Juan Reyes, MFA
MFA in Creative Writing
Building/Room: Casey 510-01
I have published the novella, A Summer’s Lynching, winner of the Quarterly West 2017 Novella Prize, and my fiction collection, Elements of a Bystander, winner of the 2018 Arcadia Press Chapbook Prize. I have had fellowships from the Jack Straw Cultural Center, PEN USA Emerging Voices, and the Truman Capote Foundation. In 2019, I was awarded the WA State Artist Trust Fiction Prize for the first draft of my forthcoming novel, Beyond the Sun. My short fictions, poems and essays have appeared in Florida Review, Waccamaw Journal, and Hawai’i Review, among others. I serve as the executive editor of Big Fiction Magazine, and I am the current board president for Seattle City of Literature, a UNESCO designated organization that works to bring equity and sustainable development to the Seattle literary community.
My creative work has always centered on the tensions that communities and individuals feel when different languages and cultures come together. Encounters don't always feel smooth and they don't always produce a hopeful outcome; but they do produce an understanding of our emotional and collective selves, and I infuse my narrators with the earned wisdom of all those voices.
In my editorial work, I focus on the novella/novelette fiction form, an often under-represented form in the U.S. publishing landscape. Big Fiction Magazine hopes to feature the most interesting writing happening in both the U.S. and abroad. I also love including Creative Writing and English majors as interns in the literary magazine. It's always wonderful to experience a student's transformation after they've experienced the landscape of independent publishing through their work on the magazine.
In my community work, I am passionate about bringing equity and sustainable development to the literary community. I have organized mayoral primary forums that center the arts; I have organized public creative writing events with students to raise money for homeless shelters; and I have worked to connect local organizations with international partners to expand access to storytelling.
I am currently working on a novel manuscripts that explores the superhero genre. I enjoy the tensions that emerge at the intersection of culture, politics, and emotional depth, bringing pop culture to bear on an individual's search for their whole selves.