In the Classroom

  • Train Dreams: A Novella
    Train Dreams: A Novella
    by Denis Johnson
  • Bluets
    by Maggie Nelson
  • We the Animals: A novel
    We the Animals: A novel
    by Justin Torres

Late January Links

Tomorrow afternoon I'm traveling to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with my colleague Robin Metz. At 3:00 in the University Bookstore, we'll be talking to some students about the writing life and the role literary journals have played in our writing careers. At 7:00 in the same venue, we'll be giving a reading. Full details here.

Robin was the first professor I met at Knox, when he interviewed me almost eight years ago about adjuncting there. He's been an amazing and brilliant colleague ever since, and I'm excited to get to share the stage with him. It feels a little unbelievable, actually.


A blurb-sized, three-sentence review of TELL EVERYONE I SAID HI showed up this past week at the Tate Street High Society & Co. I'm pretty fond of it.


There are three days and a few hours left to enter the Goodreads giveaway of TELL EVERYONE I SAID HI. We're giving away five copies, and it's really easy to enter, I swear.


Matt Dube has posted some photos on Facebook of the reading poet Anne-Marie Thompson and I gave at William Woods University back in December. I'd almost forgotten how beautiful that gallery we read in was.


I'm putting this next bit up here for me as much as anybody, as I'm planning to share the links with my Beginning Fiction Writing students on Tuesday: My old pal Matt Debenham, author of The Book of Right and Wrong, winner of the Ohio State University Prize in Short Fiction, recently posted a couple of excellent writing-related essays on his blog: Six Things Prose Writers Can Learn from Television & What Writers Can Learn from Comedians. If you're interested in writing, they're worth your time.

The photo credit, as almost always, goes to Jane.


Interview Roundup & More

I've neglected to mention here the various interviews I've done the past few months, and now I'm going to link to several of them in one post, which means if you actually click over and read them, you'll probably find me repeating myself, though I tried hard not to when I was typing out all of the answers.

The first interview I did was with Kevin Morris at DBC Reads. Kevin--who is a former student and runs DBC Reads with another former student, Marnie Shure--also wrote a great review of TEISH, which appeared a few weeks before the interview.

Up next was a chat with Amber Lee for the Necessary Fiction blog. Steve Himmer and Necessary Fiction published "Adaptations," one of the eighteen stories in TEISH, as well as "Moussaoui Remembers Fire," which ended up being chosen by Dan Chaon as one of the Wigleaf Top 50 Very Short Fictions of 2012.

Then I virtually sat down with Jenn DeLeon to talk about TEISH for the Ploughshares blog. I wish I could have sat down in person with Jenn. Maybe we could have had a cup of coffee, or some dessert. She's such a great person and writer.

Lastly, I exchanged a bunch of emails with Eugene Cross for Fiction Writers Review. Eugene Cross needs no introduction on this blog. He's my bestie, and he also wrote this, one of the top two or three debut collections published this year.

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If you've been following my Facebook page, or my tumblr, then you know I traveled to NYC for the first time a couple weeks back--and that I read at the Sunday Salon with Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Luis Jaramillo, and Catherine Lacey. There are now some video clips up on the website of the reading.

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I don't think I've mentioned here two recent story publications:

"Yard Work" was published back in October as part of the Fall 2012 issue of Fiction Southeast. Pamela Painter is in the issue, and so is Jim Daniels, and a host of other talented folks.

"You Would've Counted Yourself Lucky" was published in November in Issue 40 of The Collagist. Huge thanks to Matt Bell for having me. This was the last story I wrote that ended up a part of TEISH, and it's one I'm still fond of. Soon, I'll be doing an interview about the story with David Bachmann for the Collagist blog.

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And finally: I wrote a mini-essay for The Story Prize Blog about baseball & Garden City, Kansas & being sad and lonely and finding literature, deciding I wanted to become a writer.



There's no snow here yet, but it's coming, I'm sure.

It is, however, the holiday season, and I have an offer for you: If you're interested in buying a copy of Tell Everyone I Said Hi for that special short story lover in your life (you do have people in your life who love short stories, right?) I would love to sign it for you, have Jane wrap it up, and then ship it for free anywhere you want to send it. Right now, the collection is on sale for $12 through the University of Iowa Press website, but you can buy it elsewhere online and have it sent to me, and that'd work, too. Just send me a message on Facebook or send me an email for my address, and we'll get that proverbial ball rolling. Plus, it'll be like you're gifting two people at once: I've had a few people get in touch with me on Facebook already, and it felt, well, like Christmas.

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I wrote a little blog post on my tumblr earlier this week. It's the kind of thing I would normally post to this blog, but for some reason it went up over there instead. Tumblr is down right now, I believe, but it should be up by the time you read this, and you can see what I had to say about the writing process, the Midwest, and my essay "An Epilogue for the Unread" here.

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Tomorrow I'm leaving for NYC. It's my first trip to the city, and I have lots of plans. Among them: I'll be reading at the Sunday Salon NYC on December 16th at 7:00 with Luis Jaramillo, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, and Catherine Lacey. Full details here.


Review Roundup

Booklist said some very cool things about TELL EVERYONE I SAID HI. It's not available online, but you can read what they had to say over at Amazon.

An excerpt: "It is no mistake that this collection by the latest recipient of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award is bracketed by stories about cars. Is there any other, more poignant metaphor for the Midwest than the immense promise and eventual collapse of the auto industry (except the Chicago Cubs, who also often appear)? That sentiment echoes throughout Simpson’s stories about the heartland..."

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Luke Sherwood also wrote a pretty great review of TELL EVERYONE I SAID HI over at his blog, Basso Profundo. Read his review here.

An excerpt: "This is a remarkable, distinctive collection..."

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Greg Schreur wrote about my "Stories of Separation" at Englewood Review of Books. I'm grateful, not just for this smart review, but for all of the people who have taken the time not only to read my words but also to take the time to write out their thoughts about it.

An excerpt: "...even for readers who don’t normally read short story collections, Chad Simpson’s Tell Everyone I Said Hi is a worthy read."


WhiskeyPaper/Wigleaf/BETTER: Culture & Lit

This is the third post in a row in which I've had a number of things to mention/announce. I'm thinking that 1) I've had a lot of good luck lately, which is great and 2) in the very near future, I'm going to have nothing at all to post about, because this certainly isn't sustainable.

This week's goodness:

On Sunday, my story "The Most Beautiful Thing About Her" went live at WhiskeyPaper. In case you don't know, this site is run by Loran Smith and Leesa Cross-Smith. Jane and I interact every now and then with Leesa on twitter, and it's gotten to the point that I feel like she's a virtual neighbor of ours. She's also a great writer who was recently a finalist for this year's Flannery O'Connor Award. About this story: It was part of my collection for a couple years, but it eventually got the boot, mostly because I thought it was a little too similar to my book's title story, tone-wise. It's a kind of heartbroke alt-country tune floating up to you from some downstairs room so quiet you can make out only some guitar, a little bit of the lyrics.

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On Monday, I had two stories go live:

"Open Mic Night at Fat Fish Pub" is up at one of my favorites, Wigleaf. I wrote the first draft of this story while bellied up to the bar at the Fat Fish Pub in Galesburg, though there wasn't any open mic taking place. I liked a number of things about that draft and kept tinkering with it for a while until things felt like they were coming together. I liked it quite a bit, but places kept rejecting it; I'm glad Scott gave it a home.

My story "Translated from the French" was also published on Monday, at BETTER: Culture & Lit. This is a new mag, and it seems to have a great team in place. I worked with Sophie Rosenblum, whose work I adore. This piece is part of a series of Monmouth-inspired stories, and it's fairly new. I wrote the first draft a while back but spent some good weeks with it this summer trying to whip it into shape. BETTER also has an audio recording of me reading the story, but please, don't listen it. Nobody should be subjected to the sound of my voice.

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On Monday, I didn't just celebrate the publication of two stories; I also celebrated the official publication date of my story collection, Tell Everyone I Said Hi. Janey made me a cake! And we picked up some Prosecco. Then we ordered pizza and had Dad over, and it was a little sad, because all of us were wishing Mom were around to hold the book in her hands and drink some wine, but we cried a little and then got on with celebrating. I mentioned on Facebook, but it's worth repeating here: I have so much gratitude for all of the people who've been celebrating the path to publication with me these past few months. I wish I could have shared this cake with all of you.