THOMAS RUSSELL - I began by writing twenty new poems and six new short stories.  The poems have been collected in a book called The Preservation of Paul Bell.  Seven of the new poems have been accepted individually for publication in good literary magazines, and the collection itself has been a finalist for the Cleveland State Press Poetry Prize and the Ohio State University Press’ Journal Award Prize.  The short stories are part of a collection about Memphis, tentatively titled Judgement House.  I am currently getting it ready for submission in several national short fiction collection competitions. 

My New York literary agent, Elaine Markson, suggested I trim my novel, Riding With the Magi, which se has been representing.  Originally, it was a 710-page manuscript.  Unable to simply cut out large sections of the novel to shorten it, I proceeded to rewrite the entire novel and restructure its story lines.  It is now a 471-page manuscript. 

Finally, I started work again on a novel that I had previously written seventy pages on.  It takes place in the fifties and concerns a Welsh girl with polio who comes to the States to visit her uncle’s family.  I wrote another 100 pages.  I am more than halfway finished with the novel.