Fiction

Adam Schwartz’s debut collection of stories, The Rest of the World, won the Washington Writers’ Publishing House 2020 prize for fiction and will be published in October of this year.

“In Adam Schwartz’s stunning story collection, The Rest of the World, the city of Baltimore is the world: its harbor, its hot, crumbling asphalt, its summer-lush parks and takeout joints. A longtime public high school teacher, Schwartz writes with vivid grace about young men and women who yearn, love, betray and sometimes save themselves and one another.” Kathleen Wheaton, president of Washington Writers’ Publishing House

“Pavane for a Dead Princess,” december Magazine, Spring/Summer 2016

Wollensky gave me a metronome to keep time. And you know it’s just a tick. Set it how you want. Slow or fast. Wollensky said slow, very slow, and now alone with Missy gone and the cold coming on, that’s what I did. And in the tick, tick, tick, tick I saw all the mistakes I’d made: taking my problems out on people who had nothing to do with them, quitting in the eleventh when I could’ve finished because a lot of what I learned I still remember — like how copper and tin make bronze, or that book about Odysseus, who went through so much just to get home.  continue reading

“The Rest of the World,” Winner of  Philadelphia Stories Marguerite McGlinn Prize, Fall 2012 / Winner of Poets & Writers’ 2012 WEX Award 

High rises, like towers made out of sidewalk. The minute they started talking about blowing us up, we forgot everything we didn’t like about Freedom House Projects. No one talked anymore about the spent lights, or sometimey hot water, or the elevator-jamming hustlers. Pretty soon, graffiti cried through stairwells and across doors: Save Freedom House.  continue reading

“Pretty Girls,” Mississippi Review, Finalist for the Mississippi Review Prize and published Summer 2015

Dusk and they sat on a lip of sill outside the store, eating tortilla chips, a pair of earbuds spitting Flo Rida between them. Amber was caramel, wore a tie-front blouse and combed up her hair in a platinum faux hawk. Vanka was pale–pale blond–her face a series of starved planes, though she ate everything. Both wore calf-high moccasins and look-alike fringy cut-offs.

“Cedar Creek,” The Little Patuxent Review, Summer 2015

You can be angry and not know it until much later. My father, a lithe, blue-eyed mathematician, liked to tell how he once held his concentration for seventeen hours straight on a single math problem. Thirteen and adrift, I had none of his unflinching, intellectual mettle.

“U.S. History,” The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review, June 2016

His name was Dario. He came into class and slipped between a row of desks like he wasn’t hauling a load of grief. He was nineteen, tall, bean-thin, vigilant eyes, patchy beard. The buttons on his pink Polo dress shirt were fastened to the neck. He set a foil-wrapped pizza slice on the desk. “I’m gonna have to leave early,” he said. “I got a funeral to go to.”  Buy Story for $2

“Elegance,” Saranac Review, Fall 2017

He took the Jones Falls Expressway, the river hurtling past. In the city, Seth drifted along old streets freckled in brick and grooved with left-behind streetcar rails going nowhere. He passed under a stone railroad trestle smoldering in red and yellow graffiti. He liked that he was alone. He could look at what he wanted, steer his father’s Navigator wherever, and never explain himself to anyone.

“What Is Gravity?” City Paper: First Prize, 1999 Short Fiction Contest

Colors make loops inside of loops. I listen to the clothes in falling circles, losing their weight. Laundry soap sweetens the air. I’m trying to see Cara’s face but she’s all over, trailing her mesh cart, doing her work.

“Carmen and Ant” forthcoming in Raritan. Finalist in fall 2017 Narrative Magazine Story Contest; finalist in New Letters 2018 Prize for Fiction; accepted by and withdrawn from Tahoma Literary Review.

She wondered if Ant was hungry, and where he would get his food. Ant was the pickiest eater. Apples made his throat prickly. Cap n’ Crunch ate up the roof of his mouth. Shrimp itched his knuckles. His father had drunk bad water in Afghanistan and never come home, and although Ant had few memories of the man, he worried about being poisoned by food or drinks that looked good but weren’t.

“Wizzur” forthcoming in Gargoyle.

The kids outside had been calling him White Boy because of his father, and Jess had stayed in his room all day playing Madden.