On Friday, April 19, I had the honor of reading from my story “Northern Louisiana Sublime,” which won first place in the Bethesda Magazine Writing Contest, as part of the Bethesda Literary Festival.  You can find the story here.

The inspiration for “Northern Louisiana Sublime” came from a conversation I had with my Oklahoma and Louisiana cousins last summer about swimming in a lake with gators when we were kids.  I intended to write a funny story, but the story took an unexpected dark turn, and ended up way cooler than I thought it would be.

At the reading, it felt amazing to be supported in the audience by my husband and good friends, including my friend S who is my “first reader” – that trusted person who takes the time to give an exceptionally close reading and extensive feedback that pushes a piece to the next level.  Every fiction writer should be so lucky to have a first reader like S in his or her life.

This was my third time publicly reading my work, and it is always so nerve-wracking!  One of my favorite Hopkins teachers, Leslie Pietrzyk, has put together 18 tips on how to kick some butt when giving a public reading, and you can read it here.


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