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Rebecca McKanna

Today our Reader Spotlight shines on Rebecca McKanna, who is an MFA student in creative writing at Purdue University, and lives in Lafayette, Indiana, where she also teach undergraduate composition. She is a former newspaper and public relations writer, and her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in New Delta Review and So to So Speak

She started reading Carve a couple of years ago when she learned about the Raymond Carver Short Story contest. In our Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, her story “Bree Hadley” received an honorable mention and has been published in the fall 2013 Premium Edition.

Who would you say has influenced your writing style the most?

My stories are usually about young women, so writers who have written about women with depth and complexity have really shaped me. I admire writers like Antonya Nelson, Aryn Kyle, Elissa Schappell, and Cheryl Strayed.

Who would you say has influenced your writing style the most?

My stories are usually about young women, so writers who have written about women with depth and complexity have really shaped me. I admire writers like Antonya Nelson, Aryn Kyle, Elissa Schappell, and Cheryl Strayed.

What types of stories do you usually like to read?

I like stories where the stakes are high, where the characters are grappling with things that might change them forever. I think I’m a sucker for coming-of-age stories for this reason.

What Carve story would you recommend to our readers?

I love Leesa Cross-Smith’s “Whiskey and Ribbons.” It was one of the first Carve stories I read, and I still come back and reread it. It’s a beautiful, quiet story, and every time I read it, the strong voice of the narrator just pulls me in with that first paragraph. It also does something I really admire in stories — it’s able to be full of emotion without being sentimental or maudlin.

We thank Rebecca for taking the time to shine in our Reader Spotlight. Follow her on Twitter to stay connected to the Carve community.

Follow @rebeccamckanna

Reader Spotlight is a chance for us to turn the spotlight on you. Whether a new fan or a longtime reader, we want to hear from you. Email us at readerspotlight@carvezine.com to be featured.