March 6, 2021
I'll be leading an online seminar on plot in fiction from 2-3:30 PM Eastern. The cost is $40.00 and registration is required. To register, please go to
Here is a description of the seminar:
Plot is one of the most poorly taught and thus least understood elements of fiction. Creative writing textbooks and teachers almost universally use the word plot to refer to a single, monolithic organizing principle, one focused on causality and character change. The consensus definition of a plot is essentially this: A sequence of causally linked events that effect a completed process of change in a character by forcing him or her to deal with a conflict that gets progressively more complicated until it finally reaches a climax and is resolved. This is an excellent description of one kind of plot—the kind that many writers and readers (including me) most prefer—but I don't understand why we persist in suggesting that all works of fiction should follow this definition when so many acknowledged masterpieces depart from it. Many so-called "plotless" stories employ other organizing principles that deserve to be recognized. I'd like to see us replace the monolithic notion of a plot with the concept of plots, plural. In this seminar, we will define and discuss examples of seven alternatives to the standard causal plot.
"A Conversation with David Jauss," an interview conducted by Vivian Dorsel, appears in upstreet, No. 16 (Summer 2020), 102-122.
My poem "Black Orchid" was published in Turn It Up!: Music in Poetry from Jazz to Hip-Hop, an anthology edited by Stephen Cramer (West Brattleboro, VT: Sundog Poetry Center and Green Writers Press, 2020), 65-67.
My poem "Slow River" appears in Cascadia, a video and sound collage including spoken word produced by Bruce Bayard of Studio A.B in Ashland, Oregon. See https://vimeo.com/419274877
My essay "The Flowers of Afterthought: Premises and Strategies for Revision" was published on Feb. 3, 2020, in Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts. See https://gristjournal.com/category/essays/?fbclid=IwAR2cQ39UCV8Dce8oNhtvv4PZPbrUQV6h3D4jjOMQU6Ae27hftN0SLqLbVlw
My story "Torque" was published in The Short Story Project, Oct. 3, 2019. See https://www.shortstoryproject.com/story/torque/
My story "Glossolalia" was published in The Short Story Project, Oct. 3, 2019. See https://www.shortstoryproject.com/story/glossolalia/
My story "Glossolalia" was a finalist for The Lascaux Prize for Fiction and appears in The Lascaux Prize, Vol. 5, edited by Camille Griep, Stephen Parrish, and Wendy Russ (Lascaux Books, 2019), 93-120.
My story "Firelight" was published in Home: An Anthology, edited by William Burleson (Minneapolis, MN: Flexible Press, 2019), 138-170.
My essay "Beyond Plot: Structuring Fiction" was published in The Writer's Chronicle, Vol. 51, No. 5 (March/April 2019), 26-34.
My poem "Black Orchid" has been translated into Chinese and is forthcoming in an as-yet-untitled anthology of jazz poetry edited by Hung-ya Yen that will be published by Dark Eyes Publishing.
My poem “Lazarus” is forthcoming in Afterwords: Poems That Continue the Stories, edited by Kurt Brown and Howard Schechter.
Nice People: New & Selected Stories II (Press 53, 2017) is available in both paper and hardcover editions. A companion volume to Glossolalia: New & Selected Stories, Nice People contains revisions of four works from previous collections, including the novella "Last Rites," and nine new stories. To order, please go to the following link: https://www.press53.com/short-fiction/nice-people-by-david-jauss
On Writing Fiction, originally published by Writer's Digest Books, was translated into Chinese and published in Jan. 2017 by Bejing's Renmin University Press as part of their Creative Writing Book Series.
Glossolalia: New & Selected Stories, which includes 11 stories from my previous books and 6 new stories, was published in Sept. 2013 by Press 53. The book is available for order at https://www.press53.com/short-fiction/glossolalia-by-david-jauss
Here are some endorsements of the book:
"If I were in charge of the seating arrangements, I'd reserve a place for David Jauss in the very first row of contemporary American fiction writers. Glossolalia: New & Selected Stories is why. Each of the stories within delivers stunning revelations of deep human truths, and each hitches Jauss's formidable storytelling powers to his very good heart. I'm in awe of this collection." —WALLY LAMB, author of She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True
"These incredibly accomplished short stories are cause for celebration; whether the characters are male or female, young or old, from the majority or from the minority, David Jauss renders them with the compassionate mastery of a true and humble artist. His prose is at once lean and generous, sensual and intelligent, edgy without being judgmental. Glossolalia is an absolute triumph of the short form by a master of it, and you will not read a better collection anywhere." —ANDRE DUBUS III, author of House of Sand and Fog and Townie: A Memoir
"For more than three decades David Jauss has been quietly crafting gems of literature. In this collection he demonstrates yet again the skill, insight, and artistry that have earned him a place among the very best American writers. His talent runs deep." —CLINT MCCOWN, author of Haints and War Memorials
"I have long admired David Jauss’s fiction—the tough, yet gentle intelligence in it. But having these stories together in this beautiful selection is such a pleasure. I've been going through the book slowly, savoring each story; each comprises what Peter Taylor called 'an evening's entertainment.' Yes indeed. An evening’s superior entertainment." —RICHARD BAUSCH, author of The Stories of Richard Bausch and Before, During, After
"David Jauss's work was a huge influence on me as a young writer, and I'm grateful that his smart, wise, deeply heartfelt stories are being collected in this beautiful new edition."—DAN CHAON, author of Among the Missing and Ill Will
"I have long been a great admirer of the work of David Jauss, though admirer is too weak a word. More like a fanatical fan. His stories have been personal landmarks for as long as I have been writing ('Glossolalia' is itself worth the price of admission), but with this new book one can see the man and his work in all their literary glory. The new stories are stronger than ever, which is saying a lot, given the power of the early work, and the publication of this collection is an occasion for all readers to cheer." —BRET LOTT, author of Dead Low Tide and Jewel
Black Maps, my AWP Award-winning collection of short stories, has been reissued in ebook format by Dzanc Books as part of their rEprint series. To order a copy, please go to http://www.amazon.com/Black-Grace-Paley-Prize-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00D668JE4/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1442783659&sr=8-14&keywords=Black+Maps
Here are a couple of endorsements of Black Maps:
"These powerful stories are about conditions of exile and the many contemporary varieties of American violence and American shame. Written with clarity and compassion and an ability to see several sides of life simultaneously, Black Maps is a moving, impressive, deeply rewarding collection from a very talented writer." —LORRIE MOORE, author of Birds of America and A Gate at the Stairs
"Black Maps is a near-perfect story collection." —PHILIP GRAHAM, author of How to Read an Unwritten Language and Interior Design: Stories
Crimes of Passion was also reissued as part of Dzanc Books' rEprint series. To order a copy, please go to http://www.amazon.com/Crimes-Passion-David-Jauss-ebook/dp/B00NX3UYSY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442783901&sr=8-1&keywords=David+Jauss+Crimes+of+Passion
Here are a couple of endorsements of Crimes of Passion:
"What a fine collection David Jauss has written. ... The language of the book is clearly consecrated to its characters: they and their predicaments are more important to Jauss than is any need to show us how rich his gift is. It is very, very rich." —FREDERICK BUSCH, author of The Mutual Friend and The Stories of Frederick Busch
"Crimes of Passion is a remarkably varied performance, speaking to us at different times from 16th-century Spain and post-Vietnam America, in the voices of murderers, priests, and heart-broken lovers. The stories are executed with verve and wit, and one of them—“Shards”—is terrifying enough to have vexed my sleep for two nights running. A fine collection." —TOBIAS WOLFF, author of This Boy’s Life and Our Story Begins
SELECTED ADDITIONAL PUBLICATIONS
Sixteen poems and one short story of mine were reprinted in 2018 in the 50th Anniversary issue of Perceptions Literary & Art Journal.
An interview by Dan Wickett appeared in Emerging Writers Network, June 8, 2018. See
My essay "The Art of Description" was published in The Writer’s Chronicle, Vol. 50, No. 4 (February 2018), 58-73.
An interview by Curtis Smith appeared in JMWW Literary Journal, November 28, 2017. See https://jmwwblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/good-people-an-interview-with-david-jauss-by-curtis-smith/
My story "The Year Nobody Died," which originally appeared in The Lascaux Review, was reprinted in The Literary Review as part of its "TLR Share" series. See http://www.theliteraryreview.org/tlr-share/the-year-nobody-died-the-lascaux-review/
My essay "'What We See With': Redefining Plot" was published in Short Fiction in Theory & Practice, Vol. 6, No. 2 (October 2016), 141-159.
Two poems, "Beauty" and "The Border," appear in Far Out: Poems about the Sixties (Wings Press, 2016), edited by Wendy Barker and David Parsons.
My story "Hazmat" was reprinted in Introduction to Creative Writing by James Meetze and Adam Deutsch (Bridgepoint Education, 2015).
My poem “You Are Not Here” appears in The Lascaux Prize 2015, edited by Stephen Parrish and Wendy Russ.
An interview by Bonnie ZoBell appeared in West Coast Interviews on Oct. 11, 2014. See http://bonniezobell.com/bonnie-zobell-blog/west-coast-interviews-david-jauss-2/
A four-part interview by Jodi Paloni was published in Catching Days on Sept. 23, Oct. 1, Oct. 2, and Oct. 3, 2014. See http://catchingdays.cynthianewberrymartin.com/2014/09/23/the-next-writer-in-the-series-october-1-2014/ ;
http://catchingdays.cynthianewberrymartin.com/2014/10/02/catching-jauss-david-jauss-on-munro-chekhov-carver-and-the-short-story/ ; and http://catchingdays.cynthianewberrymartin.com/2014/10/03/catching-jauss-david-jauss-on-point-of-view/
An interview by Mary Akers was published in R.kv.ry Quarterly Literary Journal (July 2014). See http://rkvryquarterly.com/interview-with-david-jauss/
My story "The Stars at Noon" was reprinted in R.kv.ry Quarterly Literary Journal (Summer 2014). See http://rkvryquarterly.com/the-stars-at-noon/
My story "Freeze" was reprinted in Storyville in Feb. 2014 along with a note about the story's composition.
My essay “The Reverse Side" was published in The Room and the World: Essays on the Poet Stephen Dunn (Syracuse University Press, 2014), edited by Laura McCullough.
My poem “Four Ways of Living in This World” was published in Oct. 2013 as a broadside by the Central Arkansas Broadside Project.
I was interviewed by Shelagh Shapiro for her radio show Write the Book
(Sept. 2, 2013). See http://writethebook.podbean.com/2013/09/03/david-jauss-interview-259-9213/
"Feeding the Lake: Interview with David Jauss," conducted by Ross McMeekin, appeared in the August 2013 issue of Numero Cinq. See http://numerocinqmagazine.com/2013/08/03/feeding-the-lake-interview-with-david-jauss-ross-mcmeekin/
"Five Questions, Three Facts," an interview conducted by Christine Norris, appeared on the Press 53 blog on July 22, 2013. See http://press53.tumblr.com/post/56144659970/5-questions-3-facts
My short story "A Brief History of My Scars" was included in Seems, No. 47/48 (June 2013).
"Homo Sapiens vs. Homo Fictus," an essay on characterization, appeared in the March/April 2013 issue of The Writer's Chronicle.
"Hazmat," creative nonfiction, was published in Brevity, No. 41, Jan. 2013. See http://www.brevitymag.com
An essay I wrote on the history of the controversial case of the West Memphis Three was published as an appendix to the ebook edition of Damien Echols's Life After Death (New York: Blue Rider Press, 2012), a collection of his death row writings that I helped edit. An excerpt from the essay can be read by clicking on Miscellaneous Essays and Interviews on the My Publications page.
“Blizzards,” a short story, was published in upstreet in July 2012.
"The Year Nobody Died," a short story, was published in The Lascaux Review in May 2012. See http://www.lascauxreview.com/2012/05/year-nobody-died.html
"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Abstraction?: Modes of Conveying Emotion" was published in The Writer's Chronicle, Vol. 44, No. 6 (May/Summer 2012), 64-79.
“The Reverse Side: The Poetry of Stephen Dunn" appeared in Shenandoah, Nov. 2011. See http://shenandoahliterary.org
On Writing Fiction, a collection of seven of my essays on the craft of fiction, was published in July 2011 by Writer's Digest Books. (It was originally published under the title Alone With All That Could Happen in 2008.) It contains a foreword by Bret Lott. For excerpts from the essays, click on the link under Essay Collections on the right.
My short craft essay, "11 Strategies for Ending Works of Fiction,” appeared in Hunger Mountain, June 2011. See http://www.hungermtn.org/on-endings-11-strategies/
A guest "MFA Insider" column, "The Real Story Behind Low-Residency MFA Programs," was published in the February 2011 issue of Writer's Digest Magazine.
"A Crack in Everything: How We Know What’s Done Is Done," an essay exploring the issue of completion in a work of art, was included in The Haystack Reader: Collected Essays on Craft, 1991-2009, ed. Michael Alpert (Orono and Deer Isle, ME: University of Maine Press and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, 2010).
A short story, "Depositions," appeared in upstreet, No. 6 (Summer 2010).
A poem, "The Proposition of Any River," appeared in The Island Journal (Summer 2010).
An essay, "Returning Characters to Life: Chekhov's Subversive Endings," was published in the The Writer's Chronicle (March/April 2010).
Two poems, "Elk-Hair Caddis" and "Against Sunsets," appeared in The Island Journal (2009).
Words Overflown by Stars: Creative Writing Instruction and Insight from the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Program, an anthology of thirty-two essays on writing poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction that I edited, was published in January 2009 by Writer's Digest Books. For the Table of Contents and an excerpt from the Preface, click on the link under Anthologies on the right.
My essay "Remembering Lynda Hull” appeared in a special feature entitled "Lynda Hull Remembered" in the Spring 2008 issue of Blackbird. See http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v7n1/ Both a text and audio version of this essay, which I read as part of the panel “A Tribute to Lynda Hull” at the Association of Writers and Writing Progams’ annual conference in New York in January 2007, appears along with other essays from the AWP tribute by David Wojahn, Mark Doty, Elizabeth Alexander, and Brenda Shaughnessy. The special feature also includes an essay by Susan Aizenberg, two previously unpublished poems by Lynda Hull, and a video of Lynda reading her poem "The Window."