallas Morning News.
I'm looking forward to heading to the Montana Festival of the Book in Missoula on October 6-8. On October 7, I'll will be on a panel with Craig Lancaster, Keir Graff, and David Abrams about online book reviewing, and I'll be doing a reading from The Ringer. On October 8, I will be on a panel about themes of novels set in the West with Bonnie Jo Campbell, Jonathan Evison, and Joe Henry.
As you may have noticed, New West, where I was the Books Editor for four years, has gone dark. I have started my own blog, Mixed Company, which I hope to add more to in the future.
Ryan Warner interviewed me about The Ringer for a Colorado Matters show that will air on August 17 on Colorado Public Radio. You can also stream it online from cpr.org.
Tickets are available now for my September 8 talk at the Chautauqua Community House in Boulder.
I'm teaching an eight-week novel writing workshop through the Boulder Writers Workshop at the Boulder Book Store. It'll meet on Monday evenings, 6-8 p.m., starting on September 12. Sign up here. (You have to join the Boulder Writers Workshop Meetup to register, but don't worry, it isn't hard!)
I recently interviewed Manuel Muñoz about his wonderful new novel What You See in the Dark for New West.
The Denver Diatribe hosted me for a discussion of the little league baseball and literary scenes in Denver. You can listen to the podcast here.
The Ft. Collins Coloradoan ran a great review of The Ringer in Nancy Hansford's local authors column.
I'll be teaching a class about novel writing for the Boulder Writers Workshop on July 16 at the Paradise Bakery in Boulder at 9:30 a.m. You can sign up here.
I'm looking forward to my reading at the Englewood Public Library on Monday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. It's free to attend, and all are welcome.
Cathy Langer, head buyer for Denver's Tattered Cover, recommended The Ringer in this Summer Book Preview on Colorado Matters, a Colorado Public Radio show, and chose The Ringer for the Tattered Cover's Summer Reading 2011 list.
Steven Wingate interviewed me for Fiction Writers Review about being a book critic and a novelist.
I just heard that The Ringer is one of five finalists for the Reading the West Book Awards sponsored by the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association! I'd do a backflip if only I were able!
Thanks to everyone who turned out for my Boulder Book Store reading, The Ringer is #1 on the Boulder Daily Camera Best Seller List and #10 on the Denver Post Hardcover Fiction Best Seller List!
A kind bookseller nominated The Ringer for the Reading the West Award, sponsored by the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association.
Paris-based novelist Janet Skeslien Charles was kind enough to interview me on her blog.
New Pages reviewed The Ringer: "Shank’s novel is a solid, well written, and enjoyable summer read, especially for fans of baseball…and homesick Denverites."
My review of Ann Packer's new story collection, Swim Back To Me, ran in the Dallas Morning News.
I'll be signing copies of The Ringer on Saturday, May 7 at the Barnes & Noble in Greenwood Village, Colo. (where I once worked) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
And this is not news about me, but my family is so excited: My cousin Tommy Hottovy just got called up to pitch for the Red Sox after six years in the minor leagues! Read all about it here and here and here.
There was a great review in the Boulder Daily Camera in advance of my reading at the Boulder Book Store on April 27: The Ringer is "a compelling story that explores cultural and economic divisions, even as it makes clear they can be bridged through the most unexpected of circumstances."
Thanks to all you lovely people who came to my book launch at the Tattered Cover, The Ringer is #2 on the Denver Post Denver Best Seller List and #1 on the Tattered Cover best seller list for hardcover fiction.
I'm gearing up for the big book launch of The Ringer at the Tattered Cover (LoDo) on Friday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. Come for the reading, and join me afterward for a drink at the Wynkoop Brewery!
Westword interviewed me about my Denver novel crusade and was kind enough to invite everybody to my Tattered Cover book launch. And my former employer, The Onion A.V. Club, gave a nice shout-out to my book: "In The Ringer, first-time novelist Jenny Shank displays an unerring sense of direction while steering her book through rugged emotional terrain with a deft touch and obvious skill."
Three Guys One Book features my essay about my childhood literary influences for their series When We Fell In Love: a shout out to Mark Twain, Sherlock Holmes, and Zora Neale Hurston.
Listen to The Write Question on Montana Public Radio on March 24 at 7:30 p.m. or check it out online to hear my discussion with Chérie Newman about The Ringer.
My essay "Writing The Decent Denver Novel" appears on the Huffington Post Denver.
I will be speaking and reading from The Ringer the Denver Woman's Press Club meeting on March 21.
Image Journal gave The Ringer a great review: "The Ringer is a quintessential American story that deftly and compassionately examines the nuances of race, culture, and religion in contemporary society—and it does so with heart, wit, and playfulness."
I'm excited to report that I will be on Denver's KUVO during the R&B Jukebox on Saturday, April 2 at 8 p.m. for an interview with Easy Bill, who will spin a Ringer-themed setlist. Tune in to 89.3 if you're in Denver, or stream it from KUVO.org from anywhere.
This month, I'm on a blog tour, writing guest posts and doing interviews with websites including The Huffington Post, Largehearted Boy, New West, Craig Lancaster's A Mind Adrift in the West, Montana Public Radio's The Write Question, Fiction Writers Review, The Entertainment Realm, and more. I'll post the links on the Events page as they appear.
Library Journal gave The Ringer a fantastic review in their Spring Baseball Book Roundup: "Every first novel has the potential to seize the interest of a wide readership when it combines these elements: a young baseball player seeking solace on the field for the loss of a father killed by police in a botched drug raid; a veteran Denver police officer (and baseball coach) scarred by a life-ending and life-changing split-second decision; and the women-mother/widow and the wife-who seek to move forward with their lives. Add to the mix a fragile history of urban ethnic discord, rivalry and then unity in a common pursuit, and the fact that no truth ever remains hidden. The result is an entertaining and suspenseful tale with a compelling climax. For diamond fans and those who enjoy a well-written contemporary novel.—G.R."
Small Press Reviews loved The Ringer: "An astounding debut."
Operation El Johnway is on! Now to distribute his postcards around Denver…
The book launch for THE RINGER is set for April 8 at the LoDo Tattered Cover. I'll do a baseball-themed reading in honor of the Rockies' opening week.
Recent book reviewery: I wrote about Annie Proulx's new memoir Bird Cloud for the Dallas Morning News and I interviewed Eleanor Brown, Cortright McMeel and David E. Hilton about their new novels for New West.
Check out the great review of The Ringer in the April 2011 issue of 5280 Magazine: "Newbie novelist Jenny Shank knocks it out of the park (pun intended) with her first book, The Ringer. The dramatic story, set against the backdrop of a Little League championship, follows two Denver families from different cultures--opposing teams off the field, but teammates during the game--who are forced to deal with the tragic repercussions of a deadly mistake. Shank has a knack for writing prose that's both artful and detailed, and is bound to have a rewarding career as a novelist: This book was a semifinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award." - Anna Bergquist.
Kirkus Reviews gives The Ringer a rave: "Shank's first at-bat as a novelist is a hit."
My friend Shira Richman was kind enough to tell everybody at Bark about me and this article in her post, "Writing Can Be As Appealing As Breakfast."
December - November 2010
It's official! I'll be reading from THE RINGER at the Boulder Book Store in Boulder, Colo. on Wednesday, April 27 (7:30 p.m.).
I reviewed Brian Leung's Take Me Home for the Dallas Morning News.
I am happy to report that my essay about writing, "Ham-and-Egger," will appear in the January/February 2011 issue of Poets & Writers.
I reviewed Benjamin Percy's taut, accomplished first novel, The Wilding, for the Dallas Morning News.
I reviewed Danielle Evans' moving and funny story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self for the Dallas Morning News.
The Ringer's very first review in Publishers Weekly: "Shank debuts promisingly with the dramatic story of two families upended by an accidental police shooting. Denver police officer Ed O'Fallon is wracked with guilt after he guns down a man during a drug raid; Patricia Maestas, meanwhile, is instantly made a widow and single mother. Their narratives are equally engaging: as Ed's marriage buckles under the weight of his feelings of guilt, Patricia struggles to keep her 12-year-old son, Ray, out of trouble. What keeps Ray off the streets is baseball--the same sport Ed's sons are devoted to. When an investigation reveals the warrant for the fateful raid had the wrong address, Patricia and her family become a symbol of the wrongs suffered by the Latino community. The novel comes to a full boil after Patricia and Ed discover one another's identities through their sons' baseball teams…The narrative…barrels toward a well-handled climax."
Check out this cool new Google Map of Book Festivals of the West we put together for New West. (And let me know if I forgot any festivals, conferences, or workshops.)
My review of Ivan Doig's Work Song appeared in the Dallas Morning News.
My review of Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story appeared in the Dallas Morning News.
I interviewed Colorado writer and musician Daniel Grandbois for New West.
"How to Go Along to Get Along" appeared on McSweeney's Internet Tendency.
My review of Pam Grier's memoir, Foxy: My Life in Three Acts, ran in the Boulder Daily Camera. I, like Pam Grier, grew up in Denver and graduated from a Denver Public high school. Then, our paths diverged: she became the glamorous star of blaxploitation films and Quentin Tarantino's unforgettable Jackie Brown and the world's first female action hero, while I became a simple book reviewer. Also, guess which one of us Snoop Dogg visits when he passes through Colorado?
My review of the new English translation of Adriana Lisboa's 2003 novel "Symphony in White" appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera.
New West April Fools' piece "Dr. Seuss Explains the Rocky Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic" was reprinted in the Forest Health Task Force newsletter, the Mountain States Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association newsletter, Sharon O'Toole's Western Folklife blog, Sun Valley Online, the Montana Wood Products Association, the Helena National Forest Newsletter, and the Minnesota Forest Insect and Disease Newsletter. According to one ranger, the piece has "circulated like wildfire around the Forest Service." This caused me to wonder how often forest rangers use the phrase "like wildfire" to describe non-fire phenomenon.
My review of Laurie Wagner Buyer's When I Came West appeared in the Dallas Morning News.
My interview with novelist Paula Reed appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera.
New West article "Why Cody, Wyoming Is The New Literary Capital of America" was reprinted in Wyofile.