New novel longlisted for the 2019 CRAFT First Chapters Prize

December 4, 2019 § Leave a comment

craft-literaryTHE HAVANA STANDARD has notched another distinction, a good omen, one dares to hope, for finding the novel a good home in this challenging publishing environment . . .

Visit CRAFT Literary, a beautifully curated and highly recommended source for new fiction, interviews, and essays on fiction writing technique.

Porto to Salamanca on a Douro River cruise

September 20, 2019 § 3 Comments

iberia history portugal.003Excited to return to one of my favorite corners of the planet to embark on this new National Geographic program, my first in nearly a year.

In my capacity as featured expert I’ll be delivering a series of lectures on the long, colorful history of the Iberian peninsula, from the earliest clues about human life to the Romans and the Moors and the rise and fall of the Hapsburg dynasty—and possibly beyond that, if we have time, to Francisco de Goya and the Peninsular War.

iberia history portugal.005If there’s enough interest, I’ll also be offering an ad hoc field-based creative writing workshop, and hopefully getting some of my own scribbling done too.

Also looking forward to visiting some of the fascinating sites we have on the itinerary, meeting everyone else on our river ship, the Scenic Azure, and of course sampling some delicious food, wine, and port!

New novel is a finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Award

September 9, 2019 § 3 Comments

Faulkner-Oval-SmallJust learned that my new novel, THE HAVANA STANDARD, has been selected as a finalist for the 2019 William Faulkner-WilliamWisdom Award for a Novel-in-Progress. The manuscript is currently being shopped around to acquiring editors, so fingers crossed . . . 

Literary Roadhouse Podcast: Edith Wharton’s “Roman Fever.”

December 20, 2018 § Leave a comment

Literary-Roadhouse-Header-PC-300x300A heartfelt thanks to Anais Concepción, the smart & effervescent host of Literary Roadhouse, a weekly podcast on a public-domain short story. It’s a fun and lively podcast with the noble mission of celebrating the short story form, and I had a very good time hosting a recent episode on Edith Wharton’s masterpiece, “Roman Fever.” You can listen to the podcast here—and to a wide-ranging follow-up conversation on video between Anais and me about nature,  Will Poole’s Island, a career combining writing and travel, National Geographic, Cuba, my goals of as a teacher of writing, the need to break writing “rules,” new writing projects, history as a foreign country, escapism, and more. Watch the video interview here.

“Diamondback Mountain” out at Craft Literary

December 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

markos-mant-597793-unsplash-1024x683Happy to report the release of “Diamondback Mountain,” the final previously unpublished story in the fiction collection A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing. The folks at Craft have done a beautiful job and I’m happy that they’re hosting this story, which holds a great deal of personal significance for me, as explained in the author’s note. In the story, a young ski instructor at a remote hotel in 1930s Colorado falls in love with a rising Italian movie star, but fate conspires to keep the couple apart. Read the full story here.

Radio interview: The Round Schoolhouse & the legend of Thunderbolt

December 10, 2018 § 2 Comments

VIMG_1862ery enjoyable conversation this morning with Olga Peters of the Green Mountain Mornings radio show on WKVT Radio 100.03 FM about the local landmark and the historical characters that inspired my novel-in-progress, The Confession of Michael Martin, one of fifteen works selected for the 2018 long list of the Historical Novel Society’s New Novel Award. HNS describes it as “A novel of adventure, friendship, and immigrant life inspired by the true story of early American outlaws that is intriguingly different from Hollywood mythologies.”

Dr. John Wilson, Circa 1842 Daguerreotype, Former Highwayman Captain ThunderboltThe history behind the story is also of local interest because it represents a landmark in early Vermont and Brattleboro publishing. It’s of general interest because it’s an early entry in the great American outlaw myth, and because of what it tells us about the power of narrative to grip the human imagination and about the blurred lines between what we call history and what we call fiction. I’ll be presenting the research in a roundtable discussion sponsored by the Brattleboro Words Project at 6pm this Thursday, December 13, at 118 Elliot Street in Brattleboro. If you’re in the neighborhood, please come by!

If you’re interested in the topic but can’t make the discussion, listen to the 10 minute interview here. My heartfelt thanks to Lissa Weinmann of The Brattleboro Words Project and Olga Peters (feel better soon, Olga)!

New short fiction out

November 25, 2018 § Leave a comment

IMG_1202A freshly-minted short story (one of the first to appear post-A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishingis out in  Western Press Books’ wonderful new anthology, Manifest West: Transitions & TransformationsThe story is titled “Gunnison Gorge.” It concerns a lonely traveler who gives a ride to a mysterious couple on his way to a remote fly fishing river in a wilderness area of central Colorado. He worries that the woman may be in some kind of trouble, and believes himself well-positioned to do something about it.

To read “Gunnison Gorge,” at least for now, you have to order the anthology. But that’s a great thing to do anyway, especially if you want to support literature and/or are interested in writing about the contemporary American west!

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