John C. Costello

About Me

Display Name

John C. Costello

Twitter Handle


What I Write

Writing Sample

The car started and turned off. There was a screeching sound after the engine stopped, like a worn fan belt but worse. Frank lifted the hood, and there was a sound of tired metal moving. But there was another sound. The engine wasn’t running. I walked to the car to see. Shari stood a ways away. I didn’t want to walk back to town.

Frank was staring at the engine block.

“There’s a cat,” he said.

Stray cats lived at the missile silos, surviving on rodents and other small creatures. One had crawled onto the engine while we searched and had fallen asleep. The first warm sleep of that cat’s life. Then the car started. The fan belt had pulled the cat’s hindquarters into the machinery. The cat’s back legs were crushed, and its back was broken.

What I Write

In spite of my writing sample, I love cats.

I write under the broad umbrella of speculative fiction, including literary fiction, magical realism, and the porous boundary between those two genres.

Occasionally, I wander into fantasy, science fiction, horror, and poetry.

I’m a graduate of the 2013 Clarion West Writers Workshop.


“Giants” in The Quotable

My Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals

Draft two new chapters.

Fundraising Goals

I want to help the workshop as much as I can.