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The Big Issue/ Must Reads of Fall 2022

Get'em Young made this list with a bunch of other wonderful books...


"These imaginative, poetic stories overflow with compassion and should seal McLean's flourishing reputation as a writer of great heft. "


Read the whole review.

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Solo Writer Rides into Town....

Join Nevada Poet Shaun Griffin and me at the Nevada Humanities Lit Crawl on September 10 in Reno for our workshop called "Writing in Solitude."   (E.L. Cord Museum School Classroom #1, Nev Museum of Art, 160 W Liberty St, 1:30-2:15 pm).



Join me and (Nev Poet Laureate 2022) Gailmarie Pahmeier and (LV artist and activist) Brent Holmes for our panel called "What It Means to be Western." (Horan Pavilion at the Lake Mansion Arts and Cultural Center, 250 Court Street, 2:30-3:15 pm.)


 There will be lots of interesting stuff going on besides us...full Nevada Humanties Lit Crawl Schedule here.


Below is the beginning of a blog post I wrote for the Lit Crawl. It's up on the Nevada Humanities website now: 


I've always been a solo writer. Why? Read on


It started long before I'd written anything, as a potter in rural Alaska. No lights through the forest, no road sound as I spun my pots—it changed my midwestern, very urban mind. 


See you there, tell Reno friends, and happy trails!



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Publishers Weekly Chimes in

This just in from Publishers Weekly about the new collection: 


"McLean (Pity the Beast) offers up a gritty and well-honed collection of mischief, desperation, and disaster in the American West. ...With merciless prose and a bold vision, McLean continues to impress."


Get'em Young, Treat'em Tough, Tell'em Nothing comes out on October 18 in the US and UK.  Pre-order here.


Join us at the launch with the GrubStreet Debut Series in Boston (10.18.22).  all US and UK tour news is here.


--NYC, S. Hadley, Santa Fe, Dallas, Denver, Chicago, LA, Seattle, Reno, London...

also Minneapolis (Twin Cities Book Fest --


Read the kind comments about the stories here...


Pre-order the paperback of Pity the Beast here (with the Coetzee quote in the cover!)


Thanks for reading. Come back for more news soon.

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A walk in the canyon

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The Best Day of a Writer's Life (or why you should submit your work to small awesome presses)

The BOA folks asked me to write a blog post about what it has meant to me to have won the BOA Short Fiction Prize. I do whatever they ask of me over there, so here it is....

This is to encourage all other short fiction writers to submit to the 2017 prize, open submissions April 1 - to May 31. SO SUBMIT!

Thanks BOA, again and again.

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Well, Happy Day.

My story "House Full of Feasting" appears in the latest issue of CINCINNATI REVIEW.

Order issue 13.2 on the website, or subscribe -- even better.

Thanks so much Nicola Mason, Michael Griffith and all the CR team. I love this journal and am thrilled this is my second story to be published there. It's so cool to appear with so many great writers and one of my heroes -- Steve Almond.

Happy New Year!

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KENYON REVIEW: “Like A Planet Forming Its Own Orbit”: Reptile House

Thanks Nathan Goldman for the fantastic new REVIEW of Reptile House in KENYON REVIEW .

"...an approving comparison to Flannery O’Connor is warranted...Her prose is energetic and lyrical without excising ugliness... which it folds into its world with an elegance that astounds. This skill with language makes possible the stories’ portraits of human beings, so revealing in their unsentimental bleakness, and it is in this unique style that the worldhood of Reptile House emerges." -- READ ALL OF IT .

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Reading with COLUM MCCANN and the KAITLYN GREENRIDGEat the Muse and the Marketplace 2016 Bash -- Grub Gone Drag -- a sold out show in Boston on April 30.

The headliner: Martha Graham Cracker -- the Drag queen of Philly.

Alter Ego.

Fuzzy Blue Bolero.



Listen to the story...HERE

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MUD SEASON REVIEW. VOL 2 is hot off the presses. Click for the online preview and BUY THE PRINT VERSION. Thanks for the hard work of the MSR STAFF (Rebecca, Natasha, Brett, Lee-Ann, Margaret, Rike (I am forgetting like 30 people) and the BURLINGTON WRITERS WORKSHOP for all they do to keep writing vibrant in Vermont.

Also THANK YOU for inviting me to the wonderful and jam packed reading May 7 at the HOTEL VERMONT with three amazing writers -- ALISON PRINE, SEAN PRENTISS , and RALPH CULVER.

My story "The True End to All Sad Times" appears in the print version here as well as a cool (my humble opinion) interview that editor and chief REBECCA STARKS whipped up. I'm honored. Thanks PETER BIELLO for being the originator and shepherd of so much of this. Read More 
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With Deborah and Dona (pedicart transit)

I hate driving in Boston -- have driven a million miles (this seems low) around the US, checked off all 50 states ages ago, and no trouble, but Boston gets me.

So the solution has been found.

Made it to Grub Gone Drag no problem.

Thanks Grubstreet and Muse and all my friends. Micheal Carolan, Peter Corbett and Dona Bolding especially.

Martha Graham Cracker is my new idol. I cannot walk in high heals like that, no way dance, no way climb on chairs, railings, etc. ( SEE PREVIOUS POST).

Just just just..........the sparkles in the eye shadow. The sequins.

No words.

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