It has been awhile since my last newsletter, but the end of the year seems like a good time to bring everyone up to date.
The biggest thing that happened to me this year was that I was named an Emerging Author finalist for the Indiana Authors Award sponsored by the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Foundation and the Indianapolis Public Library. I went to Indianapolis for the awards banquet in early October and was thrilled when my name was announced as the winner. This was a great honor. I had a great time at the event, saw some of my family, and made many new friends.
And then, confirming my status as an emerging author, I won the Emerging Writer fellowship from the Writer’s Center, a Washington DC area organization that supports writers. At some point in 2016 I’ll be going to the Center to give a reading.
I was also honored to receive the first Alumni Fellowship to the Tinker Mountain Writers’ Workshop this year. I spent a wonderful week at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, working with other writers, attending craft lectures, and giving a reading. I was also invited to Charlotte, North Carolina to give a reading at the Queens University MFA Program Alumni Weekend.
There were other readings, too. I gathered some of the contributors to my anthology, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, to read at George Mason University’s Fall for the Book Festival. I also presented the book at the Virginia Festival of the Book and at a reading at Writer House, a community writing center in Charlottesville, Virginia. (The book was named a finalist for the International Book Award, I’m proud to say.) And I read from my own work at a special literary event right here at home.
In the midst of all of that, I continued writing. I had wonderful residencies at both Rivendell Writers’ Colony in Tennessee and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. I spent most of the year working on a quirky new novel. I’m hopeful that early in the New Year my agent will be sending that out on submission to publishers. Keep your fingers crossed! And somehow I also managed to finish a very rough draft of yet another novel. That one still needs lots of work and research (including some international travel), so that’s my project for 2016. I’m also putting together a second volume of my anthology, Everywhere Stories, which is expected to be published by Press 53 in the fall.
And while I’m always writing and promoting my work, I never stop reading. It was a great year in reading for me, including a book by one of my favorite writers like Colum McCann. If you’re interested in learning about some of the books I read, check out my reading journal: 2015 Reading.
That wraps up 2015 for me. I hope 2016 is as productive.
Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!