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Rejected for the Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award

Peter Slapnicher

Who wouldn't want a chance at $2,500 to get some serious work done on a work of fiction? I certainly would!

I sent the novel draft I've been working on to the McSweeney's Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award Competition, but received a form rejection.

I think one of my favorite things about submitting work is the pure hope and belief that I could actually succeed. I literally thought, "I know it's not likely that I will win this award, but I probably will, right?"

When I received the rejection last night, I told Jared, and he made our hippo roommates try to comfort me, but I did not need comforting. Then he reminded me about Wayne Gretsky, who no one ever needs to remind me about because he is in my heart forever and always. For those of you that don't know this overused quote though: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Duh, Wayne. Duh.

Anyway, I probably didn't win this one because I'm going to win that NEA, right? It's not likely, but probably.

Sorry about being an absolutely neglectful parent to this blog. Back on it!

44 Examples of Ambition and Some Other Things to Talk About

Peter Slapnicher

Image Melville House is putting out a terrific series of stories right now: a story for each president, five a week, until the election. I was in the first batch, but lord almighty, check out the others It's an incredible collection of wide-ranging interpretations of what it could mean to write a story about the president. I wrote about Tommy J: But there's Matt Bell, Amelia Gray, Ben Loory, Mark Cugini, Greg Gerke, Robert Kloss, Matthew Salesses, Christopher Higgs...I could keep going.  Could.

I'm a new web editor at Hobart and golly if their relaunch to daily content isn't just the prettiest thing. I'm reading fiction submissions every few months but I'm also interviewing non-readers for an irregular feature. I've talked to James Lai and Mary Hamilton so far, and there are lots more to come!

One of my favorite writers, Matt Bell, and I interviewed each other about our newish books and new projects and naming conventions and obsession and lots more over at Word Riot.

The Chicago Reader let me recommend something and I gushed about Eileen Myles's book Inferno at Culture Vulture.

I think that's about it for now. yeesh. I am gonna take a nap now.

Tribune Essay Up! Readings fast approaching!

Peter Slapnicher

The Chicago Tribune Printers Row asked me to write a little something about rejection, and I happily obliged!

The Acceptance in Rejection

Tomorrow (7/26) I'll be reading with Patrick Somerville and Joe Meno at the Empty Bottle.  You have to RSVP to this event to get in for free so don't snooze!


Sunday (7/29) I'll be reading at a birthday celebration for Tim Jones-Yelvington. He's a treasure and for his birthday he put together a rad show with readers and drag performance. Readers include Johannes Goransson, Joyelle McSweeney, James Tadd Adcox, Kathleen Rooney, and me! Drag performers are Ruby Dee and Debbie Fox! And, of course, Tim will be performing, too!

Tickets are $5 if you buy them in advance and $10 at the door so buy them in advance, silly.

So Much.

Peter Slapnicher

There is so much to catch up on. I have been so lazy in posting the amazing generosities bestowed on me in the last 2 months.  So here goes, the whirlwind of announcements.

Word Play Sound posted an audio recording of me reading from My Only Wife (MOW).

Poets & Writers kindly asked me to say some short words about where I get inspiration.

Largehearted Boy invited me to make a soundtrack for MOW.

The OF Blog rounded up a ten-best of the year so far, and I am thrilled to be on it.

Jarret Middleton over at Smalldoggies said some really nice things about MOW.

Jess Stoner read her marginalia from reading MOW out loud for all to hear.  Her voice is one of my favorite sounds, I think. And her book, I Have Blinded Myself Writing This is one of my very favorite recent reads.

I made it onto Nano Fiction's summer reading list.

The gorgeous Shelf Unbound excerpted MOW in a little feature on marriage in fiction, what with it being June and wedding season and whatnot. Flip to page 32/33!

Books, Personally reviewed MOW.

The L Magazine had some questions for me.

I read with incredible people in tons of cities and am so grateful to everyone who hosted me.  I turned 29. I moved into a new apartment and started writing in the mornings before work and I'm feeling great about that, even if it means I go to bed at 10 or 11 PM now.  (Gross, I think I got old.) Summer is in full swing.  This Fiona Apple album is really doing it for me.  Tomorrow is the day of independence and I will celebrate with chicken and waffles and the public pool and maybe going to see some rogue fireworks.


New Web Issue of Hobart Up!

Peter Slapnicher

I had the honor of guest-editing this month's issue of Hobart. You can find AMAZING work by the likes of Elizabeth, Crane, Pamela Harcourt, Jon Morgan Davies, Emilia Phillips, Meagan Cass and Jesse Eagle. Also! Elizabeth Ellen interviewed Chelsea Martin.

I have a little essay on one of my favorite stories, "The Man in Bogota" by Amy Hempel, up at the Emerging Writers Network for National Short Story Month.

Mallory Gevaert asked me some questions at The Lantern Daily.

Finally, check out the Events Page up-top for where I'll be reading in the next couple months!


Announcement Catch-up

Peter Slapnicher

Announcement Catch-up

Joseph at the Collagist Blog asked if I'd answer a few questions about writing in the form of excerpt from My Only Wife, so I did.

Elizabeth Ellen is too kind for words in her Amazon review:

If Hitchcock were alive, My Only Wife would be his next movie

"My Only Wife opens with an epigraph from Emily Dickinson: "That those who know her, know her less, the nearer her they get." This is the reader's obsession and compulsion and joy, shared by the husband, who has been left, who recounts for us the stories of his wife. This novel is so well-written, so well-crafted, I was constantly torn between slowing down to linger in the wonderful prose and speeding up to chase the intoxicating story, which is to say, the intoxicating wife. A woman who rips pages from her favorite books, tosses the pages out of windows for passersby below to find and read. A woman who erases the first love letter her husband ever wrote her because it was written in pencil (and for a more heartbreaking reason I won't divulge here). A woman who collects oral histories of strangers, records them secluded in a closet, out of earshot of her husband. A woman you'd expect to find in a foreign film, where women are celebrated for their strength and wit and independent spirit and unknowability. And while we are making comparisons to the movies, there is a Hitchockian ending I didn't see coming (as one shouldn't, Hitchcockian endings!). All in all, a brilliant novel I will add to my shelf of favorite books, alongside Memories of My Melancholy Whores and The Lover and I Look Divine and The Postman Always Rings Twice and Suicide and A Single Man. Books to read again and again. Books to obsess over and devour."

Stephen Gosset pimped my release party at



All such nice things.  Makes a girl feel grateful

Detailed post on upcoming readings coming soon!


Some Press and a Grant Rejection

Peter Slapnicher

Great things!

Jonathan Messinger interviewed me about My Only Wife for the newest issue of Time Out Chicago.

One last excerpt of the book is in The Collagist today along with awesome work from xTx, Justin Sirois and Joseph Riippi, among others.

Justin Nicholes said some kind things at Our Stories.

Lastly, I was rejected for the travel grant from Word Riot again.  Drat. That would have really helped with some tour/reading travel expenses. Jackie Corley was, as always, super nice in her rejection though which softens that news.

About to start reading Elizabeth Ellen's Fast Machine finally and very excited for it!


New Essay up at Burnaway and novel excerpt at No News Today

Peter Slapnicher

First, I forgot to post that the last section of my novel to come out before publication went up at No News Today on Monday.  Thanks to Robert Lopez for the terrific job he does curating work over there.

Also, I have some thoughts on art that acted as propellers for My Only Wife up at Burnaway. Blake Butler pulls together an awesome series of authors talking about art that is my new favorite thing, so explore the archives, too.


My Only Wife Released from Dzanc Books!

Peter Slapnicher

My debut novel, My Only Wife, is released today from Dzanc Books!

Some of you have asked where/how to buy it, and I think you should do what pleases you, but below is the hierarchy of how I would buy this book if I were excited about it, but hadn't written it:

1) If I lived in or around Chicago I'd buy it at the release party on May 6th at 8 pm at The Whistler, 2421 North Milwaukee Avenue. Women & Children First will be selling copies at the party.

2) If I lived in or around one of the following cities and was free on the relevant night, I'd buy it from the author at the reading (more details to come):
May 12: Baltimore
May 14: New York
May 16: Boston
May 17: Providence
May 18: Philadelphia
May 19: New York
June 10: Seattle
June 12 & 13: Portland
June 17: Los Angeles

3) If I lived in a place with a local bookstore, I'd go there to see if they had it.  If they didn't have it, I'd ask them to order it for me, and consider ordering it for the store.

4) If I wanted it super quick I'd order the paper copy now from Dzanc Books for $15.95, and you'll get a free eBook. Or you can order just the eBook for $7.99.

5) There are other bookstores and websites where it will also be available, but with so many other options, why bother?

New story in Another Chicago Magazine and novel excerpt in The Good Men Project

Peter Slapnicher

Issue 50.2 of Another Chicago Magazine  is available now and it's filled with the best of the best from Chicago, and they were kind enough to include a story of mine.  It's a mind-blowing issue. Get it here.

Also, 2 days before you can get your hands on the whole book, an excerpt of My Only Wife is up at The Good Men Project.  What an awesome magazine.  I'm excited to be a part of it.