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"The canary was still. It was too late to run. Too late to escape. Too late to pray for God's mercy..."

Read more at Streetlight Magazine or Streetlight Magazine 2019 Anthology. Or listen to the audio recording at Streetlight Magazine PodcastsThis story was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for inclusion in Best Short Fictions.

Tangled Growth

"Jeff first told me about kudzu twenty years ago when we were in college together in Cincinnati, my hometown. An overnight ice storm had coated everything - the streets, tree branches, cars, power lines, even a red tricycle left on the sidewalk. 'Imagine if that ice was alive,' Jeff had said..."

Read more in Issue 1 Volume 1 of The Hong Kong Review.


"When my grades dropped, my teachers blamed ADD. I just needed to do my homework, but Mom got me some meds..."

Read more at Literary Orphans.

The Coriolis Effect

"Dr Susan Burns stood in front of an eight-foot diameter concrete ring beneath the words Uganda Equator. She straddled the line painted on the ground..."

Read more at Flash Fiction Magazine.

Invisible Girls 

"We were the ones who fell between the cracks in the social order. We loathed the popular kids - the jocks, cheerleaders and rich kids. We pitied the stoners and the nerds. To all of them, we were invisible, shadows on the tile..."


Read the full story at Streetlight Magazine, Streetlight Magazine 2017 Anthology

or Women Speak: Volume Three. Or listen to the audio recording at Streetlight Magazine Podcasts. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Life Is Now 


Two years ago, I worked—practically lived—in the basement of a seven-story office building in Covington, Kentucky.... About once a week, usually on Mondays, an oversized roach skittered across the blue industrial carpet. If one got too close, I smashed it with my black pumps. I was in charge..."

Read more at Literary Orphans

Creamed Corn and Ninja Stars 


"You are the cafeteria worker at the state mental hospital. Your dad got you the job after you dropped out of college. He says he's proud of you but with an excess of enthusiasm that makes you doubt his sincerity, the same way he was proud when you got your green belt when you were nine..."


Read more at Four Ties Lit Review or Women Speak: 10th Anniversary Collection.

Hostess of the Dead


"The stale air overwhelmed me as I stepped into the lobby of the funeral home. It smelled like mildewed books and Biology Lab. I wished I hadn't come and considered leaving and driving back to my dorm, but Buddy made eye contact with me..." 


Included in Best of Ohio Short Stories: Volume II.

Postcards from Clockworld 

"Dearest Bob, I’m having a lovely time at Clockworld. At noon yesterday, three hundred grandfather clocks chimed at once..."


Read more at The Bookends Review.

Alone at Cherry Grove Mall

"Samantha had been waiting for nearly an hour beneath the enormous chandelier at Cherry Grove Shopping Mall. Her friends had ditched her again, and her cell phone was dead..."

Read more at Terror House Magazine.


"The sitter was sick, but Jen had a deadline at work. She thought she’d be able to finish it at home during the baby’s nap, but he was teething and fussy and never went down..."

Forthcoming at Books by the Banks 2020 Writing Contest Winners.

Guest Editor of The Hong Kong Review (2:1) 

This issue is like a mix-tape of stories, poems, and nonfiction that I love. This issue includes my interview with Matthew Goodman on the practice of writing narrative history.  


Buy the issue, subscribe to the journal, or submit to a future issue at The Hong Kong Review.

The Path to the Dark Side is Covered in PB&J 

I'm thrilled to have this 100-word story appear in 100 Word Story.


Forthcoming in 100 Word Story.



  • Books by the Banks Writing Contest Ceremony - Cincinnati - March 2021

  • Women of Appalachia Project: Women Speak at Northern Kentucky University - November 2019

  • Miami University MFA Open Mic  in Oxford, Ohio - July 2019

  • Women of Appalachia Project: Women Speak at Berea College - April 2019

  • Women of Appalachia Project: Women Speak at West Virginia University - October 2018

  • Women of Appalachia Project: Women Speak at Northern Kentucky University - September 2018

  • Kenyon Review Writers Workshop - Peter Taylor Fellow at Kenyon College - June 2018

  • Rural Women's Studies Association Conference at Ohio University - May 2018

  • Women of Appalachia Project: Women Speak at Ohio University - April 2018

  • Appalachian Studies Association Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio - April 2018

  • Women of Appalachia Project: Women Speak at Ohio University Southern - October  2017

  • Women of Appalachia Project: Women Speak at West Virginia University - September 2017 



Tonja Matney Reynolds' short fiction has appeared in Literary Orphans, Streetlight Magazine, The Hong Kong Review, Women Speak anthologies, and elsewhere. She recently completed a novel set in a 1930s Appalachian coal town and is currently working on a novel set in an 1890s boardinghouse on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.


Her short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and for Best Small Fictions.

Tonja served as a Peter Taylor Fellow for the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and was awarded the Michael Kenneth Smith Novel Fellowship at Porches. Her novel was longlisted for Regal House Publishing's 2020 Petrichor Prize for Finely Crafted Fiction.




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