News & Reviews
Mad Land News
I’ve been awarded a 2023 interdisciplinary artist residency and grant by Oak Spring Garden Foundation to support work on Mad Land. Oak Spring Garden is the estate of the late Rachel “Bunny” and Paul Mellon. They are dedicated to “support and inspire fresh thinking and bold action on the history and future of plants.”
I was awarded a 2022 Creativity Grant by the Maryland State Arts Council to support work on my forthcoming book, Mad Land.
I was awarded a Fall 2022 VCCA Fellowship to support work on my forthcoming book of nonfiction, Mad Land: Rediscovering the Wild, One Field at a Time.
You May See a Stranger News
YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER has won the 2017 Towson Prize for Literature: Established in 1979 with a grant from Alice and Franklin Cooley, awarded annually for a book of fiction, poetry, drama, or creative nonfiction by a Maryland writer, on the basis of literary and aesthetic excellence as determined by a panel of distinguished judges appointed by the university. The first award, made in the fall of 1980, went to novelist Anne Tyler.
I’m interviewed in Grub Street, in association with the Towson Prize. Nonfiction editor James Hancock says You May See a Stranger is an “impressive example of a collection of stories that manages to continuously build on itself,” in which the protagonist goes through “not just one, but multiple arcs in a natural progression through the course of her life.”
I judged the 2018 Hollins University MFA Melanie Hook Rice Award in the Novel.
In 2017, I was a judge for the 2017 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the 2017 F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest.
My book is praised in The New Yorker’s Briefly Noted column: “A delicate balance of mundane moments and acute ones, often depicting instances “in which everything seems, not perfect but imperfectly right.” … [D]eftly layers harshness over ostensibly happy events.”
My book is a Chicago Review of Books “Best of 2016” selection: “[A] unique new voice in fiction” and the reviewer’s favorite short story collection of the year.
My book is selected for Large-Hearted Boy’s “Favorite short story collections of 2016.”
I’m picked for “35 Over 35,” debut books by authors over age 35.
My book was named one of five favorites of 2016 by Gulf Coast fiction editor, Corey Campbell, as part of the Gulf Coast Editors’ “Best of 2016” list!
Bloom named my book in its “Best Best-Of’s” list–their year-end list, distilled from other “best of” book lists around the web.
Publishers Weekly starred review for YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER: “Whyman’s debut is an honest and sharply observed linked story collection spanning the life of Miranda Weber from her teens through her late 40s. . . Themes of love, sex, politics, and family run through the collection, and every detail has satisfying echoes later on. Together, these smart, artful stories capture a woman’s life and the moments that define her.”
My book is praised in this thoughtful review from New Pages as “hauntingly universal” and “soul-stirring.”
I’m featured in Poets & Writers Magazine’s “5 Over 50,” the first-ever round-up of older debut authors, An excerpt from YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER can be found in online exclusives, and the November/December 2016 print edition includes my essay on, uh, what took me so long.
My book is recommended by Bill Goldstein on Bill’s Books: Hot Summer Reads, NBC-NY! “The way the past and present resonate in [Miranda’s] mind is beautifully done.”
Up now on The Story Prize blog, my guidelines for writing sex scenes.
I’m interviewed for the terrific Oregon-based site, Late Night Library. Interviewer Corinne Gould says of the way the stories follow a single narrator throughout, “this novelistic form suits the protagonist’s evolution beautifully.” The interview includes an excerpt from one of the stories, “Bad Side In.”
I’m featured on novelist James Scott’s TK Podcast series along with Daniel Menaker, my literary agent, who tells tales out of school about editing Alice Munro while at The New Yorker.
I’m interviewed in The Rumpus by Ann Ryles, who calls YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER “intimate, wrenching, funny, and sexy.”
Michele Filgate interviews me for Electric Literature, in an extension of our conversation from my New York launch at Book Culture.
I’m interviewed on video for the award-winning high school newspaper, The Black & White, by student journalist Ava Chenok. The Black & White is published by Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD.
This just in from Midwest Book Review’s Clint Travis: YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER is “a deftly crafted series of consistently compelling tales from first page to last…Clearly documents Paula Whyman’s total mastery of the short story format.” Travis recommends the book “very highly” for “community and academic library literary fiction collections.”
I’m interviewed by American University about linked stories, MFA programs, and the 5 books that inspired me. This fall, I’ll be part of American’s 2016-2017 Visiting Writer Series.
I’m interviewed for Chicago Review of Books by Rachel Leon, who calls YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER “funny as hell.”
I’m interviewed by Martha Frankel for Woodstock Writers Radio, Episode 94, on Radio Woodstock 100.1, Woodstock, NY. Martha says YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER is about an American woman “trying to do the right thing in the wrong ways.”
I’m interviewed by Martha Willette Lewis for WPKN Radio’s Live Culture. We talk about female protagonists behaving badly, sibling relationships, and how linked stories work. The broadcast includes songs featured in my book. Listen to the archived broadcast of Episode 16 here. The program was recorded in Bryant Park, NY, and aired on June 25, 2016.
I’m interviewed in the Shelf Awareness Book Brahmin column.
Now up at The Barnes & Noble Review, Grin & Tonic: My new humor piece, “Topic Assignment.” Essay “ideas” to promote my new book.
A review from Full Stop: “[T]hought-provoking in a truly adult manner most literary works are not: provocative but pensive, hilarious but heartbreaking.”
I’m interviewed today in Salon by Teddy Wayne, along with Curtis Sittenfeld, Geoff Dyer, Allison Amend, and Anton DiSclafani.
An excerpt from my book appears in Literary Hub!
I made a music playlist for my book for Large-Hearted Boy’s Book Notes column.
I’m interviewed for Fiction Writers Review by Melissa Scholes-Young.
I’m interviewed in BLOOM, about my book, bad jobs that make for good material, and what I did to procrastinate.
Announcing a new project: A music theater piece, “Transfigured Night,” based on a story in my debut collection, YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER, is now in development with composer Scott Wheeler.
Moderator, “Women Writing Humor,” with Carolyn Parkhurst and Nikki Frias, Washington Writers Conference, May 14, 2022.
Panelist, “What Is This, A Short Piece or a Book?” with Cathy Alter, Libby Copeland, Amy Argetsinger, and Randon Billings Noble, Washington Writers Conference, May 14, 2022.
Instructor, “Reading (and Prepping) Your Work Like an Editor,” The Porch, Nashville, TN (remote seminar), March 26, 2022.
Speaker, February Publishing Circle hosted by Diane Zinna, Feb. 8, 2022 (private event)
Speaker, Editor interview series with Becky Tuch, public event/remote, 1pm, Feb. 1, 2022.
Speaker, P&P Live! in conversation with Leslie Pietrzyk and Carolyn Parkhurst for Pietrzyk’s new book, ADMIT THIS TO NO ONE, Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC (remote event, recorded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G45_0IcZ9gs), November 13, 2021.
Host/moderator, Connecting in a Time of Solitude and Strife: Poetry and Prose from Scoundrel Time Literary Journal, 1455 Summer Literary Festival (remote event, recorded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_db7JjZfQ2U), July 15, 2021.
Reading, Little Salon 45, with Ali Cherry (comedy), VeVe Marley (music), & more. Washington, DC. 7pm, March 26, 2019.
Panelist, “Life on the Line: Editors as Activists,” with Nate Marshall, Arjun Singh Sethi, and Melissa Tuckey. Fall for the Book Festival, George Mason University, Fairfax campus, George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center, 4477 Aquia Creek Ln, Fairfax, VA, 4:30-5:45pm, Wednesday, October 10, 2018.
Host, Scoundrel Time Live, an evening of poetry, prose, music, and art. Berl’s Poetry Shop, DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY. Admission is free. 7pm, Thursday, July 26, 2018.
Presenter, Editors’ panel and editorial speed-dating session, Conversations and Connections, a one-day writing conference sponsored by Barrelhouse and Submittable. George Mason University, 3351 Fairfax Dr, Arlington, VA; 9:30am-6pm, Saturday, May 12, 2018.
Speaker, “Short Fiction,” with Laurie Stone and Rachel Hall, moderated by Carolyn Alessio, Printers Row Lit Fest, Jones College Prep, 4th Floor, Rm 4038, Chicago, IL, 1pm to 1:45pm (followed by book signing), Sunday, June 11, 2017
Visiting writer, Pen/Faulkner Foundation Writers-in-Schools, McKinley Tech High School book club, Washington, DC. June 7, 2017
Speaker, Georgetown Senior Center, Washington, DC, June 5, 2017. (private event)
Book club Skype discussion, Norfolk Public Library, Norfolk, CT, Friday, April 7, 2017 (private event)
Speaker, “Terrific Fiction in the Short Form,” with Rion Amilcar Scott and Jonathan Corcoran, New Dominion Bookshop, Virginia Festival of the Book, 404 E. Main St., Charlottesville, VA, 12-1:30pm on Thursday, March 23, 2017
North By Northwestern, TriQuarterly Books/NUP reading with Martin Espada, Lauren Marie Schmidt, Laurie Stone, and Charles Waugh, AWP Conference (offsite event), Busboys & Poets, 2021 14th St NW, Washington, DC. 6-8pm on Thursday, February 9, 2017
AWP Conference/Washington, DC – Panel: “United Artists: Creative Writers in the Trenches of the American Education System.” Moderated by David Mura with panelists Ellen Hagan, Luis Rodriguez, and Parneshia Jones. Room 204AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two, Washington, DC. 4:30-5:45pm on Thursday, February 9, 2017
Key West Literary Seminar Alumni Reading with Amina Gautier, Jay Desphande, Sam Slaughter, and Theodore Wheeler, AWP Conference (offsite event), East City Bookshop, 645 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Suite 100, 6:30-8pm on Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Panelist, WTF Now?! Salon Series With Todd Kliman, with Michele Gelfand, Tamerat Negera, and Christopher Cherniak, 4200 9th St NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC, January 19, 2017. [Update: Tickets are sold out!]
Book club discussion, Bethesda, MD, Wednesday, January 18, 2017 (private event)
Guest speaker, “Novel Year” workshop taught by Susan Coll, The Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD, January 12, 2017 (open to enrolled students)
Books & Books at The Studios, in conversation with Rosalind Brackenbury, 533 Eaton Street, Key West, FL, 6pm on Monday, December 19, 2016
Writer’s Block Bookstore, in conversation with David James Poissant, 124 E. Welbourne Ave., Winter Park, FL, 6pm on Friday, December 16, 2016
East City Bookshop, in conversation and reading with Michelle Brafman, 645 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Suite 100, Washington DC. 6:30pm on Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Curious Iguana Sunday Shorts series, reading and discussion, 12 North Market St., Frederick, MD, 4pm on Sunday, October 23, 2016
American University Visiting Writer Series 2016-2017, American University Department of Literature, Battelle-Tompkins Atrium, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Q&A with current MFA students at 6:30pm (private event), followed by public reading at 8pm on Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Fall for the Book Festival, reading with Rion Amilcar Scott at George Mason University, Johnson Center, 3rd floor, 6pm-7:15pm on Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Art All Night: Made in DC, Reading and book talk, Bread Furst Bakery, 4434 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Sponsored by Van Ness Main Street. 7pm on Saturday, September 24, 2016
Book club discussion, Bethesda, MD, Thursday, September 22, 2016 (private event)
Imagistic Flash Fiction event, writers present original flash fiction responses to art works, Hillyer Art Space, 9 Hillyer Court, NW, Washington, DC, 7:30pm on Friday, September 9, 2016
Pen/Faulkner Summer Supper & Book Club. I will meet with book club students to discuss YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER. Pen/Faulkner Foundation Writers-in-Schools Program, Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC, July 12, 2016
Kramerbooks & Afterwords, reading with Pamela Erens, 1517 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 6:30pm on June 27, 2016
The Writer’s Center, reading with Elizabeth Poliner, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD, 2pm on June 26, 2016
Porter Square Books, in conversation with Joanna Rakoff, 25 White St., Cambridge, MA, 7pm on June 15, 2016
Starts Here! Ivy Bookshop Reading Series at Artifact Coffee, curated by Jen Michalski, reading with Art Taylor, Sherrie Flick, Laura Ellen Scott, and Tara Laskowski, 1500 Union Ave., Baltimore, MD, 7pm on June 13, 2016
Politics & Prose Bookstore, launch/reading, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 6pm on June 4, 2016
Visiting writer, NYU creative writing workshop. I’ll meet with undergraduates to discuss the story “Transfigured Night” and the process of building a linked story collection. June 2, 2016
Book Culture on Columbus, in conversation with Michele Filgate, 450 Columbus Ave. (at 82nd), New York, NY, 7pm on June 1, 2016
Gaithersburg Book Festival, Featured Presenter, “Modern Fiction” panel with Garine Isassi, Michael Landweber, and Kathy Flann. Moderated by Mark LaFramboise of Politics & Prose Bookstore. Edgar Allan Poe Pavilion, Gaithersburg City Hall, Gaithersburg, MD, 11:15am, followed by book-signing at 12:15pm, May 21, 2016
Visiting writer, The Hudson Review Writers-in-Schools program, DeWitt Clinton High School, the Bronx, NY. I’ll meet with two AP Literature classes to discuss the story “Driver’s Education,” my new collection YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER, and linked stories in general. May 16, 2016
Conversations & Connections Conference: Practical Advice on Writing. Debut fiction panel moderated by Robin Black, with novelists Dana Cann and Bill Beverly, George Mason University, Arlington, VA, April 23, 2016
TriQuarterly/Curbstone Books reading with Vievee Francis, Brian Roley, Carla Trujillo, and Luis Rodriguez, sponsored by Northwestern University Press, AWP Conference, Georgia II Meeting Room, JW Marriott Los Angeles, 900 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 5-7pm, April 1, 2016
“Pathways to Publication” panel with novelists Susan Coll and Sarah Blake, for students enrolled in “Novel Year” course taught by A.X. Ahmad at The Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD. March 1, 2016.
Discussion Group Leader, Memoir Weekend, Washington Center for Psychoanalysis, New Directions Writing Program, February 5-7, 2016
Teen-Parent Book Club at Cardozo High School, Pen/Faulkner Foundation Writers-in-Schools Program, Washington, DC. I’ll be meeting with students to discuss “Jump,” originally published in Gargoyle Magazine, and “Transfigured Night,” originally published in Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR). Both stories are included in the upcoming collection, YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER. February 18, 2016
“Can I Call You Ishmael? Making Point-of-View Decisions in Your Fiction,” Workshop at The Studios of Key West, Key West, FL, January 6, 2016. Register now
Teen-Parent Book Club at Cardozo High School, Pen/Faulkner Foundation Writers-in-Schools Program, Washington, DC. I’ll be meeting with students to discuss “Driver’s Education,” originally published in The Hudson Review, and “Jump,” originally published in Gargoyle Magazine. Both stories are included in the upcoming collection, YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER. November 12, 2015.
The Inner Loop Reading Series: Autumnal Equinox – Featured reader, poet Joshua Weiner, plus Brandel France de Bravo and more. Tuesday, Sept. 15, 7:30pm. Colony Club, 3118 Georgia Ave., NW, Washington, DC. Free admission.