Browse through online newspapers for stories that took place on the same day at least ten years apart. Write an imaginative essay, based on these two stories, that moves back and forth between them and ultimately ties them together.
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Make a collage inspired by a working draft of one of your poems, using images from books, photographs, magazines, newspapers, and drawings. You may incorporate words as well. Let the transformation of your poem into another medium inform a revision of the poem on the page.
The Northern Colorado Writers (NCW) short fiction contest, which offers a grand prize of one thousand dollars and publication in the NCW anthology, is given annually for a short story. The deadline is March 31.
Fiction writers may submit a story of up to five thousand words, along with a twenty-dollar entry fee, via e-mail. Writers need not be NCW members or Colorado residents to enter.
Novelist and short story writer Alyson Hagy, whose most recent novel, Boleto, was published by Graywolf last year, will judge. A second-place prize of two hundred and fifty dollars and a third-place prize of one hundred dollars are also given. Winners, honorable mentions, and editor’s picks will be published in Pooled Ink, NCW’s annual anthology, which this year will be released in December.
Established in 2006 by freelance writer Kerrie Flanagan, the Fort Collins–based Northern Colorado Writers was founded in order to “encourage and support writers of all levels and genres.” The organization hosts an annual writers conference—including workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as round-tables with editors and agents—which will be held on April 26 and 27 at the Fort Collins Hilton. NCW also sponsors a creative nonfiction contest (which accepts submissions from April 1 through June 30) and a poetry contest (which accepts submissions from July 1 through September 30).
Visit the NCW website for complete contest guidelines.
P&W-funded Regie Cabico blogs about a whirlwind week of readings and workshops. He is the coeditor, with poet and novelist Brittany Fonte, of the recently published anthology of queer poetry and spoken word, Flicker and Spark (Lowbrow Press). His own work has appeared in over thirty anthologies, including Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, Spoken Word Revolution, and Chorus & The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. He received the 2006 Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers for his work teaching at-risk youth at Bellevue Hospital in New York. He is a former Artist in Residence at NYU's Asian Pacific American Studies Program and has served as faculty at Banff's Spoken Word Program. He resides in Washington, D.C.
P&W-funded Kundiman, an organization that supports Asian American poets, has been an important resource for me as a teaching mentor, and the co-founders Sarah Gambito and Joseph Legaspi have been long-time supporters of my performance work. If I don’t make it to the 2013 AWP Conference in Boston to attend their ten-year anniversary panel and party, it’ll be like missing a wedding.
On the plane from D.C. to Boston, as we are about to take off, the pilot tells us that all flights in and out of Boston's Logan airport have been suspended. An hour later, they have to clean the ice on the wings. After watching JetBlue’s History Channel entire program on vikings, we finally lift off.
My first reading starts at 7:30 PM. I arrive in Boston at 8 PM. My coeditor Brittany Fonte texts me, HURRY! and I finally get to the reading at 8:30 PM. I read two poems: Baruch Porras Hernandez’ “Pursuit of Taconess” and J Mase the III’s “Neighbor”—both hysterical pieces with serious messages about immigration and transphobia. It’s a hit. Afterward, Nathaniel Siegel takes me out to a gay bar, where I sing “I Am What I Am” really badly.
On Thursday at 1:30 PM is the Flicker & Spark book signing. I spend thirty dollars on beverages and snacks at Trader Joe’s. Three poets show up: Nathaniel Siegel, Dorothea Smartt from London, and Lenelle Moise. Brittany Fonte and I were hoping to find the other poets in the book and thank them.
On Thursday night, Kundiman had a very emotional intimate celebration at the Pucker Gallery. The room exploded with Prosecco, sushi, impromptu massages, and poetry whispered in our ears. Afterward, I take it easy and watch Project Runway with Kim Roberts, a poet and my housemate.
On Friday, I pray that my flight to Madison will be on time. I am scheduled to perform at the Midwest Filipino Students Association. I am to give a workshop and a performance in the evening. I bring my bags to Friday morning's Kundiman panel. Myung Mi Kim, Paisley Rekdal, and I read poems and talk about pedagogy.
I leave Boston and its icy wind velocities. At the airport, I see Michael Cirelli, executive director of P&W-funded Urban Word. He confirms my hosting the slam finals on April 20 at The Apollo with rapper MC Lyte.
I can only think about getting to Madison. I get in at midnight. The next morning, my workshop has twenty students and my performance in the evening is a huge hit.
On Sunday, I am eating brunch with the students and comedian Rex Navarette. I insist that we all have a wholesome Wisconsin brunch with organic eggs and cheese. I get to my house at midnight. I will have a Poetry Out Loud workshop to do the next day along with an open mic feature for the Northern Virginia Gay Health Center at Busboys & Poets, and then I will host my weekly spoken word and cabaret show La-Ti-Do.
Once at home, I reflect back on my week. I have too many business cards that need to be sorted. I am totally drained, and it is not even National Poetry Month yet. But I am happy I saw Bonnie Rose Marcus, the director of Poets & Writers' Readings/Workshops (East), who reminded me to apply for D.C. funds while there was some money left. Through Poets & Writers' Readings/Workshops program, I've been paid for doing my community work.
Photos: (Top, from left to right:) Regie Cabico, Sarah Gambito. Credit: Oliver de la Paz. (Bottom, from left to right:) Soham Patel, Regie Cabico, and Regie's patron poet Carlos Bulosan.
Support for Readings/Workshops events in Washington, D.C., is provided by an endowment established with generous contributions from the Poets & Writers Board of Directors and others. Additional support comes from the Friends of Poets & Writers.
Last week, during a ceremony at the British Library in London, the Folio Society announced the launch of a new literature prize worth forty thousand pounds, or roughly sixty thousand dollars.
The Folio Prize will be given annually for books of literary fiction, regardless of form or genre, written in English by an author from any country and published in the United Kingdom during the previous calendar year. The inaugural prize will be awarded in 2014.
Led by prize cofounder Andrew Kidd, a literary agent and former publisher of Picador/Macmillan, the advisory committee gathered over a hundred authors, editors, and critics from around the world to form the Folio Academy, from which a panel of five judges will be selected each year. The Folio Society—a London–based publisher that reissues classic works of literature in illustrated special editions—was announced as the prize’s sponsor earlier this year.
Academy members include Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee; Booker Prize recipients Margaret Atwood, Peter Carey, Ian McEwan, Michael Ondaatje, and Salman Rushdie; critics Geoff Dyer and Elif Batuman; Granta editor John Freeman, n+1 editor Keith Gessen, and New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman; American authors Michael Chabon, Michael Cunningham, Bret Easton Ellis, Junot Díaz, Ben Lerner, Richard Powers, Alice Sebold, and Maria Semple; and international writers Nam Le, China Mieville, David Mitchell, Philip Pullman, Zadie Smith, Miguel Syjuco, Colm Toibin, and Jeanette Winterson.
The panel of judges will consider eighty books each year for the prize. The Academy will nominate sixty titles (each member is encouraged to nominate up to three titles per year); publishers will also be invited to nominate titles, from which twenty additional finalists will be chosen. The panel will select a shortlist of eight books, and the final winner will be announced in the spring. The judges for the first Folio Prize will be announced this summer, and the inaugural winner will be announced in March 2014.
To watch a video from the launch and for more information, visit the Folio Prize website.
The Poetry Foundation has announced that poet and translator Marie Ponsot will receive the 2013 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, one of the most prestigious prizes given to American poets. Given for lifetime achievement, the award carries with it a $100,000 purse.
Born in New York City, where she still resides, Ponsot, ninety-one, joins poets John Ashbery, Lucille Clifton, Yusef Komunyakaa, Philip Levine, and Adrienne Rich on the roster of Ruth Lilly winners. W. S. di Piero took the 2012 prize. Ponsot’s work—which often tackles and challenges traditional forms such as the vilanelle and sestina—includes the collections Springing, The Green Dark, True Minds, The Bird Catcher (which won the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award), and, most recently, Easy (Knopf, 2009). She has also translated more than thirty books into English from the French.
Given annually since 1986, the Ruth Lilly Prize is one of the largest monetary prizes given for poetry in the world. As part of the award, Poetry magazine will publish eleven of Ponsot’s poems in its May issue. Christian Wiman, the magazine’s editor, described Ponsot’s poems as “marvels of intellectual curiosity and acuity” that “will also break your heart.” She will participate in a celebratory reading on April 8 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
Last fall, the Poetry Foundation also named the recipients of the 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships, the $15,000 awards given annually to five emerging U.S. poets between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-one.
From Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus to Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red, there is a long tradition of fiction about monsters. Write a story of your own in which a monster is the main character. The monster could be based on another monster from literature or popular culture or it could be one from your imagination.
Recently, Poets & Writers awarded one poet and one fiction writer with a trip to New York to meet with editors, agents, and other literary professionals as part of the California Writers Exchange contest. The winning fiction writer, Laura Joyce Davis of Oakland, blogs about her experience.
I am so grateful to Poets & Writers for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the California Writers Exchange! I heard people say this week that there’s no mystery in publishing, but for those of us not in New York, it can feel mystifying. In an attempt to pull back the curtain and share what I’ve learned, I give you my Top Ten Things Every Writer Should Know:
1. Revise like it’s your full-time job.
Agents and editors alike emphasized revising, putting your book away for a couple of months, revising again, getting feedback—and then repeating until you reach perfection (or something like it).
2. Read, read, read!
The only way writers will survive is if people buy their books. But reading also helps you discern where to send your work. This is true of literary journals (where you’re looking for a natural home for your writing) as well as books (if you find a book like yours, the agent and editor for that book might also like your book).
3. Get connected.
Pick up one of the “best of” collections, look at which magazines nominated the authors there, and then submit to those magazines (referencing the story you enjoyed in the collection). This helps on two levels: It shows that you did your research, but also that you have a sense of the kinds of stories they publish and love.
If you have a connection to an editor (even a small one, like a personalized rejection), mention it. Writers who get a personalized rejection are sometimes flagged so that future submissions will be read by more senior editors rather than by interns or whoever looks at the slush pile.
4. Be a man (or be like one).
VIDA showed us that men are published in greater numbers than women. I learned this week that men also submit in greater numbers, are more likely to submit again after being rejected, or write letters to the editor pitching story ideas. Women, let’s put ourselves out there more.
5. Develop a thick skin.
I met an author who submitted to 150 agents over the course of four years, finally found an agent, and then sold his book in two weeks. Another writer sold her book to a major publisher, but was tormented by a few negative reviews on GoodReads (even though most people love her book). No matter how successful you are, you will still face rejection, and there will always be someone who doesn’t like your book.
It has never been so easy to be a writer, but so difficult to be a professional one. The good news is that for the persistent, things seem to work out eventually. Maybe (okay, probably) you won’t get a six-figure advance or be in Oprah’s book club, but with a lot of diligence, your book will be edited and published by someone who loves it just as much as you do.
7. Get involved in your local literary community.
Volunteer with your local literary magazine. Go to readings. Help out other writers. The people you help may end up buying your book, and the journals you assist may take a closer look at your story. Plugging into our literary communities means we are part of the conversation of what is happening in publishing and in life.
8. Look for creative opportunities to publish and build a platform.
Blog. Write interviews and essays. Speak at events. Tweet. These things are good promotion, but will also connect you with the people who are going to care about your book once it comes out.
9. Remember that we’re all just people.
Many of the agents and editors I met said that they wished authors understood that they are human. They have a full client list, dozens of manuscripts to read, and hundreds of new queries every week. Remember that people in the publishing industry have lives (and kids and hard days and relationships) just like you do.
10. Keep writing!
Remember that agents and editors are not disdainful of new writers or eager to reject; they are waiting for the next story that makes them miss their subway stop. There will always be room in the world for great writing. May that challenge us all to produce it!
Photo: From left: Laura Joyce Davis, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, and Jeffrey Yang of New Directions. Credit: Jamie FitzGerald.
Collect phrases and words that you see throughout the day today. Arrange them on the page, using line breaks where they seem to naturally fall. Next, above the lines you’ve recorded, write words and phrases that are somehow related to those on the page, such as synomyms, antonyms, or words that sound or look similar. Rewrite what you’ve recorded replacing the new words with the old. Use this as the first draft of a poem and continue revising it into a finished draft.
Recently, Poets & Writers awarded one poet and one fiction writer with a trip to New York to meet with editors, agents, and other literary professionals as part of the California Writers Exchange contest. The winning poet, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo of Los Angeles, blogs about her experience from NYC. (Stay tuned for another post from winning fiction writer Laura Joyce Davis as well!)
The invaluable gift this trip has given me is confidence to know that I am moving in the right direction, and that as long as I keep working on my writing, I will reach my goals. Being able to walk into the offices of The New Yorker has been a crazy experience, but it has also shown me that everyone is in this “business” because they love books, and everyone works extremely hard to put out their best work because of that love. Often this work will be thankless, but as New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman told me, “Don’t be afraid to be rejected.”
Opportunities like this trip will be far and few between, but hopefully, I can remember the glow of this moment when I am back at my desk agonizing over a poem that refuses to go my way. In that moment I can remember how Alice Quinn, the Poetry Society of America’s executive director, recited poetry to me, sounds dancing on her tongue, with a giant smile, and know that there are people out there hungry and excited for poetry. The next time I cry over my computer, I can think of New Directions editor Jeffrey Yang, who told me when he wrote the last poem of his collection Aquarium, he wept as he wrote the lines, and know that I am not alone. Or when I’m struggling to have my book published, I can remember that there are Johnny Temples in the world who started Akashic Books because he liked cool books, and is always looking for something exciting.
The New Yorker is looking, Akashic is looking, A Public Space is looking, Poetry Society of America is looking. All I have to do is be fearless in putting my work out there because eventually it will link up with someone who is looking for just what I am sending. When I look at it that way, it doesn’t feel so ominous. There is a publisher, there is a magazine that is looking for me, I just have to find them. And that goes for all of us.
You may remember that in my previous blog post, I asked each guest two questions. Here are some more fun answers:
Q: As a reader, what is the first book you remember getting swept up in?
Jeffery Yang (editor, New Directions): A Tree Within by Octavio Paz.
Brigid Hughes (founding editor, A Public Space): Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder; The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath; The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.
Brett Fletcher Lauer (poetry editor, A Public Space): Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume.
Alice Quinn (executive director, Poetry Society of America): The Children’s Hour #9 edited by Marjorie Barrows. It was devoted to poetry. I remember reading “The Barefoot Boy” and Robert Browning.
Aurora Anaya-Cerda (independent bookseller, La Casa Azul Bookstore): It has to be Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. That was THE book.
Deborah Treisman (fiction editor, The New Yorker): When I was young, Oxford Book of Poetry for Children. I called it “the purple book.” In high school, it was Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.
Johnny Temple (independent publisher, Akashic Books): Honestly, it was probably something like a Nancy Drew book. My mom would know.
Q: Besides reading and writing, what is an activity that is important to your writing/creative work?
Jeffery Yang: My mental health [is important]. I run a lot.
Brigid Hughes: Walking.
Brett Fletcher Lauer: Watching the Kardashians.
Alice Quinn: I try to memorize a poem almost everyday while I walk the dog in the morning.
Aurora Anaya-Cerda: Performing arts, going to museums, going to the theatre. It feeds my soul.
Deborah Treisman: Staying up on current events. Knowing what’s going on.
Johnny Temple: Can I say my music? The Caribbean. Traveling to book festivals in the Caribbean. The Calabash in Jamaica (and other festivals) is my favorite thing in the world of books that isn’t writing.
Photo: From left: Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, Deborah Treisman, Laura Joyce Davis. Credit: Jamie FitzGerald.
The California Writers Exchange contest is made possible by a generous grant from the James Irvine Foundation. For more information on the contest, visit here.
P&W-funded Regie Cabico is the coeditor, with poet and novelist Brittany Fonte, of the recently published anthology of queer poetry and spoken word, Flicker and Spark (Lowbrow Press). His own work has appeared in over thirty anthologies, including Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, Spoken Word Revolution, and Chorus & The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. He received the 2006 Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers for his work teaching at-risk youth at Bellevue Hospital in New York. He is a former Artist in Residence at NYU's Asian Pacific American Studies Program and has served as faculty at Banff's Spoken Word Program. He resides in Washington, D.C.
For the last three years, I have been working with the D.C. Commission for the Arts on Poetry Out Loud, A National Poetry Recitation Competition. This year, I have worked primarily with McKinley Technological High School and Latin Public Charter School. My job is to help students find their unique interpretations of poetry selected by Poetry Out Loud. The competition goes from local high school, to the state level, and then to the national competition.
I am amazed by the students’ choices of poems: What lures a teen poet to John Keats or Anne Bradstreet? Students in the state and national competitions must memorize three poems and one of the poems has to be from the nineteenth century. For a long time, I resisted Poetry Out Loud as a contest that was removed from the poetry slam. I thought that the required poems were antiquated and out of touch with the students' racial and/or economic backgrounds.
For decades, I taught at-risk teens at Bellevue hospital with Tina Jacobson. I know that young people can write and perform poetry that is closer to their experience and also ends up giving voice to unrepresented and marginalized youth. I am inspired by the librarian Sarah Elwell, who is a magnet for students. Ms. Elwell tirelessly brings speakers and artists to the library to inspire them. Lisa Pegram is a teacher with whom I have worked as D.C. youth slam coach. Ms. Pegram aka Lady Pcoq is a musician, poet, and playwright who gets to engage her students in artistic explorations through the Poetry Out Loud program.
Ms. Pegram and I have students record themselves on their iPhones, create broadsides of their poems, and categorize each word of their poems by noun and verb so that they are able to understand every word they're memorizing. With Ms. Elwell, I have turned the library into a literary and performance playground. The goal is to get students to live the poem and dive into the world of the images they are reciting. I have to get them to engage in the musicality of the text and also create a story for them to fall into.
On March 5, 2013, I prepped students at McKinley High School. The Daughters of the American Revolution, the D.C. Public Library, and the Washington Teachers Union were represented as judges. Fifteen students competed, and the poems moved quickly because poems were short, unlike a slam where there is a three minute limit.
Then, it moved from fifteen to six poets. I had worked with all of the six poets but one. Students got up and forgot lines, but the student body was supportive. In the end, Tshala Pajibo, an eleventh grader, won. She was not the most polished performer, but Ms. Pajibo exhibited focus and made a physical stomp and her vocal strength, as well as her dynamic performance choices, made the audience jump. She performed Maya Angelou's poem, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings." When I worked with Ms. Pajibo, I asked her to "visualize" the bird and tell the story of the bird.
Ultimately, there is a value to taking something that you did not write and interpreting and finding a story in it. There is value in memorizing Emily Dickinson or William Blake in order to move through history and time. It brings a lineage to a slam poet's performance. It encourages them to write outside of the box, and it provides another set of diction for the artists to use. One of the categories in the individual poetry slam competition is the “One Minute Poem.” Poetry Out Loud is full of poems twenty-five lines and under. I hope poets who are working on their one-minute poems will take a look at these poems for inspiration. As a former musical theater major, I had to find songs that I could perform well for auditions. I have as much joy finding poems that suit me. I would love to perform the work of Robert Creeley, Stuart Dybek, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Who knew? I am grateful to Carlyn Madden at the D.C. Commission for the Arts who brings so much care to arts in education in Washington D.C.
Photo: Regie Cabico. Credit: Carlos Rodriguez.
Support for Readings/Workshops events in Washington, D.C., is provided by an endowment established with generous contributions from the Poets & Writers Board of Directors and others. Additional support comes from the Friends of Poets & Writers.
Recently, Poets & Writers awarded one poet and one fiction writer with a trip to New York to meet with editors, agents, and other literary professionals as part of the California Writers Exchange contest. The winning fiction writer, Laura Joyce Davis of Oakland, blogs about her experience from NYC. (Stay tuned for another post from poet Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo as well!)
I am living a writer’s dream.
We’ve only been in New York for a few days, but we’ve packed in weeks of writerly wisdom, months of ideas to contemplate. The agents, editors, and writers Xochitl and I have met have been generous, thoughtful, and helpful. Writers, there is hope as long as these good people are here!
On Monday we met with Deborah Garrison, an editor at both Pantheon and Knopf. She told us about her fifteen years at the New Yorker, where she personally read through the “slush pile” of submissions and always hoped to find a voice unlike any other. It’s the same perspective she brings to her work now, whether reading poetry, fiction, or non-fiction. She said that the most important thing for a writer is to be true to oneself, to write what you must—not the story you think will be marketable. She said that the best writers appreciate editing that makes them better, and that they know how to recognize good advice without getting defensive. This is the reason I’m not interested in self-publishing: I want to learn from someone like Garrison, to become a better writer because of the perspective she can show me. Julia Glass calls Garrison an “incredible editor,” and now I understand why.
When I met Tea Obreht (author of The Tiger’s Wife) last week at the AWP writer’s conference, she told me that her agent Seth Fishman was amazing—not just a great agent who works hard, but also a really nice guy. She was right. I met Fishman on Monday, and he immediately put me at ease, but also gave great advice. Keep publishing in literary journals, he said, because the people reading those journals are the same people who are going to buy your book. He also emphasized that authors should do everything they can to get the entire publishing staff excited about their books; editors sometimes move to other jobs, but your book will be okay if you have a team of people rooting for it. Fishman is a relatively young agent, but he’s made an impressive start to his career in a short time.
On Tuesday I met with Gail Hochman (agent for Michael Cunningham and Julia Glass). “I’ve been doing this for a hundred years,” she said. Looking at the towers of papers in her office and hearing about clients who have called her while she was in the airport or the maternity ward, I don’t doubt that she’s packed a hundred years of work into the thirty-plus years she’s been doing this. She talked about the challenges of selling books, about how a story and its characters have to grab the reader in the first few pages or it won’t sell. When I asked her what she wished every young writer knew, she said to remember that everyone reading your book (even your agent) is a real person; they have a full life beyond their work with you, so cut them some slack.
It’s been a true gift to meet with people like Garrison, Fishman, and Hochman. I hope I get to the opportunity to work with some of them. But even if I don’t, they’ve given me a little more faith in the world of writing, and on any day, that’s worth a lot.
Photo: (left to right) Laura Joyce Davis, Deborah Garrison, and Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo.
It’s been a good week—and a good year—for Claire Vaye Watkins, whose debut short story collection, Battleborn, was published by Riverhead Books last fall. On Thursday morning it was announced that Watkins would receive an American Academy of Arts & Letters Prize of $10,000; the night before, she beat out Junot Díaz and Don Chaon for the 2012 Story Prize, the coveted annual award of $20,000 given for an outstanding collection of short fiction.
At a reading and awards ceremony at the New School in New York City on Wednesday night, Watkins’s debut was selected for the Story Prize—given since 2004 for a collection published in the previous year—over Díaz’s This Is How You Lose Her (Riverhead), and Chaon’s Stay Awake (Ballantine). The award is the largest monetary book prize given for fiction in the United States. Chaon and Diaz each received $5,000.
Story Prize founder Julie Lindsey and prize director Larry Dark selected the three finalists from among ninety-eight books submitted for consideration. Final judges Jane Ciabattari, Yiyun Li, and Sarah McNally selected Watkins as the winner. The 2011 award went to Steven Millhauser for his collection We Others (Knopf).
Watkins will also receive the American Academy of Arts & Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, a prize of $10,000 given to an emerging writer for a work published in the previous year. Watkins joins a host of established writers to win 2013 Arts & Letters Awards, including Lydia Davis, Jennifer Egan, D.A. Powell, and Kevin Powers.
Adding to Watkins’s ever-growing list of literary accolades, she was also selected this week as a 2013 One Story Literary Debutante. Earlier this year, she was chosen as one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35, and Battleborn was named a Best Book of 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Time Out New York and Flavorwire. The debut also received a Best Short Story Collection nod by NPR, and won the 2012 Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.
Watkins’s stories and essays have appeared in Granta, One Story, the Paris Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Best of the West 2011, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the Sewanee and Bread Loaf Writers' Conferences. An assistant professor at Bucknell University, Watkins is also the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a nonprofit creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.