Michael Kardos

Michael Kardos


Co-Director of Creative Writing

Editor of Jabberwock Review


Department of English
P.O. Box E
Mississippi State, MS 39762


  • Ph.D. 2007 University of Missouri
  • M.F.A. 2003 The Ohio State University
  • B.A. 1992 Princeton University

Teaching Interests

Creative writing, fiction, 20th/21st century American literature

Recent Courses



Michael Kardos co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State. He is the author of the novels Bluff, Before He Finds Her  and The Three-Day Affair , an Esquire best book of the year, as well as the story collection One Last Good Time, which won the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award for fiction, and the textbook The Art and Craft of Fiction: A Writer’s Guide. His short stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Pleaides, and many other magazines and anthologies, and have won a Pushcart Prize. Michael grew up on the Jersey Shore and received a degree in music from Princeton University. He has an M.F.A. in fiction from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. Michael is Mississippi State’s 2019 winner of the John Grisham Master Teacher Award.




Bluff by Michael Kardos Bluff. New York: Grove Atlantic/Mysterious Press, 2018.

Before He Finds Her book coverBefore He Finds Her. New York: Grove Atlantic/Mysterious Press, 2015. 

The Three-Day Affair book coverThe Three-Day Affair. New York. Grove Atlantic/Mysterious Press (September 2012).

One Last Good Time book coverOne Last Good Time: Stories. Winston-Salem, NC: Press 53 (February 2011).

The Art and Craft of Fiction book coverThe Art and Craft of Fiction. Boston. Bedford/St. Martin’s (December 2012). The Art and Craft of Fiction



  • “Reality TV.” Cincinnati Review, Fall 2020
  • “The Wish.” One Story, August 2020
  • “A Vanishing Story.” Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns. Lutz, FL: Down and Out Books, 2018. 111-114.
  • “Star to the East.” Crazyhorse 93 (Spring 2018): 131-139.
  • “The Musician’s Complete Guide to Underground Touring.” Pleiades 37.1 (2017): 3-12.
  • “Digits.” Mississippi Noir. New York: Akashic Books, 2016. 134-149.
  • “America, Etc.” One Teen Story 4.3 (2014): 1-19.Reprint. “Animals.” The Pushcart Prize XXXIX: Best of the Small Presses
  • 2015 Edition (Forthcoming).
  • “Animals.” Crazyhorse 83 (2013): 11-29.
  • “The Middle of Corn, U.S.A.” Fiction Magazine 58 (2012): 52-66.
  • “A Story with Strong, Graceful Hands.” Harvard Review 41 (2011): 200-211.
  • “Two Truths and a Lie.” PRISM International 49.1 (Fall 2010): 10-28.
  • “Texas Justice.” Iron Horse Literary Review 12.1 (February 2010): 1-16.
  • “The Highest Point in Delaware.” Fiction International 42 (Fall 2009): 57-62.
  • “Ida the Whistler.” Pleiades 29.2 (Summer 2009): 81-94.
  • “Mediation.” Crazyhorse 75 (Spring 2009): 31-44.
  • “Metamorphosis.” Prairie Schooner 83.1 (Spring 2009): 90-103.
  • “Maximum Security.” The Southern Review 44.1 (Winter 2008): 113-127.

Essays & Reviews

  • “Revising Fiction.” Creative Writing: Drafting, Revising, Editing. Ed: Graeme Harper and Jeri Kroll. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan (forthcoming 2020).
  • “All about Anthologies” Writer’s Digest 91.8 (March/April 2017): 30-33.
  • “Into the Pot: An Essay on Fiction and Morality.” Pleiades 35.1 (Winter 2015): 65-67.
  • “Get Your Short Story Published.” Writer’s Digest 91.8 (Nov/Dec 2011): 30-33.
  • “Writing the Jersey Shore in the Age of Reality TV.” The Millions (September 2011).
  • “Lit Journal Submissions 101.” Writer’s Digest 90.8 (Nov/Dec 2010): 20-22.
  • “In Defense of Starting Early.” The Writer’s Chronicle 41.4 (February 2009): 66-71.

Faculty & Staff