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Nina McConigley, Age 7

Nina McConigley was born in Singapore and raised in Wyoming. She earned her MA from the University of Wyoming, and her MFA at the University of Houston. Her short-story collection Cowboys and East Indians was the winner of the 2014 PEN Open Book Award and a High Plains Book Award. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Orion, Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, and The Asian American Literary Review among others. She lives in Laramie, Wyoming and teaches at the University of Wyoming and at the MFA program at the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. She wrote this story in the third grade.

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— Nina McConigley, Age 7

Nina McConigley

“A theme of a lot of my early stories seems to be plagiarism. I took characters I liked and made a new world for them. I don’t remember being particularly keen on Peter Rabbit, but I have always like rabbits. I am born in the Year of the Rabbit, I say Rabbit, Rabbit for luck as my first words every month, and Jackalopes (which are sort of a rabbit) are my mixed-race spirit animal. The thing that cracks me up about this is that I clearly wanted to write a novel with chapters, but much like now (I am in the home stretch of my novel), man, a novel is, well, a beast. I see this as my first abandoned novel.”