Some people have been asking what I submitted for the Artist Trust / Gar LaSalle Storytelling Award. They were three short stories:
- “The Zoo,” published in Washington City Paper
- “Old Boyfriends,” published in Propeller Magazine
- “Sugar,” published in Gastronomica
I didn’t submit a novel excerpt, following the general grant-writing advice to use a work sample that has a beginning, middle, and end. I also strived to show a range in styles and put the sample together in the order above to modulate tone, starting with the sad/happy, getting quite dark, and then ending on a lighter note. Just putting my process out there in case it’s helpful! NB: Artist Trust gathers an amazing list of funding resources here. And here’s a post on writing artist statements.
I’m honored to have my short-short story “Sugar” included in the winter 2013 issue of Gastronomica, the “brainiest” of food magazines, also called “the New Yorker of food magazines”. The fairy tale-ish story is set in Pike Place Market and begins thus:
“He couldn’t stomach currants in his salad. She couldn’t stomach his not stomaching her currants.”
You can subscribe to the magazine here; if you have access to JSTOR, you can read individual articles here; you can also read my two-page story right over here:
“Sugar” in Gastronomica: Journal of Food and Culture, Vol. 13, No. 4, Winter 2013, Published by University of California Press.
Sunday night, I had the pleasure of reading a short story that takes place in Pike Place Market right in Pike Place Market, at the Can Can. The event, a literary cabaret produced by Sailor St. Claire, was called The Naked Bunch, and its theme played off of William S. Burroughs Naked Lunch, asking: what’s your fix? So I read a short story called “Sugar,” the first story I’ve set in Seattle since moving here that I actually like. What I really loved about the event was how eclectic and yet cohesive it was – fiction, poetry, strip tease, and music all coming at that what’s-your-fix question from differently kinky angles. The night before that was also a treat. I read another new story called “The Zoo” at the Long Talking Bad Conditions Blues reading series hosted by Zachary Watterson at Liberty Bar. Zachary named the series after a novel by Ron Sukenick that is comprised of one extraordinarily long sentence, which lends a certain urgency to the series that I really like. That’s two nights of readings with wonderful, talented writers – not to mention burlesque dancers and musicians! I feel really lucky.
There’s another reason I’m feeling really lucky these days. I’ve been awarded a Made at Hugo House Fellowship! This new fellowship provides funding, space, and resources to four to six writers age 35 and younger in King County. During my fellowship, I’ll be completing my short story collection “More Like Home Than Home,” which explores themes of migration, place, and home in settings like Bucharest, New York, and Seattle, and several places in between. So there was something extra sweet about reading “Sugar,” a story set in Seattle that I’m finally happy about after three years of living here, at such a great venue like The Can Can. Hooray!
Reading at The Can Can. Photo by Kristen Young.
I needed a high-res photo for the fellowship webpage, so I asked my friend Sayed Alamy at GuyEatsOctopus to take a few shots. He did a super job!
Photo by Sayed Alamy.