John Michael Cummings

Fiction Writer

1608 West Washington Street
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
Phone: 
(304) 620-5115

Author's Bio

I am the author of three novels and more than one hundred short stories. My debut novel, The Night I Freed John Brown (Penguin Group, 2008), won The Paterson Prize for Books for Young People and was selected for Black History Month by USA Today.   Ugly To Start With (West Virginia University Press, 2011) was a finalist in the Foreword INDIES Book of Year Award.  Don't Forget Me, Bro (Stephen F. Austin University Press) was widely excerpted in the Chicago Tribune.   My short stories have appeared in Kenyon Review, North American Review, and The Iowa Review.  I was a finalist in the Miami University Novella Contest, a semi-finalist in the Winnow Press 2004 First Book Award for Fiction, was twice-nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and received an Honorable Mention in The Best American Short Stories series.  I taught English at Seminole State College of Florida and wrote business news for the Fairfax Times and alternative news for the Utne Reader.  I hold a BA in studio arts and graphic design from George Mason University and an MFA in creative writing from University of Central Florida.

                                                                         

To purchase The Night I Freed John Brown:  https://www.amazon.com/Night-Freed-John-Brown/dp/0399250549

To purchase Ugly To Start With:  https://www.amazon.com/Ugly-Start-John-Michael-Cummings/dp/193597808X

To purchase Don't Forget Me, Bro:  https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Forget-John-Michael-Cummings/dp/1622880781

                                                                    

Short Stories by John Michael Cummings 
      - published in print pournals

  1. "The Reaction," Providence Magazine, Spring 1991
  2. "Electric Church," Portland Monthly Magazine, Summerguide 1991
  3. "The Local," Wisconsin Review, Vol. 26, No. 1, 1991
  4. "The Commercial," Colorado North Review, Vol. XXXIV, No. 1, 1992
  5. "Missing," Alaska Quarterly Review, Volume 10, Spring & Summer 1992
  6. "Foldaway Bed," Portland Monthly Magazine, September 1992
  7. "Postcard from Newport," Providence Magazine, Fall 1992
  8. "Like Apes," Berkeley Fiction Review, No. 11, 1992
  9. "Detour," The Maryland Review, Vol. 5, Winter/Spring 1992-1993, No. 1
  10. "Their Beloved Brimful Bubble Baths," Catalyst, Issue No. 13, 1993
  11. "Pictures," Outerbridge, No. 24, 1993
  12. "Memory of Distant Friends," Sun Dog: The Southeast Review, Vol. 13, No. 2 1993
  13. "Our Favorite Postal Clerk," Half Tones To Jubilee, No. 8, Fall 1993
  14. "Shadowbox," Painted Bride Quarterly, No. 52, 1993
  15. "Androgyny," Flipside, Winter 1993
  16. "Short Lives," Hudson Valley Echoes, A National Journal of Prose, No. 31, 1993/94
  17. "Marriage," Berkeley Fiction Review, No. 14, 1993-1994
  18. "Tribe," Buffalo Spree Magazine, Summer 1994
  19. "Boys and Men," Pearl, A Literary Magazine, No. 21, 1994
  20. "Tummies," Oregon East, Vol. 25, 1994
  21. "Lady in the Park," RE: Arts and Letters, Vol. XX, No. 2 1995
  22. "Quirks," Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review, Vol. 26, Numbers 1-4 1996
  23. "The Houseplant Generation," Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review, Vol. 26 (reprint)
  24. "Strangers," The Distillery: Artistic Spirits of the South, Spring 1998
  25. *Nominated for The Pushcart Prize
  26. "The Boyfriend," Skylark, No. 17 1999
  27. “Everyday Exile," Oregon English Journal, Spring 2000
  28. “Quiet Ambulances,” Blue Mesa Review, Summer 2000
  29. “The Last Sailor,” The MacGuffin, Summer 2000, Vol. 17.2
  30. "Every Living Thing," Westview, A Journal of Western Oklahoma, Summer 2000
  31. "The Trouble with Impressions," Westview, A Journal of Western Oklahoma, 2001
  32. “Fourteen Seconds,” The North American Review, 2001
  33. “Mountains and Seas,” Sou’wester, 2001
  34. “Salon,” The Baltimore Review, Summer 2001
  35. “Hurricane,” Oregon English Journal, 2001
  36. "Genetic Drift," Eureka Literary Magazine, Vol. 10, No. 2, Spring 2002
  37. "mindedness under a daytime moon," Many Mountains Moving, 12th Issue 2002
  38. “Second Impressions,” Spindrift, 2002
  39. “Little Funeral,” Schuylkil, Fall 2002, Vol. 5, No. 2l
  40. “Deedee,” North Atlantic Review, 2002/2003, No. 14
  41. “Ugly To Start With,” The Bitter Oleander Press, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 1
  42. “Overnight,” The New Laurel Review, 2003, Vol. 22
  43. “Harpers Ferry,” novel excerpt, Puckerbrush Review, Winter/Spring 2003, double issue
  44. “Carter,” Passager, 2003, Issue 37
  45. “The Fence,” novel excerpt, Confrontation, No. 82/83 Spring/Summer 2003
  46. “Stainless Steel,” Pangolin Papers, Summer 2003, Vol. 10, No. 1
  47. “Neighbors,” Louisiana Literature, fall/winter 2003, Vol. 20, No. 2
  48. “Taking Shortcuts,” The Hurricane Review, Fall 2003
  49. “Vineyards in a Far-off Land,” Phantasmagoria, 2003, Vol. 3, No.1
  50. “Clemency and Other Achievements,” Green’s Magazine, Winter 2003, Vol. 31, No. 2
  51. “The World Around Us,” Northwords, Fall 2003, Issue 32
  52. “Two Tunes,” novel excerpt, Rosebud, 2003, Issue 28
  53. “Harpers Ferry,” AIM, fall 2003, Vol. 30, No. 3
  54. “Crows and Sparrows,” GW Review, Fall 2003, Vol. XXV, No. 1
  55. “Brothers,” Northwoods Journal, Fall 2003
  56. “Family Sculpture,” Tears in the Fence, Issue 37
  57. “The Gun Wall,” North Dakota Quarterly, 2003
  58. “Creating Impressions,” Talking River Review, No. 19
  59. “Rising to the Occasion,” South Dakota Review, Winter 2004
  60. “Barfy the Dog,” Old Red Kimono, Spring 2004
  61. “We Never Liked Them Anyway,” Concho River Review, Vol. 18, No. 2
  62. “Getting the Facts Straight,” Illuminations, Issue 20
  63. “The Scratchboard Project,” The Iowa Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2006
  64. *Nominated for The Pushcart Prize
  65. *Received honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007
  66. “Marshmallow People,” The Kenyon Review, Winter 2008, Vol. XXX, No.1
  67. “Treasure Hunt,” The Chattahoochee Review, Winter 2007, Vol. XXVII, No.2
  68. “Murdering,” Snake Nation Review, Issue 22
  69. “Self-Portrait,” Oyez Review, Spring 2008
  70. “Hearts and Gravestonest,” Superstition Review, Issue 1
  71. “Bill the Lottery God,” Natural Bridge, Spring 2008

Short Stories by John Michael Cummings 
      - published in online journals

  1. “The Best Mark of a Man,” Kennesaw Review, Spring 2003
  2. “The Shack,” In Posse Review, Issue 15
  3. “Always Time,” Dotlit, vol. 4, Issue 2, Nov. 2003
  4. “My Pretend Monster,” Xconnect, Issue 21
  5. “An Unlikely Alliance,” Archipelago, Vol. 8, No. 1 Spring 2004
  6. “Chimney Rock,” Epiphany,” Fall 2004
  7. “The Wallet,” Salt River Review, Vol. 7, No. 3, Fall 2004
  8. “Generations,” Stirring: A Literary Collection, Vol. 9, Edition 2, 2007
  9. “Sergeant Perry and the Roaring Woodworker,” The Pedestal Magazine, Issue 38
  10. “Eminent Domain,” Guernica: A Magazine of Art and Politics, March 2007
  11. “Mother’s Milk,” 3:AM Magazine, posted 3/10/2007
  12. “Mountain Wake,” The Foliate Oak, April 2007, Vol. 2, Issue 4
  13. “Alone,” The Scruffy Dog Review, Spring 2007
  14. "Paradise Lost,” LitBits, May 2007
  15. “Gestures of an Unhappy Generation,” The Angler, July 2007
  16. “Renting,” Terrain.org, No. 20, Summer/Fall 2007
  17. “The Cannon,” Avatar Review, Issue 9, Smmer 2007
  18. “Indians and Teddy Bears Were Here First,” The Cortland Review, August 2007
  19. “Unsealing the Tomb,” The Stickman Review, Vol.6, No. 2
  20. “Ninth Grade,” Hobart: Another Literary Journal, Spring 2008

Essays and Nonfiction by John Michael Cummings 
      - published in print and online Journals 

  1. “2.5 Children Are Better Than None,” Palo Alto Review, Spring 1998
  2. “The Derriere Garde,” Utne Reader, Feb. 1998
  3. “The Truth About Video Games and, for that matter, Vision,” Pacific Review, No. 8
  4. “Why Men Would Become Pregnant,” Garnet, Fall 1998
  5. “The Spirit in My Shoes,” ACM (Another Chicago Magazine), No. 38
  6. “Shrinking the World,” Rockford Review, Winter 2001
  7. “Bulletin for the Buried,” Tirra Lirra, Vol.13, No. 3, Fall 2003
  8. “Silver Balloons,” Identity Theory, Feb. 2003
  9. “Meteorology of the Mind,” Eleventh Transmission, April 2007, Issue 11
  10. "Visiting My Dead Friend,” The Barcelona Review, Issue 31, July – August 2002

                   

Literary agent: 
MacGregor and Luedeke Literary

Publications & Prizes

Book:
The Night I Freed John Brown (Penguin, 2008)
Prizes won: 
  • The Paterson Prize for Books for Young People 2009 (Grade 7-12)
  • Finalist in the Foreword INDIES Book of Year Award 2012
  • Finalist in the Miami University Novella Contest 2006
  • Semi-finalist in the Winnow Press 2004 First Book Award for Fiction
  • Nominated for the Pushcart Prize by The Iowa Review 2009
  • Honorable Mention in The Best American Short Stories series 2007

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Ayn Rand, John Steinback, William Gay, Carson McCullers
What I'm reading now: 
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

More Information

Gives readings: 
Yes
Travels for readings: 
Yes
Born in: 
Harpers Ferry, WV
West Virginia
Raised in: 
Harpers Ferry, WV
West Virginia
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Feb 27, 2020