“On a Train from the Place Called Valentine” to Appear in Boulevard

Some excellent news today, as I learned that my short story “On a Train from the Place Called Valentine” will run in the Spring 2012 issue of Boulevard!

This will be my sixteenth published short story, and the third of mine to appear in Boulevard. My work has found a home in the journal, and I’m grateful for the support of its staff, especially editor Richard Burgin. It’s a real privilege to connect with a prestigious journal multiple times like this. Previously, “Welcome Home” ran in the Spring 2008 issue of Boulevard–as winner of their Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers–and “The Approximate End of the World” ran in the Spring 2010 issue.

Similar to when I mentioned that “The First Night of My Down-and-Out Sex Life” was selected by Confrontation earlier this year, “On a Train from the Place Called Valentine” is part of a series of short stories that I’ve been working on the past couple years–which combine in my short story collection (How to Die Young in Nebraska) as the novella “Bad Faith.” The other stories include “The Man Who Never Was,” which was in Weekday a year ago, and “Kleinhardt’s Women,” which was on Fogged Clarity in December. “On a Train from the Place Called Valentine” is a psychological thriller that follows heroine Amy Gutschow after she jumps a freight train outside Aurora, Nebraska and through her confrontation with a pathetic but effective ladies man, Aaron Kleinhardt, after she hops off the train in Valentine, Neb. This story is one I’m very proud of, and I’m ecstatic to know that it will be taken care of by a stalwart like Boulevard. Cheers!

Pushcart Prize Mention

My short story “Welcome Back” (also published as “Welcome Home”) was in the Special Mention section of the Pushcart Prize XXXIV anthology! The section is for “important works” that were not reprinted in the book. I didn’t even know it had been nominated, so this was very surprising.

This story was first published in Boulevard as the winner of their Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers and was later anthologized in Best New American Voices.

Pretty cool stuff!

On a somewhat related note, I read over the weekend that the Best New American Voices anthology will be going on hiatus following the current 2010 edition, since Harcourt isn’t interested in continuing. This is really too bad, as this is one of the best year-end collections out there and had turned into a major way for young fiction talent to break into the industry. Especially for writers who didn’t go to Iowa or Columbia or Hunter, BNAV was perhaps the best way to get the attention of agents and editors. Series editor John Kulka is confident that another publisher will pick up the anothology, although it will take a few years to get going again. Best of luck to John and fellow editor Natalie Danford. Hopefully we’ll see it back on shelves again soon.