Short Stories

(…and other writing)

I write short stories for early readers, middle-grade readers, and young adults (as well as the occasional story for regular adults who are young at heart).

Early Readers

My short story, “A Forest Full of Stars,” appears in the July, 2018 issue of Highlights.  The story won the 2019 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Fiction.  A PDF of the story, with illustrations by Marcin Piwowarski, can be found by clicking on this link: A Forest Full of Stars – Highlights, July 2018. (Copyright © Highlights for Children, Inc., Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Middle-Grade Readers

My short story, “How I Broke My First World Record on the Chariot of Alexander the Great,” appears in the July/August, 2022 “Time Travel” issue of AQUILA Magazine.  A PDF of the story, complete with charming illustrations by Isabel Otten, can be read by clicking on this link: How I Broke My First World Record on the Chariot of Alexander the Great – AQUILA July-August 2022 – p42-43.

My short story, “The Midnight Owl of Gumbucket Hill,” won the middle-grade category of the 2020 Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing.  It has been published online in Hunger Mountain and can be read here.

A short story, “The Moustache Olympics,” appears in the June, 2020 print issue of AQUILA Magazine. A PDF of the story, with a wonderful illustration by Ed J. Brown, can be read by clicking on this link: The Moustache Olympics – AQUILA, June 2020 – p24-25.

My short story entitled “Surface People” appears in print in the 2017 issue of DoveTales: An International Journal of the ArtsThe journal’s theme for that year was “Refugees and the Displaced.”

A short story entitled “From A to Z” was published in Issue 12 of Stew Magazine (Jan./Feb. 2016).  A snapshot of the spread (with beautiful artwork by Alina Surnaite) can be found here.

Young Adults and Older Readers

My YA short story, “The Otchka,” appears both in print and online in Issue 23 of Hunger Mountain (Spring, 2019).  It can be read here.

My short story “How to Juggle” was a finalist for the 2017 Gival Press Short Story Award and longlisted for the 2017 Cosmonauts Avenue Fiction Prize.  Published online in the May, 2018 issue of Cosmonauts Avenue, it can be found here.

A YA short story entitled “Creeping Jenny,” published online in Issue 12 of Lunch Ticket (Winter/Spring, 2018), can be found here.

My short story “Quartet in D Minor, Opus 30: A Ghost Story” won the Winter 2016 F(r)iction Short Story Contest, judged by Simon Tolkien (novelist and grandson of J.R.R.!), and was printed in Issue 8 of F(r)iction (Summer, 2017).  The announcement can be found here.

A short story entitled “Echo,” published in Young Adult Review Network (YARN) in December, 2013, can be found here.

A video clip from an M.F.A. student reading at Austin’s amazing independent bookstore Malvern Books, in which I read the opening pages of my short story “How to Juggle,” can be found here.

Other Writing

A critical/literary essay entitled “The Patronus Paradox: Dispelling the Dementors of Grad School,” co-written with my brilliant friends and colleagues Amrita Mishra and Chienyn Chi, was published in the San Antonio Review in July, 2022 and can be read here.

An op-ed about flying foxes written for The Cairns Post (June 14th, 2013), the main local newspaper of Cairns, Australia, can be read here.

An essay, “The Boa Constrictor and the Elephant: Urban and Suburban Re-Enchantment in Harry Potter and The Man Who Was Thursday,” was published in the Madison Journal of Literary Criticism  in 2012.

An eccentric chess problem I invented, published in Chess Life for Kids (August, 2008), can be viewed at the bottom of the page here.  The solution (October, 2008) can be found here.