J.R. McCONVEY

Back at the Desk

July 18, 2017

After an extended period of focusing on production work, I’m back at the writing desk this summer, feeling buoyed by a few recent credits:

“The Ouroboros” is a piece I contributed to EVENT’s Notes on Writing Issue. (Issue 46.1, available here.) EVENT published my story, “How the Grizzly Came to Hang in the Royal Oak Hotel,” which was a finalist for the 2016 Journey Prize. So it was rewarding to be able to return to the magazine with a reflection on how to write, or at least on the process of pursuit, cannibalization and renewal that writing sometimes entails. I wrote it in a period of heightened stress, during which I was wrestling with the feeling of being pulled away from writing—and pulled apart by it—so it explores the sometimes tyrannical notion of “being a writer” and attempts to try and reconcile that with the need to maintain other activities and identities.

“Sheepasnörus Rex,” a short story about new parenthood and sinister sleep toys, has been picked up by The New Quarterly. TNQ is a great magazine, and writers I know say it’s one of the best places to publish, in terms of the quality of the editing and the professionalism of the staff and process. So I’m pleased to have their support. “Sheepasnörus Rex” – my first story to feature an umlaut in the title🤘 – is slated for publication in either the winter or spring of 2018.

Through this fall and winter, I’ll be working on a few projects: finalizing and submitting the manuscript for my short story collection, Different Beasts; going at another draft of my novel, Sometimes a Kingdom, Sometimes a Cloud; and starting two new books, another collection and a novel in which I indulge my obsession with giant squid in an attempt to channel Brian Evenson.