Archive for the ‘links’ Category

Literary Links: Get Moving!

It’s no secret that leaving your desk and getting your blood flowing helps generate energy and new ideas. But as the days get darker and colder, and you plunge deeper into your NaNoWriMo masterpiece, it’s hard to muster the willpower to get up from your cozy study and put on your running shoes. Here are a few articles to remind you of the importance of taking a break and getting some fresh air.

The Atlantic recently published a fantastic article on Why Writers Run, which examines the similarities between running and writing, and discusses how many authors use the mental space running creates as a part of their writing process. Nick Ripatrazone writes: “The steady, repetitive movement of distance running triggers one’s intellectual autopilot, freeing room for creative thought. Neuroscientists describe this experience as a feeling of timelessness, where attention drifts and imagination thrives.”

Two famous contemporary writers who consider running an integral part of their creative life are Joyce Carol Oates and Haruki Murakami. Years ago, Oates wrote this great piece in The New York Times about how running informs her narratives, in which she says: “Stories come to us as wraiths requiring precise embodiments. Running seems to allow me, ideally, an expanded consciousness in which I can envision what I’m writing as a film or a dream. I rarely invent at the typewriter but recall what I’ve experienced.” Well. In his New Yorker essay “The Running Novelist,” Murakami talks about his daily running routine, and how he became a writer. And, in case you needed more convincing, here is an article from The Guardian that talks about running as a cure for writer’s block.

If running just isn’t your thing, taking a stroll will get your creative juices flowing. This article explores the science that links how (and where) we walk and how we think, and talks about how famous writers from Henry David Thoreau to William Wordsworth relied on the imaginative territory long walks provide.

And, just for fun, you might want to check out Electric Literature’s “Yoga for Writers” infographic for a laugh and Flavorwire’s photographs of famous authors playing sports for a little visual inspiration.

by Sadye Teiser

Literary Links – New Publications, Anthologies, Awards, and Prizes

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51OnVOFMJQL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Anthologies to Love – 100 Years of Best American Short Stories – You guys, we love an anthology. And we love the Best Of Series, which has championed the short story for years. Now, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is honoring the centennial of its short fiction compilation with a forthcoming special anniversary edition, 100 Years of The Best American Short Stories. The special edition, edited by Lorrie Moore, will include a selection of short stories featured throughout the series, which launched in 1915. The collection is available Oct 6, 2015.

The National Book Awards Longlist – Each year we look forward to the longlist and this year there is especially happy news. Our first-year judge, Lauren Groff’s newest novel Fates and Furies was recently nominated for the award. Of course we’re huge fans. Be sure to check out this fantastic interview in The Guardian. “My deepest desire for this book was to write a subversive book that didn’t look subversive.”

01-Freemans-coverNew Publications – There are some friends on the scene. The long-awaited Freemans, the bi-annual publication edited by John Freeman (of Granta fame) releases in October and showcases some notable writers: Haruki Murakami, Louise Erdich, Lydia Davis, Laura vandenBerg, Lorrie Moore, and Dave Eggers to name a few. Regarding the journal, Freeman said in an interview with the Washington Post, “I want it to be a home for the long form… as well as writing that feels possessed, like only that writer could have done it. I hope it introduces new writers, and coaxes great ones to do something other than book-length writing. There will probably be a photo essay in the middle.”

Catapult also launches this week. Brought to you by the founders of Electric Literature, Catapult celebrates extraordinary storytelling. They accept un-agented submissions of literary fiction, memoir, nonfiction, and graphic narrative in April and October. Editor in Chief Pat Strachan says, “We must contribute to both contemporary literary culture and the pleasure and knowledge of a diverse and serious readership.” As Rebecca Mead wrote in The New Yorker, “There are pleasures to be had from books beyond being lightly entertained.”

-1Prize for New Immigrant Writing $10,000 – Restless books has announced a killer award, one that focuses entirely on first-generation residents of the United States. “The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing will alternate yearly between accepting unpublished fiction and nonfiction submissions, beginning with fiction in 2015. Fiction submissions can take the form of a novel or a collection of short stories. Nonfiction submissions can take the form of a memoir, a collection of essays, or a book-length work of narrative nonfiction.” The winner will be awarded $10,000 and publication through the press. Details here.

Listen To Your Reading: Selections from Four of Our Favorite Literary Podcasts

There are a lot of great literary podcasts out there. Here, we’ve selected a few of our favorite episodes, all available for free. These stories (and, in one case, an essay) are perfect to listen to while you’re working out, cooking dinner, riding on the bus, or just relaxing on a summer afternoon. We like to return to them, again and again, for a little inspiration.

Richard Bausch“Letter to The Lady of the House” by Richard Bausch, This American Life

This one is an oldie but a goodie. In this Valentine’s Day episode of This American Life from ’98, Richard Bausch reads his story “Letter to the Lady of the House” (Act One). This incredible story, in the form of a letter, examines the history of a marriage. It gets us every time.

<< Listen Here >>

Miranda July 2“Roy Spivey” by Miranda July, The New Yorker Fiction Podcast

David Sedaris reads Miranda July’s story “Roy Spivey,” and discusses it with New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman. Sedaris is the perfect reader for July’s humorous and sad story, about a woman who sits next to a celebrity on an airplane, and the way that this experience carries through the rest of the woman’s life.

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Joy Williams“Why I Write” by Joy Williams, Tin House Workshop Podcasts

Writing is a solitary act, and it’s nice to hear from other writers, from time to time, about their experience. Even Joy Williams has her own frustrations with writing, but we think you will find this reading of hers strangely inspiring. Take a fifteen-minute break to listen to Joy Williams read her essay “Why I Write,” recorded live at the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop in 2010.

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Ramona AusubelA Reading and Discussion with Ramona Ausubel and Claire Vaye Watkins, BookCourt Podcasts

This is sort of a long one, but it’s definitely worth it to hear Ramona Ausubel and Claire Vaye Watkins read their fiction and talk about putting together their first short story collections in this recording of a reading at BookCourt in Brooklyn.

<< Listen Here >>

Literary Links: Six Stories About Animals

bird flying cage

It’s no secret that, here at The Masters Review, we love animals. We will jump at the chance to read stories that include any type of creature—whether it be furry, vicious, magical, or all of the above. But there is much to be said about the way that animals are used in stories: they can serve as central characters, help advance the plot, set the tone, or add specific texture to a story. On Wednesday, the editors will discuss the different ways that animals are used in fiction, with studies of specific stories. On Friday, we will publish “House Hunt” by Jessica Lee Richardson, a story about a woman searching for a new place to live with her best friend, who just so happens to be a lion. To kick off the week, we give you a roundup of some of our favorite animal stories from around the web. These are not just pieces where animals appear, but where they play an essential role and serve as building blocks for the narrative. Enjoy.

“Shirley Temple Three” by Thomas Pierce, The New Yorker
A son asks his mother to harbor a cloned wooly mammoth. But what do you do when your wooly mammoth starts losing its hair and gets sick?

“Stone Animals” by Kelly Link, Recommended Reading
An unnatural number of bunnies congregates in the front yard of a family’s new house. And that is one of the most everyday elements of this story. Trust us, you will never be able to look at these creatures the same way again.

horse“Ponies” by Kij Johnson, Tor
Girls are invited to a “cutting-out” ceremony with their Ponies, who have horns, wings, and the ability to talk.

“The Barn At The End of Our Term” by Karen Russell, Granta
Presidents of the United States are reincarnated as horses. They ponder life, death, and their current existence. A few of them even consider escape.

“Tierkling” by Justine McNulty, The Masters Review
We were thrilled to publish “Tierkling” this last winter. In Justine McNulty’s story, a group of boys takes it upon themselves to liberate the exotic creatures in a pet store. Suffice it to say that things do not go as planned.

“What The Water Feels Like To The Fishes” by Dave Eggers, The Guardian
What would the fishes say if they could talk to us? In this piece of flash fiction, they instruct us on what the water feels like, among other things.

Hint Fiction: Six Stories to Read in Under a Minute

In celebration of Short Story Month, we are studying fiction in all forms and sizes. People often bemoan the fact that stories are getting shorter and shorter. But fewer words does not necessarily mean less impact. The first week of our Short Story Showcase focuses on hint fiction, stories of twenty-five words or less. Hint fiction can carry a mighty heft. These miniscule tales are craftily distilled. They “hint” at larger stories. On Friday, we will feature an interview with Robert Swartwood, who coined the term back in ’09 with his essay “Hint Fiction: When Flash Becomes Just Too Flashy.” Until then, here are a few hint-fiction stories for your reading pleasure. They may take less than a minute to read, but they will stay in your mind all day.

hint fiction

We love Sherman Alexie’s brief, but devastating story “The Human Comedy,” featured as part of Narrative’s six-word stories series.

Wigleaf published a selection of stories by authors who were published in Norton’s Hint Fiction anthology, among them: “I Know Things about the Girls Next Door”  by Roxane Gay.

Nanoism publishes twitter-fiction (stories of 140 characters or less) online. Its collection includes many pieces of hint fiction, such as this one by Michael Jagunic.

Lydia Davis was writing flash before it was flash and hint fiction far before the term was invented. Check out her hint pieces “Honoring the Subjunctive” and “Losing Memory” in this collection of her stories on NPR.

Monkeybicyle features some great one-sentence stories, many of which come in at under twenty-five words. Be sure to check out R. Gatwood’s potent eleven-word piece “Dandelions Actually” here.

Robert Swartwood, the official authority on hint fiction, published “Summer of ‘84” in Everyday Genius. This story is a series of hints that can stand alone but that, together, form a larger narrative.

Leave your own hint fiction in the comments.

by Sadye Teiser

Literary Links – The Monday Version

Oh Monday. Here are some best-of-the-webs to get you geared up for the week. literary links_green

Matt Sumell produced this list of Fiction’s top ten troublemakers for The Guardian.

We’re excited about a few things over here. Our anthology closes for submissions on the 31, which means you need to get your stories in pronto. Also, we’re thrilled to announce author Anne Valente will be editing the stories for our online Spring Workshop, which is open for submissions through May 15. Lastly, a huge congrats to Masters Review writer Megan Giddings and her story “The Brothers Wham!” which will be republished in The Best of the Net anthology.

Rob Spillman gave us this great piece in Guernica on Miranda July and her new book, The First Bad Man. “The issue is that words like whimsical are ‘a pejorative masquerading as a descriptor’ and, no surprise, are rarely used to describe the work of male novelists working similar territory.”

Screenwriters, HBO is accepting applications to its HBO Access Writing Fellowship, which opens on March 4, and is looking for diverse writers. Details, here.

We’re Electric Literature devotees. They are always great and always deliver. Here’s this gem, a video of Lydia Davis’ advice to young writers. “Do what you want to do, and don’t worry if it’s a little odd or doesn’t fit the market.”

Thirty-one-year-old author Graham Moore talks writing, failure, and his screenplay The Imitation Game, in this lengthy (and awesome!) interview. “In spending your days making things, you’re constantly recalibrating how much of an editor you need to be, how much you need to trust that hopefully someone will make some merit in what you’re doing, but at the same time be easy on yourself enough so that you can keep going. But you also have to be hard enough on yourself so that you don’t think that just any thing is the most brilliant thing in the world. ”

Want to feel productive on a Monday? Submit to these upcoming contests (a sneak-peek of our March deadlines list)!

Literary Links

Sunday is a time to slow down. Here are some literary links from around the web to help guide you through your morning.

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Kelly Link’s new book Get in Trouble was released last week and our friends at Electric Literature have a killer interview.

We were quite taken with Literistic this week. This new service compiles all the upcoming deadlines and contests for the following month and sends you a curated list based on your preferences. Free to subscribe!

tumblr_inline_nj9rgkf1GP1sev3s5The PEN Center USA blog aims to inspire, educate, and support literature. They’re currently hosting a 500-word contest inspired by this Vivian Maier photograph. The contest is $5 to enter and is judged by Amelia Gray. The deadline to submit is Monday, February 9, but look, it’s only 500 words. Details here. posted this poem by Michael McGriff, and we’re, well, obsessed. “Why I’m Obsessed With Horses.

Our anthology is open for submissions. $5000 awarded to the best emerging writers. Judged by Kevin Brockmeier. Submit now!

Kirstin Valdez Quade’s is a 5 Under 35 award winner from the National Book Foundation and her book of short stories, Night at the Fiestas debuts next month. We love fresh voices and new talent. Here’s a sneak peek of her writing with the story “The Five Wounds,” published by The New Yorker.

There’s no denying it, Margaret Atwood is important for the world. In this Slate interview, she talks about hope, science, and writing for the future.

Literary Links – The Best of The Net

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Ira Glass discusses taste and ability in this one minute speech about sticking to your creative goals.

Stay inspired with this video of Patti Smith and David Lynch discussing their creative process. (Electric Literature)

Here’s a helpful list of ten science fiction books for your not-so-serious science fiction reader. (Flavorwire)

And for you big sci-fi readers and writers, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction now accepts electronic submissions! No more dead trees. No more stamps. Submit here.

Struggling with your plot? This image shows you how JK Rowling handled Harry Potter’s intricate plots. (Mental Floss)

Have a plot that kicks ass? Well then, consider submitting to our Emerging Writers contest. $5000 will be awarded to the best emerging writers in the country, judged by author Kevin Brockmeier. Details and submissions here.

Here’s some advice about cover letters from a contest judge. (Review Review)

When television and literature collide, we pay attention. Here’s a list of 50 of the greatest literary moments on television. (Flavorwire)

What about movies? Ayn Rand rates some of your favorite movies from childhood. (New Yorker)

Literary Magazines and Contests with Deadlines in December

This is it. This is how it all ends. 2014, I mean. Who has the vim, the temerity, and—holy crap—the TIME to apply for these literary contests and still buy and wrap presents? Will it be you?

Sarabande Books – One of my favorite new (-to-me) publishing houses gets top billing here, mostly because they have earned my loyalty by putting out great books. So check out details on their Bernheim Writing Residency, a “two- to six-week residency at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky…given annually to a poet, a fiction writer, or a creative nonfiction writer.” That’s a good look, and this a cool group, so do the right thing. NO ENTRY FEE. Due: December 15

Tethered by Letters Fall Literary Contests – Tethered by Letters is running three contests that close this month: one for the short story (prize: $250), one for flash fiction (prize: $50), and one for poetry (prize: $100). In their own words, TBL is looking for writers with “engaging stories, vivid characters, and fresh writing styles.” Winners of each contest receive publication and finalists earn free professional edits. Details here. Entry Fee: $10 for each short story; $4 for each piece of flash fiction or $10 for three; $5 for each poem or $12 for three. Due: December 15

BoulevardA prize of $1500 is awarded by Boulevard for the best short story of up to 8000 words. The only catch is you can’t have already published a nationally distributed book. So Lorrie Moore, for example, would not be eligible. Nor would George Saunders or Amy Hempel, though hopefully they’ll apply and get disqualified and you can say you bested them in a literary contest. Check it. Entry Fee: $15. Due: December 31

Barbara Deming Memorial Fund – Individual artist grants of “up to $1,500 are given twice yearly to feminist writers” by the Deming Fund. This go-round, they will be awarding fiction writers. Check out the details here and apply before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. Entry Fee: $25. Due: December 31

Lascaux Review – Again, a short story contest? Why not poetry? Because we are your premiere short story outlet. Also because the Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction allows previously published stories, which, if you’ve read as much fine print as I have, you know is rare. The winner receives $1000 and publication. Submit here. Entry Fee: $10. Due: December 31

Mississippi Review – Got a poem or a short story to beat the band, that is up to snuff and passes muster? Then submit it here, though I’d advise you to leave those sayings out unless you promise to use them better than I have. Winners receive $1000 and publication. Go for it! Entry Fee: $15 for mailed submissions, $16 for online submissions. Due: January 1

New Delta Review Chapbook Contest – The New Delta Review chapbook competition will be judged by Michael Martone and is open to manuscripts of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and hybrids. The winner will receive $250 and chapbook publication in Spring 2015! Go ahead, submit. Entry Fee: $17. Due: January 1

Glimmer Train Press – Contest stalwarts GTP are once again opening their floodgates, this time to fiction of every stripe: “all subjects, all themes, and all writers.” The top three entries get cash prizes. Guidelines here. Entry Fee: $20. Due: January 2

by Andrew Wetzel

Literary Links – Articles, Fiction, and More!

Here’s what we’re excited about on the web.

Untitled-2Masters Review editorial director Sadye Teiser wrote a beautiful essay about Women and Magical Realism for Full Stop.

Publishing guru Jill Abramson and entrepreneur Steve Brill are endeavoring on a killer start up. It will focus on one long story each month and the pay-out for writers is huge. And awesome. “Jill Abramson’s start up will pay writers 100K per story.”

This month we had the pleasure of publishing a story by Kate Bernheimer. “The Punk’s Bride” is an original short story written exclusively for our October showcase. Read it here!

The wonderful Todd Summar of Goreyesque interviewed our first-year judge, Lauren Groff about her first novel Monsters of Templeton.

Hayden’s Ferry Review editor and Masters Review New Voices alum, Alex McElroy has a new story up at Passages North.

Our friends over at Electric Literature have developed a helpful infographic illustrating how print is out-selling ebooks.

In ribbonsLastly, we held a pretty killer contest this October for the best scary story. Read the winning piece, “In Ribbons” by Paul McQuade here.

Other awesome finds include of Masters Review flavor include: our yearly anthology is guest judged by Lev Grossman is now available for purchase! Lincoln Michel wrote an amazing essay on the difference between horror and terror, and we interviewed the authority on terrible happenings when we spoke with Lemony Snicket, in an Unfortunate Interview.

Magazines and Contests with Deadlines in September

Goodbye summer school, hello normal school. Fall means a wealth of huge literary contests. There might be money; there will almost definitely be publication. But you don’t do it for any of those things, I know. You do it for the mail. So enter some of these here contests. Digital or snail, there will certainly be mail involved.

American Academy In Berlin  Whoa, hit the ground running, eh? How ambitious of you. Though are you sure you want to take time out of your life that could be spent applying to literary journals and contests that might be a better fit for . . . what’s that? They give the Berlin Prize Fellowship recipients a $5000 monthly stipend, airfare, and lodging in beautiful Berlin?! Go ahead, submit. NO ENTRY FEE Due: September 29

California State University – Perhaps this is more our speed: a domestic contest, with prizes that include payment and publication. CSU’s Anhinga Press awards the Phillip Levine Prize in Poetry annually to the best poetry collection. Check it. Entry fee: $25. Due: September 30

Glimmer Train Press – What would a deadlines post be without the Train gang? This month, their Family Matters contest seeks the best stories about “families of all configurations.” All they ask, in no uncertain terms, is that you don’t throw anyone under the bus too flagrantly. Submit here. Entry: $15. Due: September 30

Puritan Magazine  The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence is awarded to the single best submission in the respective categories of poetry and fiction. The judges for this year’s prize are Margaret Atwood (for poetry) and Zsuzsi Gartner (for fiction). Submit now! Entry: $15. Due: September 30

Hackney Literary Awards – Thirty bucks by the thirtieth to get dirty and flirty with the Alabama hurdy gurdy. Oh my god, that makes no sense, I’m so sorry. This contest is for an unpublished novel. Peep the deets. Entry: $30. Due: September 30

American Literary Review – “Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in American Literary Review are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay.” I know that deep in the heart of Texas they do everything bigger, but the ALR website states some explicit maximum word lengths for this contest. Check out the details here.  Entry: $15. Due: October 1

Zoetrope: All Story – At this point, Zoetrope is a name that is synonymous with quality short fiction. Winning submissions of their Short Fiction Contest are considered for representation by some of the most prestigious literary agencies in the world. Go for it. Entry: $20. Due: October 1

Harvard University – If you simply must know what all the fuss is about, I suggest you apply for one of Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute Fellowships. It’ll net you $75,000 and office space at the Institute. Details are here, in case you’re a world famous writer perusing our lowly deadlines round-up. If that is the case, please also check out the Guggenheim Fellowships, the Cullman Fellowships, or those damn Pulitzers, which are also due at the end of the month in case you have any juice left in your iWatch to send the applications. All of these fall under the category of If You Win, It Goes In Your Obit. NO ENTRY FEE. Due: October 1

The Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize  This is a big one. The Missouri Review awards $5000 to the winning work of fiction, $5000 to the winning poetry submission, and $5000 to the winning essay. This contest is heading into its 24th year and previous champions have gone on to be published in the Best American series, among other publications. Guidelines here. Entry: $20. Due: October 1

Masters Review – “In honor of our favorite month of the year, we’re holding a contest for the best short story that embodies the hair-raising, spine-chilling, disturbing, and scary nature of October.” That’s me quoting the royal We, as in the Masters Review Crew. Which is to say we’re hosting a damned fine writing contest about the damned. There is a $$$ prize and !!! publication for the lucky so-and-so who can bring the pain to our cranial. Enter here. Entry: $13. Due: October 15

by Andrew Wetzel

Ten Books We’re Looking Forward To This Fall

It’s starting to feel like fall, and along with the changing leaves comes an impressive new crop of books. Here are ten fresh debuts we can’t wait to curl up with this season.  


Wolf in WhiteWolf in White Van by John Darnielle

John Darnielle, of popular band The Mountain Goats, has written a novel, and editor Andrew just loved it. The hermetic narrator Sean spends most of his life creating a role-playing game that his clients play through the mail. But he is forced to confront reality when tragedy befalls two of the game’s most fanatic fans. In his upcoming review, Andrew writes: “ . . . through deft construction and well-earned empathy, Darnielle has crafted a memorable character who is guided through the darkest patches of his life by an inner intensity that burns like a magnesium flare.”

WallflowersWallflowers by Eliza Robertson

Eliza Robertson’s debut story collection, Wallflowers, is out mid-September. This young Canadian author has already garnered wide acclaim, and with good reason. The seventeen stories in this thick collection are exquisitely crafted worlds. In the opening story, a teenage girl finds herself alone, the only one in her neighborhood to survive a flood. In another story, Robertson focuses on the fiery, complicated relationship between two roommates. Editor Arielle thoroughly enjoyed this collection. In her upcoming review, Arielle comments: “As a whole, the collection stands as evidence of a truly great new literary talent with a handle on craft, character and subtlety. Robertson can handle the quick turn as well as she can build the slow burn.”

Doll PalaceDoll Palace by Sara Lippmann

We loved Dock Street Press’s second release Naked Me by Christian Winn, and we are eagerly awaiting the next book from this new publisher: Doll Palace by Sara Lippmann. This is Lippmann’s debut story collection, but you can sneak a peak at her writing in Joyland, Wigleaf, and SmokeLong Quarterly, among other lit mags. Rachel Sherman, author of Living Room and The First Hunt, has said of Lippmann: “Her female characters see motherhood, womanhood and self-hood through a raw and funny lens: I am about to cry, when I laugh.”


The WildsThe Wilds by Julia Elliott

Julia Elliott’s The Wilds is the perfect October book. According to the Publishers Weekly starred review, “Elliott’s gift of vernacular is remarkable, and her dark, modern spin on Southern Gothic creates tales that surprise, shock, and sharply depict vice and virtue.”



By Light We Knew Our NamesBy Light We Knew Our Names by Anne Valente

We are beyond excited about By Light We Knew Our Names, Anne Valente’s debut short story collection, out from Dzanc Books. The collection features an all-woman fight club,  ghosts, and pink dolphins. We are so there. If you can’t wait until October 14 to be introduced to Valente’s stories, check out her chapbook from Origami Zoo Press.



Howley7Thrown by Kerry Howley

Essayist Kerry Howley closely followed the lives of two cage fighters for three years. Thrown is the miraculous result: a serious, literary, and entertaining work of nonfiction. John D’Agata said, of the book: “Out of the dank basements and glitzy arenas of a brutal sport, Kerry Howley has created a story that is virtuous, rapturous, and utterly consequential.” This one is not to be missed.


WomenWomen by Chloe Caldwell

Women, Chloe Caldwell’s elegant, palm-sized novella is, in the words of publisher SF/LD Books, “about falling in love with a woman, about loving women, about being a woman.” Caldwell has already published an essay collection and has a strong fan base. Elisa Albert, author of The Book of Dahlia, said: “I’ll read anything Chloe Caldwell writes. She’s a rare bird: fearless, dark, prolific, unpretentious, and truly honest.” (more…)