Sam Downs grew up in Winona, Minnesota and earned his BA at Macalester College in St. Paul before moving to Texas to pursue an MFA in fiction. His work has appeared in Joyland and Habitat Literary Magazine. If he’s not reading or writing, he’s probably fly fishing in the Texas hill country.
What he’s looking for: I think discovering great fiction is about being open to being surprised—so, first and foremost, send me your best stuff. That said, I’m seeking out stories—not sketches or vignettes that stand alone. I want a definite sense of form, tension that plants me in my seat, propels me forward, immerses me in the landscape of a grand imagination. Voice-driven narratives (especially voices underrepresented in fiction) are encouraged, as are original takes on the present moment’s pressing socio-cultural concerns.
Writers he admires: Tom Drury, Yiyun Li, Tobias Wolff, Louise Erdrich, Daniel Woodrell