My first short story collection, Smoky Ordinary, won the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award and was published by Snake Nation Press. A second collection, Get a Grip, received the George Garrett Fiction Prize and was published by Texas Review Press. Get a Grip was named one of the Best Books of the Year by Baltimore Magazine, and it appeared in the Top 10 Baltimore Books chosen by Baltimore City Paper. The book won the short story category of The Best Book Awards, The International Book Award, and the National Indie Excellence Award. My short stories have appeared in more than 25 journals and anthologies, such as Shenandoah, The North American Review, Blackbird, The Michigan Quarterly Review, and New Stories from the South.
For five years, I served as a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader of creative writing at the University of Cumbria in England. During that time, I also created mini-courses for the BBC's Get Writing website and served on the board of the National Association of Writers in Education. After a move to Baltimore, Maryland, I taught creative writing at Goucher College for eleven years, receiving tenure and promotion to Associate Professor along the way. Currently, I teach writing at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.
I have taught at more than 35 writing conferences given around 40 readings of my own work at bookstores and festivals in just the past few years. My advice column for aspiring writers appears quarterly at Stay Thirsty Magazine. In addition, I wrote a regular column about teaching writing for the UK’s Writing in Education for many years. About a dozen of my creative nonfiction and feature articles have appeared in Baltimore Style, Baltimore Fishbowl, The Texas Review, Monkeybicycle, and other publications.
I grew up in the Washington, DC area, and I went on to study literature and writing at Virginia Tech, Auburn University, and UNC-Greensboro. I’ve been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sozopol Fiction Seminars in Bulgaria, and Le Moulin a Nef in France, and I have received grants from the Maryland Arts Council and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts. I live with my husband, my son, and an 11-pound Yorkie-poo.