Work samples

  • Birds and Other Things We Placed in Our Hearts.docx_.pdf
    Originally published by Necessary Fiction, Birds and Other Things We Placed in Our Hearts, has been anthologized multiple times and included in the Wigleaf Top 50 Best of the Web. It was also the inspiration for a short film by Saeedah Zahrah and will be included in my next collection of short fiction. 
  • Wet Sugar
    Wet Sugar was originally published in Litragger and included in Tell God I Don't Exist.
  • Biker Queen Fishing Story
    Biker Queen Fishing Story won 3rd place in the Baltimore City Paper's fiction contest and ended up in Tell God I Don't Exist.
  • Summer Love/Death Song
    Summer Love/Death Song was originally published at Maryland Literary Review and will be included in my next collection of short stories.

About Timmy

Baltimore City
Timmy Reed is a writer, teacher, and native of Baltimore, Maryland. He received his BA from College of Charleston, where he worked for the Crazyhorse literary journal, and his MFA from University of Baltimore. Timmy is the author of the books Tell God I Don’t Exist (Underrated Animals Press), The Ghosts That Surrounded Them (Dig That Book Co.), Miraculous Fauna (Underground Voices), Star Backwards (Dostoyevsky Wannabe), IRL(Outpost 19), and Kill Me Now (Counterpoint Press) as well as a couple… more

Kill Me Now

One of the Most Anticipated Small Press Books of 2018 (Big Other)

“Timmy Reed writes like a whacked–out angel.” —Amber Sparks, author of The Unfinished World and May We Shed These Human Bodies

Miles Lover is an imaginative but insecure adolescent skateboarder with an unfortunate nickname, about to face his first semester of high school in the fall. In Kill Me Now, Miles exists in a liminal space—between junior high and high school, and between three houses: his mother’s, his father’s, and the now vacant house his family used to call home in a leafy, green neighborhood of north Baltimore. Miles struggles against his parents, his younger identical twin sisters, his probation officer, his old friends, his summer reading list, and his personal essay assignment (having to keep a journal). More than anything, though, he wrestles with himself and the fears that come with growing up.

It’s not until Miles begins a mutually beneficial friendship with a new elderly neighbor—whom his sisters spy on and suspect of murder—that he begins to find some understanding of lives different than his own, of the plain acceptance of true friends, and, maybe, just a little of himself in time to start a whole new year. When you’re green, you grow, he learns. But when you’re ripe, you rot.

With tenderness and tenacity, Timmy Reed’s prose—written in a confessional tone via Miles’s journal—captures the anguish and grit of adolescence, and the potential of growing up.

Praise for Kill Me Now

One of the Most Anticipated Small Press Books of 2018 (Big Other)

“Reed convincingly writes a three–dimensional teenager whose self–consciousness, emotions, and hormones threaten to crush him. . . . A coming–of–age story capturing male adolescence in all its disgusting, irrational, and messy glory.” —Kirkus Reviews

“What distinguishes the book is Miles’ voice: introspective, self–aware, wry, and honest . . . The result is a delightful coming–of–age story.” —Booklist

“Reed captures all the hilarious grossness of being a teenage boy in this solid coming–of–age story.” —Publishers Weekly

“What's most impressive about Reed's work is his attention to detail. From his elaborate descriptions of Baltimore neighborhoods to evocative scenes of Miles smoking weed with his eccentric old neighbor (whom his sisters suspect is a serial killer), Reed meticulously takes readers on a summer–long journey that is as viscerally awkward as our own teenage years.” —Baltimore Magazine

“Timmy Reed’s Kill Me Now captures the feeling of a teenage summer more thoroughly and successfully than many other novels in its genre . . . Reed’s crowning achievement in Kill Me Now may be his ability to offer a three–dimensional picture of Miles’s world. . . even though Miles isn’t real and the journal is a novel, it still feels like you’ve come to know somebody a little better by the time you finish reading it.” —The Michigan Daily

“Through evocative imagery, strong characterizations, and moments of true tenderness, Reed pieces together a portrait of Miles that resonates with the experience of adolescence.” —Atticus Review

Kill Me Now could be the story of Huckleberry Finn's trip to Hell...or no, just the seamier sides of Baltimore—not so much the mean streets of The Wire as the post–apocalyptic working class neighborhoods of Matt Porterfield's Putty Hill. Miles Lover, a.k.a. Retard, is as crusty a kid as they come, with a taste for strains of trouble that would stagger an adult. But as much as he thinks of himself as a moron, his perceptions of the weird world he lives in are subtly and precisely nuanced, and his story, inside its scaly carapace, has a surprisingly tender heart.”—Madison Smartt Bell, author of Behind the Moon

“Timmy Reed is one of the best. In Kill Me Now, he has created one of the great teenage narrators of our time. Like a modern version of Updike’s Sammy, Miles Lover is part philosopher, part screw up, and part skateboarding prince of Baltimore. He’s wild and buzzing and will say almost anything. Including the truth.” —Scott McClanahan, author of The Sarah BookHill William, and Crapalachia

“There was Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, then J. D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield, and now there is Timmy Reed’s Miles Lover, the irrepressible narrator of Kill Me Now, which is itself a funny, compassionate, and twisted take on the coming–of–age novel.”—Michael Kimball, author of UsBig Ray, and Dear Everybody

Kill Me Now is the answer to all the literary fiction that ever bored you . . . a guide book on how to cheat death, smoke bowls, tre flip in the pouring rain. Tough, honest, beautiful in only the way the unashamed ever are. Kill Me Now is an M–80 in an open palm, fuse lit, world holding its breath.” —Bud Smith, author of Work and F 250

“Timmy Reed writes like a whacked–out angel. Miles Lover is the perfect everykid, overlooked and underestimated and so sharply observant it makes you wince a little. I loved this book.” —Amber Sparks, Author of The Unfinished World and May We Shed These Human Bodies

“If George Saunders and Russell Edson had a baby, he'd probably grow up to write like Timmy Reed.” —Jessica Anya Blau, author of Drinking Closer to Home

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  • Kill Me Now
    Excerpt. First 15 pages.
  • timmyreed___kil_6240 (1).mp3
    2018 WYPR Interview: On The Record with Sheilah Kast.

The Ghosts That Surrounded Them

"Reminiscent of Shane Jones and Kevin Brockmeier, but with a style all its own, Timmy Reed’s The Ghosts That Surrounded Them is a history of the unseen world, a beautifully written surreal meditation on life and death, the distances that surround us all, and the beauty of life. Reed is a real talent. I devoured this book in a single sitting, and it stayed with me like few others." -CL Bledsoe, author of Man of Clay

'Timmy Reed, in the vein of Matt Bell and Blake Butler, is the literary world's next exciting wordsmith, but it is the tender care of his subjects--fragile, human ones--for which he will really be remembered." -Jen Michalski, author of The Tide King and Could You Be With Her Now

"Timmy Reed has a strange and wonderful imagination, one of the results of which is the beautifully haunted world of The Ghosts That Surrounded Them, a short novel that reads like a fake handbook of the world with a particular emphasis on the fascinating history of ghosts and reminds the reader of the inescapable tragedy of the human condition." -Michael Kimball author of Big Ray and Dear Everybody
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  • Excerpt
    This is the first 15 pages of The Ghosts That Surrounded Them
  • The Ghosts That Surrounded Them Book Trailer
    Book trailer for The Ghosts That Surrounded Them. Music by Eubie Blake.

Miraculous Fauna

"No one writes like Timmy Reed; he has a haunting, unique voice that sticks hard and fast in your head. Miraculous Fauna is freaky in the very best way. You'll glide straight through to the tender and enchanting end." -Jessica Anya Blau, author of The WonderBread Summer and Drinking Closer to Home

“Miraculous Fauna is nothing less than a miracle of a novel: beautifully strange and richly moving. Timmy Reed continues to create worlds that I long to get lost in, and this novel is no exception. Start reading, and soon you’ll want to get lost in Miraculous Fauna too.” – Laura van den Berg, author of Isle of Youth and Find Me

“Timmy Reed’s sense of detail and description astounds me and makes me jealous, that he threads so much of that through this Miraculous Fauna is nothing short of, well, miraculous. Baby Rachel is a beautiful monster and the novel is full of great compassion. Miraculous Fauna is one of the most fantastic and one of the most fucked up novels I’ve read in years.” - Michael Kimball, author of Big Ray, Us and Dear Everybody
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  • MIraculous Fauna
    Excerpt. Pages 1- 15.


In Timmy Reed’s novella IRL, a lonely social media addict, unemployed and short on rent, logs off and shuts down in the middle of an ugly job search. Alone in mid-town Baltimore, where he’s mostly been online, he takes a little stay-cation. Just a little time, in real life. See what he can get his hands into, see what he can dig up.

"Timmy Reed is one of the most original prose stylists to come down the pike in the last couple of decades, but there’s more to his work than just style, and that 'more' includes a remarkable emotional honesty. In a hundred unexpected ways, I.R.L. lets you know just what it feels like to live in this weird world we share."

– Madison Smartt Bell

"I.R.L. is probably the best book I've ever read about someone who's addicted to the Internet, and showing what constantly being connected does to how we think, feel, and act. And this book is pretty funny while at the same time being deeply disturbing. Every time I read more Reed I want to keep reading more Reed. You will too."

– Jamie Iredell

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  • IRL Excerpt

Star Backwards

In the early 2000's, we find our hero - Mathias Canopy (aka Peter Batton), the host of a scandalous reality game show called $ell Your $oul - feeling lost amid tabloid rumors, contract renegotiations, staged love affairs, a new name, a new face, escort services, camera crews, loved ones, blood loss and diarrhea. When he comes back home to Baltimore he rediscovers his family, who rediscover their prodigal son and sibling in the meantime. Every now and then, you have to $ell Your $oul to get a new one...or not.
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  • Star Backwards 1 -15.pdf

Poem, A Chapbook

Poem, A Chapbook consists of one single poem addressing language, grammar, the connection between reader and writer, the physical nature of a chapbook as an artefact, and, most importantly, plain human love. Put it in your coat pocket, snuggled close to your heart, step out of your home, and let this book take you for a walk.
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  • Poem, A Chapbook
    Full Text


Stray/Pest contains two long-ish short stories about relationships between animals and humans, specifically teenage humans. If you are a fan of bugs, panthers, or teenagers, this book is the one for you. If you enjoy talking animals – and teenagers – in general, you will not be disappointed. If none of these things interest you – even if they repulse you due to some kind of allergy or phobia – fear not! These stories are about a whole lot more than that, too.
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  • Stray/Pest
    Full text

Tell God I Don't Exist

“Timmy Reed’s stories are so strange and so funny that it’s impossible to stop reading them. There is a great imagination at work in Tell God I Don’t Exist and I’m grateful to have been a witness to it.” - Michael Kimball, author of Big Ray and Dear Everybody

“If George Saunders and Russell Edson had a baby he’d probably grow up to write like Timmy Reed. These stories are beautifully haunting, surprisingly bizarre, and wonderfully imaginative. It is a joy to read such fresh and mind-bending prose.” - Jessica Anya Blau, author of Drinking Closer to Home and The Summer of Naked Swim Parties

“Timmy Reed’s Tell God I Don’t Exist announces a wildly gifted new voice. These stories are at once intimate and vast, full of beauty and strangeness and grit and heartbreak. A luminous debut.” - Laura van den Berg, author of What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us

“…I think it’s amazing.” – Scott McClanahan (

“In a world of posturing and worrying about public perception, it’s liberating to let loose and give in to the ecstatic joy that characterizes Reed’s oeuvre.” - Quincy Rhoads, HTML Giant (

“If you come to this book with expectations of what a short story should be, prepare to have them pleasantly, if fleetingly, defied. If you go in with no expectations, then congratulations, you may be one of the few people who don’t need art like this.” - Baltimore City Paper (Full Review:

“Really, Reed’s characters are just looking for beauty, just like anybody else. The irony, of course, is that they often experience a beauty we would find enthralling if we were in their situations. This is part of the point he’s making, I think, that there’s beauty in our own lives that we miss for various reasons. But we should pay attention. There’s a beauty in all life, and there’s beauty in connection.” - C.L. Bledsoe, Prick of the Spindle (

“His writing includes bizarre otherworldy situations taking place on earth; apocalyptic atmospheres where subtle tenderness exists; our new technology juxtaposed against things more primitive; surreal images in mundane costumes. His terse sentences hauntingly make you laugh.” - Matthew Sherling, Cutty Spot ( “If Aesop’s Fables every decided to get weird, really weird, they’d look a lot like Tell God I Don’t Exist.” - Beach Sloth (Full Review:

“The prose itself is refreshingly unique. The sentences layer themselves into often-unexpected situations, expressing themselves with a clarity that never makes you feel lost, despite the rabbit holes (or perhaps mole tunnels) that they often lead you through. The experiences in each feel tangible, despite the dream-like way in which they often unfold.” - Rachel Wooley, Monologging (Full Review:
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  • Animal Hospitality
  • Biker Queen Fishing Story
  • Wet Sugar
  • Moles (1).pdf
  • Tell God I Don't Exist by Timmy Reed book trailer Every Year is a New Year/creepy version)
    Book Trailer with original song and direction/editing by Timmy Reed
  • Cutty Spot Interview: Timmy Reed
    Cutty Spot Interview 2013

The Suicide Button

The Suicide Button is a yet-to-be published, atill-going-through-copy-edits novel project.  These are the first 15 pages in a sort of raw form. 
  • The Suicide Button
    These are the first fifteen pages of a work-in-progress novel titled The Suicide Button.

Kokomo Sands

This is the introduction to a new, recently started novel project titled Kokomo Sands. 
  • Kokomo Sands