Kathleen Alcala

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Kathleen Alcala


My Progress

So far, I’ve got 1074 words of a story called “Loose Screw.” It seems to be set in a near-future climate dystopia.


Now at 2328 words. Last sentence: When she looked at her palm, it showed a map of an island in blood.

Now at 2569 words, about ten pages. I think all the elements are there, but I am not yet sure what the point of the story is. Right now, it reads more like the first chapter of a book. It is heavy on atmosphere.

Last line: Tater was exhilarated to be alive.

Thanks to my sponsors! Added a few more words today and changed the title to “Deer Dancer.” I am now officially excited about this story, and have to live with it a few more days before I send it out.

About Me

Writing Sample

In a crouch, I was level with the little men. The first looked at me, his eyes widening in recognition and his face turning red. His eyes focused on my throat and reflexively, I covered it with my hand. My hand touched an elaborate necklace I had been unaware of until that moment. Looking down, I could see the prominent diamond at its center. He shook one of his canes in my face. “Nyer!” the man bayed loudly. He turned so his voice carried down the stairwell. “Nyer-r-r-r-r!”

I understood that.

“Why, you little traitor!” I yelled, kicking the other cane out.

What I Write

Fiction, sometimes called magical realism, essays, and nonfiction. Along with my books, I’ve got short fiction in many, many anthologies, including a recent anthology of Latin@ spec fic called Latin@ Rising, edited by Matthew David Goodwin. It’s also got work by Daniel Jose Older, which is lovely. I hope it will be available at his reading here at the Seattle Public Library on July 18. I look forward to meeting him.



Twitter Handle



Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist, Calyx Books

Spirits of the Ordinary, Chronicle Books

The Flower in the Skull, Chronicle Books

Treasures in Heaven, Chronicle Books

The Desert Remembers My Name: On Family and Writing, University of Arizona Press

The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island, University of Washington Press

Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals

Hi there – happy to get back to writing, as opposed to promoting my nonfiction book, The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island. I plan to work on a collection of linked stories that might be a novel, as well as a couple of calls from anthologies for stories. I can offer up to three Tuckerizations in my work to potential sponsors. Do you need your character to die a violent death? Or have a civilized meal with someone else? I am flexible.

Fundraising Goals

I would love to see $100 for every 1500 words I write. That is the minimum equivalent of a short story. Or just pledge a flat fee for every verb, say $10.

I’m offering up to three Tuckerizations in exchange for a sponsorship of $495 each. To claim a┬áTuckerization, use the Sponsor button above to make your donation. On the page finalizing your donation, click the “Add special instructions to the seller” link and write that you’d like one of the Tuckerizations. Clarion West’s executive director will be in touch to confirm details.