Madeline McDonnell is the author of There Is Something Inside, It Wants To Get Out (Rescue Press, 2010), a collection of three stories, and Penny, n. (Rescue Press, 2013), a novella/lexicographic experiment. Other stories have recently appeared in Harvard Review, Kenyon Review Online, and CutBank. She has taught writing at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, Cornish College of the Arts, and The University of Iowa; she has also worked as an editor and lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. 

There Is Something Inside, It Wants To Get Out is the brief and stunning debut by fiction writer Madeline McDonnell. In these technically surprising and lyrically astounding stories, the reader meets three haunted, singular, and unsettled protagonists—Wednesday, Mary, and Lucy—who are up to and up against all sorts of horrendous and hilarious trouble. The reader will discover in this trinity a deeply intelligent, comic, and chaotic view of consciousness, pleasure, and shame, along with a panic-inducing proposal, cancer-basketball, and a series of passionate car crashes. Perhaps more importantly, the reader will fall for McDonnell’s poetic touch and her absolute attention to the magic of the sentence. 

Penny, n. A definition: 1) A one-cent coin equal to one hundredth of a dollar; 2) A blue-skirted, soon-to-be thirty-year-old, champagne-swilling, high-rise-dwelling lounge singer; 3) A hopeful and lonely woman in love; 4) The object of a depressive and manic lexicographer's angst and affection; 5) A trivial amount; 6) A slave or servant; 7) An Itty-Bitty-Kitty-Keeper, a Yuppy-puppy, a Munchkin or Muffin; 8) Bridey's maid-of-honor; 9) A mother's pretty wonder; 10) A love-sick story of worth and worry

Selected Publications:

Cutbank Online

Kenyon Review Online



Interview at The Carthage Current

Interview at Little Village

Interview for The Next Big Thing

Reading Review at The Writing University

Safety Book Interview #1