The Lightness of Water & Other Stories

Winner of the 2019 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction and a 2020 Finalist for The Eric Hoffer Book Award, the characters in these emotionally charged stories deal with loneliness, loss, greed, and guilt. They, like all of us, wrestle with the people, places, and memories they cling to, belong to, and run from, learning (sometimes too late), that these experiences remain with them forever. The nine stories in The Lightness of Water and Other Stories are bound by a strong sense of place—Appalachia and the South—and prove that no matter where we go, there’s no place far enough to leave home behind.





“Worth Fighting For” featured as Publisher’s Selection in Prime Number Magazine.  Nominated for a Pushcart Prize!

“Bondservant” in Qu Literary Journal. Read here or Purchase here.

“Things Long Dead” in Hospital Drive

“All Grown Up” in HeartWood Literary Magazine. 

“A Big Empty” in Bellevue Literary Review.  Read here or Purchase here.
Nominated for a Pushcart Prize!

“Good Friends” in Steel Toe Review. 


“Confessions of a Grand Prize Winner” in Entropy Magazine. 

“Using Humor in Literary Fiction? Are You Serious?” in South85 Journal.

“The After-Conference Afterglow: Seven Ways to Keep the Creative Fires Burning” at the Inspiration4Writers blog.

“Tax Deductions for Writers” in Inspiration For Writers, Inc. Tips & Techniques Workbook. 

“Writing Lessons” at The Ploughshares  Blog. 

Fiction-focused, story-specific, craft-of-writing essays at Why the Writing Works  blog.

Craft and writing-life essays at the Inspiration4Writers blog.


Julia Franks’s Over the Plain Houses in South85 Journal. 

Mark Brazaitis’s Truth Poker in New Pages.

Jen Beagin’s Pretend I’m Dead in New Pages. 

Kristin KirkPatrick’s My Pulse is an Earthquake  iNew Pages.

Shelley Ettinger’s Vera’s Will  in New Pages. 

Rose Metal Press, Inc.’s My Very End of the Universe: Five Novellas-in-Flash and a Study of the Form in New Pages.

William Black’s Inheritances  in New Pages.

Michelle Brafman’s Washing the Dead  in New Pages.

Ann Pancake’s Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley  in New Pages.

Jon Sealy’s The Whiskey Baron in South85 Journal.


“Comeuppance” in Appalachia (Un)Broken: Volume 22 – Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel.

“Ice Cream Secrets” in Ice Cream Poems: Reflections on Life with Ice Cream. 

“How You Spot True Love, in Deux” in The Skinny Poetry Journal

“Reclamation” in Appalachia’s Last Stand

“West Virginia, Forward and Back” in Appalachia’s Last Stand


“Chapters” with Carter Taylor Seaton on 

“Rhonda Browning White on Her First Book” on the Converse College Low-Residency MFA Blog.

“TBR: The Lightness of Water & Other Stories” on Work In Progress, the blog of author Leslie Pietrzyk.

“Fierce Friday: Rhonda Browning White” on the blog of poet and artist Gabrielle Brant Freeman

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