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Author: Matt Browning

Author of contemporary YA fiction, including the forthcoming "Blades of Grass." Repped by Stephen Fraser at Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.
I Did a StoryCorps Interview. Here’s What Happened.

I Did a StoryCorps Interview. Here’s What Happened.

In September, I had the pleasure of stepping into an Airstream trailer in downtown Charleston with my friend, Tabitha Surface, microphones placed between us at a small table in a dimly lit booth with a silent facilitator in the corner watching over us, to record a conversation about being LGBT in Appalachia. It was part of StoryCorps, and it was truly moving. If you aren’t familiar with it, StoryCorps is a non-profit organization whose mission is to record, preserve and share the…

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Literary Tattoos

Literary Tattoos

a.k.a. “That Time I Got a Big-Ass Typewriter on My Arm” When I told my dad recently that I was getting a rather large tattoo of an antique typewriter on my arm, he asked, “Now, why do you do that?” It wasn’t judgmental or harsh in tone. It was simple inquiry. So simple, in fact, I didn’t know how to answer him. Mind you, both of my siblings have tattoos, so this was nothing new for my folks. My brother…

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Am I Even a Writer?

Am I Even a Writer?

Pity, party of one. I’ve been in one hell of a terrible slump for probably a year or more, trying and failing to pump some life into a lagging writing career. I’m happy to report that I’m emerging from it, but it’s been a rather dreary time. I thought I’d share a little about why I’ve been feeling this way. Perhaps it’ll help other writers trying to dig their way out of the hole. My slump came to a head…

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Best Books of 2017

Best Books of 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve compiled a “best of” list of the books I’ve read over the course of the year, but seeing as how I’m attempting to reinvigorate the blog, I thought I’d offer a list of my recent favorites. When looking back on my favorite books of the year, a couple patterns emerged. Apparently, this year I was really into politics, mystery and the musings of authors better known as actors. In random order, here are my…

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Remembering Ellen’s Coming Out

Remembering Ellen’s Coming Out

I watched “The Puppy Episode” 20 years later. Here’s what happened. I recently discovered that Ellen, Ellen Degeneres’s sitcom which ran on ABC from 1993 to 1998, is on Hulu! It’s funny as I’ve revisited the show how clearly I remember watching the episodes when they first aired – especially the infamous “Puppy Episode” from April 1997, in which Ellen’s character, Ellen Morgan, came out as a lesbian – just as Ellen Degeneres did herself in real life on the…

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Mountain Woman: Reflections on Life in the Appalachian Coalfields

Mountain Woman: Reflections on Life in the Appalachian Coalfields

On a typical Sunday morning drive through Omar, W.Va., about 10 miles south of the Logan County seat, there’s little activity along the two-lane road that winds its way through the community. Once a bustling coal town nestled between the mountains, empty storefronts and pothole-lined streets suggest a place whose best days may be behind it. Yet election signs dot front yards, people gather at the lone filling station to discuss the day’s news, and the parking lots of the…

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My Family Voted for Trump: Searching for Understanding Amid the Fear

My Family Voted for Trump: Searching for Understanding Amid the Fear

Several members of my family and friends supported Donald Trump in the presidential election. I’ve been trying to understand why, while grappling with the fear of an uncertain future. Fear is a familiar concept to any marginalized group. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I’ve experienced it all throughout my life. And in the wake of this historic presidential election, I’m feeling fear that I never hoped I would have to face again and fear that I’ve never quite faced…

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Prolific and Diverse

Prolific and Diverse

  "Learning to be prolific would be high on my list of the most valuable writing skills a professional writer can have." – Brent Hartinger The quote above, which Brent Hartinger recently made on his Facebook page, landed in my newsfeed at the most convenient time – a time when I was yet again questioning my future as a writer. As I’ve documented plenty of times on the blog, my journey has been stalled by rejection after rejection, even after…

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The Unfinished Manuscript

The Unfinished Manuscript

"I won't leave any unfinished manuscripts." – Harold Robbins (Good for you, Harold. I can't make such a bold statement.) Question for writers: How many unfinished books are collecting digital dust in your computer's filing cabinet? There’s a folder on my desktop called Writing. Within that folder are several additional folders for each of the projects I’ve worked on over the years – novels, screenplays, short fiction, poetry. There are outlines, character biographies, and of course the manuscripts themselves. Some of them are…

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Writing Actually is Rewriting

Writing Actually is Rewriting

You've heard it a thousand times: "writing is rewriting." Yawn! But actually, it's so true that it's punch-you-in-the-gut frustrating. I’ve documented the writing process of my first manuscript, Welcome to Straightville, ever since I started this website, and it’s a process that is still in motion. In a nutshell, I started writing the book during a semester break in graduate school back in 2008. I worked on it slowly over the next few years before I decided that a writer…

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