2013: the year of all the awesome I could ever want

I’ve been looking over 2013 and thinking about my writing work, and folks, this has been one hell of a year.

"It is my great pleasure to inform you that the judges have selected you as a recipient of a 2013 Oregon Literary Fellowship."

It started in the very first weeks of January, when I received — almost back-to-back — an offer from sunnyoutside press to publish my first book, Box Cutters, and an Oregon Literary Fellowship.

Both those events were huge. They were life-changing, in fact, but I’ll get there in a minute.

In February, I published one of my favorite stories in one of my favorite online magazines, and then March became the Month of Fiction, when I published five pieces, including an excerpt from my fellowship-winning novel, Hagridden.

Me (I read the first story from my chapbook Box Cutters, out this fall from Sunnyoutside Press)

March was also an interesting month because I used my Fellowship money to take a research trip to Louisiana, where I finished the last work needed on Hagridden. I felt like things were moving for me, the literary stars aligning in my favor, and I didn’t even know what was yet to come.

A few more stories spread from April through October brought my total publications for the year to eleven. I also gave a summer reading with Unshod Quills and my friends Dena Rash Guzman, Justin Lawrence Daugherty, Ryan Werner, Mark Russell, and a whole lot of other awesome writers. And in August, I went on a writing retreat to work on a story cycle I started a couple of years ago.

Also in August, I found out my short story “Lightning My Pilot” had been nominated for the storySouth Million Writers Award, which was a huge deal. And then in September I discovered I’d been shortlisted to the Notable Stories list for that award, and in November, I found out I’m a finalist! (By the way, there’s still time to vote for my story before the end of the year, if you’d like to see “Lightning My Pilot” win that award.)

Samuel Snoek-Brown, Box Cutters
Samuel Snoek-Brown, Box Cutters

Also in November, on the same day I was giving a reading at my community college, sunnyoutside press released Box Cutters. My first book. I cannot express how important this has been to me. I’ve been reeling from the attention it’s gotten, with some kind reviews and photos from readers and an interview on the radio . . . .

But the year wasn’t done with me yet: just a few weeks later, in first week of December, I signed a contract with Columbus Press to publish Hagridden.

My first novel. The book that got me the Oregon Literary Fellowship. The book that started my year off so wonderfully was ending my year great, too.

I couldn’t have hoped for a better year — the things that have happened so far have been more than I could have wished for in a single twelve-month stretch.

And next year is already set up to be pretty great, as I set up readings in support of Box Cutters and work through final edits with my publisher and prepare for a Fall release of Hagridden.

2013 has been a red-letter year, gang. Here’s to a 2014 that’s just as great.

Published by Samuel Snoek-Brown

I write fiction and teach college writing and literature. I'm the author of the story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, the novel Hagridden, and the flash fiction chapbooks Box Cutters and Where There Is Ruin.

2 thoughts on “2013: the year of all the awesome I could ever want

  1. I guess I’ve had a similar one. ‘I am not a fish’ and ‘The Everywhen Angels’ published, plus appearances in anthologies and in editorial roles here and there. Congratulations on your Annus Mirabilis, and all the best for ’14.


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