14. Mysticism & Maturity: A Dialogue with Author Stephanie Reents


Stephanie Reents is the author of The Kissing List (Hogarth, 2012). Her work has appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories, Best of the West, Epoch, StoryQuarterly, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, and Denver Quarterly, among other places, and been noted in Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize. She earned her MFA from University of Arizona and has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, a Stegner Fellowship, and a MacColl Johnson Fellowship for fiction from the Rhode Island Foundation. An Associate Professor of English at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, Stephanie lives in Cranston, RI with her husband and multiple cats.


Stephanie’s website: stephaniereents.com


On the creation of The Kissing List

“I was sifting through the stories on my hard drive–because I didn’t want to start working something new–seeing if there was anything partially finished that I could attempt to finish. I realized that I had been writing a number of stories about young women, without being fully cognizant of it, and it suddenly made sense to me: Why don’t I have a collection of stories about young women figuring out that decade after they graduate from college?

“It wasn’t a collection of interconnected stories. The connecting of the stories didn’t happen until after the collection had been acquired by the publisher. My editor suggested that I try connecting the stories, which was very psychologically challenging.”

On writing mystical, unreal stories…

“Any writer knows that you have to use your own life for scale… We use the places we know, and we use some of the experiences we’ve had, to create the texture of verisimilitude or believability in a story or novel. So, I definitely draw from experiences I’ve had or places I’ve lived in order to make things feel believable, to give the story the texture of something that’s real, even if it’s obviously not real.” Continue reading

04. Place, Persistence & The Pushcart: A Dialogue with Author & Writing Coach Steve Adams

Author Steve Adams

Author Steve Adams

Our guest on today’s episode is author and writing coach Steve Adams. Steve’s essay “Touch,” from the Spring 2012 issue of The Pinch, will be featured in the 2014 Pushcart Prize Anthology. Steve’s fiction has been published in Glimmer TrainThe Missouri ReviewChicago ReviewGeorgetown Review, and elsewhere. He also writes craft and process essays, one of which is forthcoming in Talking Writing. Steve has been a guest artist at the University of Texas and a scholar at the Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony. His work has been used as a teaching text at major universities and in public high schools, and he received his MFA in Creative Writing from The New School.

Follow Steve on Twitter: @iamsteveadams

Steve’s Website: www.steveadamswriting.com

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