Nathan Alling Long

Nathan Alling Long’s work appears in over 100 publications, including Tin House, Glimmer Train, Story Quarterly and The Sun. His stories have won international contests and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His collection of fifty short fictions, The Origin of Doubt (Press 53), was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, and his second manuscript was a finalist for the Hudson Book Manuscript Prize and the Iowa Fiction Award. A recipient of a Mellon Foundation grant and a Truman Capote literary fellowship, Nathan lives in Philadelphia and teaches creative writing at Stockton University.
THE SONGBIRD follows a woman who buys a songbird after her boyfriend, a composer, tells her she can’t sing. At first the bird inspires the composer, but then he tells the woman to get rid of it, so their apartment will be quiet enough for him to work. Without resources to leave the apartment, and unable to part with the bird, she decides to swallow it and keep it inside her.
To find out a little more about his work, we asked Nathan the following questions…

What inspires your work?

I’m inspired by an image I might witness anywhere in the day, from an odd phrase or idea I overhear, but also when I attempt to write something new by imposing some restriction on the writing process.

Tell us a bit about your writing process…

I usually start with a vague idea and start writing to explore. I know pretty soon if the idea is working or not. IF it’s working, I usually write the whole rough draft in one sitting, and then read it over many times, before sharing with others and getting feedback, and revising.



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