fiction writer




"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.

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.

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.



  • Women of Appalachia Project: Women Speak at Ohio University - March 2020

  • 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 writes short fiction with quirky characters and also longer fiction set in 1930s Appalachian coal towns and 1880's boarding houses.

Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies, The Hong Kong Review, Flash Fiction MagazineStreetlight Magazine, Literary Orphans, and elsewhere. She is currently reading "A Particular Preference in Men" at Women of Appalachia Project's Women Speak events.


She is a guest editor at The Hong Kong Review and is on the selection committee for the Nancy Zafris Short Story Fellowship at Porches Writing Retreat.

Tonja is a Pushcart Prize nominee. She received the Michael Kenneth Smith Novel Fellowship at Porches, won the R.M. Miller Award for Outstanding Fiction Writing, and received Honorable Mention in the Glimmer Train March/April 2017 Very Short Fiction contest. She was a Peter Taylor Fellow in 2018 at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop.

Follow her on Twitter: @TonjaMReynolds



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