My name is Jonathan Ball.

I want to share my best writing with you.

In the middle of each month, I send out a newsletter that contains my best pages and the story behind how I wrote them, including my most powerful writing tips. I also read #95books every year, and on the last day of the month I send out my best book recommendations based on recent reading. From time to time, I also offer special deals and share exciting news.

When you sign up for my newsletter, I will send you one of my best short stories, a series of sonnets about Leatherface from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and advice for writers on how to keep a regular writing schedule.

Want a free short story, poems about Leatherface, and all of my best writing?

Photo by Michael Sanders

I write Stranger Fiction.

A city block appears from thin air, distorting reality. A man builds a machine to record his son's dreams, then feed them back. The dead and the living wage conceptual war. An anorexic woman constructs a palace of ice inside her fantasies. Capitalism is personified and stars in a Hollywood movie. A woman wakes to find herself the only person left inside a city now buried under snow.

I write what I like to call “stranger fiction,” a blend between fantasy/horror and experimental literature. My fiction has a highly literary, poetic style and unusual structures, but often makes use of genre tropes, especially horror and weird fiction concepts, with a dash of comedy. I am fascinated most of all by unusual story structures and unconventional narration.

My first book of short stories, The Lightning of Possible Storms, will be published by Book*hug in Fall 2020. You can pre-order the book here.

I advocate Writing the Wrong Way.

I also hold a PhD in Canadian Literature and Creative Writing, teach at the University of Winnipeg, and host a podcast called Writing the Wrong Way — I help creators write better, edit faster, and stand out by doing things differently. Learn more at www.writingthewrongway.com.

Subscribe to the Podcast here: iTunesStitcherGooglePlay | SoundCloud

Photo by Michael Sanders / Design by S.M. Beiko

I am the Poet Laureate of Hell.

I claimed this title in a poem from my book The National Gallery and won't give it up!

Make me the poet laureate of Hell. 
Writing will still hurt, but I’ll know why. 
After these little deaths, when big I die,
Grant me Virgil and a frozen lake.

Make me the poet laureate of Hell.
Lay out my punishments in raven speech.
As devils pass me each to each to each,
I’ll ask my questions and receive my name.

Pretend I told you the truth in my poems.
Pretend that I said anything at all. 
Pretend that I rose high enough to fall.
Make me the poet laureate of Hell.

My previous poetry books include Ex Machina, a choose-your-own-adventure-style poetry book about how machines have changed what it means to be human, Clockfire, 77 plays that would be impossible to produce, and The Politics of Knives, poetry about assassination, Kafka, Hitchcock, and violence. The National Gallery is a poetic meditation on the modern world, including Rilkean elegies for an iPhone, sonnets about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and other strange missives.

Don't forget to keep in touch!

Want a free short story, poems about Leatherface, and all of my best writing?

Support Jonathan Ball on Patreon


Click here to visit my Patreon and support my writing, podcasting, teaching, and other creative work! You will get exclusive content and eternal gratitude.