Published works

P.J. Powell has published short fiction in various genres, personal essays, and articles.

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Short Fiction

Accepted for late 2022  |  The Provenance of the Middle Man: A "Jolene" Retelling

Contemporary fiction | Evening Street Review

A bored housewife, Sarah, suspects her traveling salesman husband of having an affair with a cosmopolitan mistress. When Sarah sets an absurd romantic trap to win him back, she outs his secrets AND finds out some new things about herself.

Coming March 2022 | Generous Female Villains Give Freely to Their Buy Nothing Group

Fiction |  Cobalt Review

Female villains from various stories have started their own "Buy Nothing" group, where - like hyperlocal Buy Nothing groups around the world - they can lend, give away, or share goods and services with their neighbors (in crime). They are giving freely in the group today, but one of them might not live to see tomorrow.

Contemporary fiction |  December 2021 | Valparaiso Fiction Review

Elderly Gram is stuck in a rut of social one-upmanship with her Ladies' League friends. A trip to the attic to retrieve a platter (the search) takes Gram down memory lane where she finds a broken promise she can mend, and a chance for adventure she can't turn down (the rescue).

Flash fiction, horror | June 2021 | Perceptions Magazine

A daughter waits inside a Wisconsin cabin while her mother battles a local monster outside, wanting to join the fight but unable to because she is tied to a chair. When the fight moves indoors, the daughter is ready. Her mother is not. Read for free (go to 2021 issue and turn to p. 227)

YA contemporary fantasy | April 2021 | Youth Imagination Magazine

Jade Mason’s nemesis has what Jade wants most: a dad who shows up to graduation. But Priscilla’s life isn’t as great as it looks, and while Jade’s dad is too busy tending to the Engine that turns the universe to come to her graduation, he hasn’t forgotten to get her a gift.

Middle grade Steampunk | February 2021 | Narrated in Manawaker Studio’s Flash Fiction Podcast

A young girl’s airship antics lead to unanticipated consequences.

Contemporary fiction | November 2020 | originally published in Voices de la Luna

Nostalgia drives a woman in her early 20’s to her hometown Walmart, where she quietly struggles to reconcile her past, present, and likely future. Reprinted on Medium under an updated title.

September 2019 |  Across the Margin

Two offerings of flash fiction, one where revenge is a dish best served with childhood wonder, and another where a cosmic misunderstanding is earnestly pondered…

 

Personal Essays

ACCEPTED FOR PUBLICATION IN 2022: Loving Algorithms

To appear in Bryant Literary Review's 2022 issue

Solving my mom's problems by gathering and analyzing data was my tried-and-true way to show her I loved her, until we had to face that final problem - the one with no solution. In her final days, my mom not only turned the tables on me, she taught me a new way to show love in the face of the unknowable and unchangeable.

Each filing gave me a new perspective on what “life after all the paperwork” really means.

 

Articles

November 10, 2021  | Brevity's Nonfiction Blog

An interview with best-selling sci-fi author and journalist Charlie Jane Anders about how memoirists can use a sci-fi master’s writing tools to escape the present and convey the defining moments of their past. The interview is inspired by Charlie Jane’s new writing book, Never Say You Can’t Survive, full of memoir and insight on how to use writing to flourish during what she calls “the present emergency.”

November 10, 2021 | Brevity's Nonfiction Blog