Michael Davis

Journalist, fiction writer, teacher.

London, Los Angeles, & New York City

Michael Davis

My writing has appeared in over 33 magazines and websites. I write fiction, narrative and journalistic nonfiction, work as a freelance content writer and copyeditor, and teach composition and fiction writing.



As the Leopard, So the Coliseum

There have been so many mass shootings in recent memory that I’d be at pains to identify a particular incident more tragic than the others. Tragedy is not scalable. Yet I can’t remember a time when someone in the media or in academia wasn’t screaming that the empire, if not the sky, is falling. Maybe one of the inherent properties of empire is that it continually appears to be coming apart.
Splice Today Link to Story

Hurricane Dreams

I walk outside my in-laws’ house in small-town Oregon and look at heat wobbles on the street, the perfect blue tent of the sky, a morose ex-Marine with a crewcut staring into his lawnmower, the brown clover field stretching to the trees, and I know this is paradise. I’ve lived all over the world, seen a lot of good and bad, and I can tell you: this is it.
Splice Today Link to Story

Burning Down the House

Sometime in October of 2013, I had a political discussion with a homeless man beneath an arch of an abandoned chapel in London’s Abney Park Cemetery. The US federal government had recently shut down and my new friend wanted to know if America had at last descended into post-apocalyptic chaos. I’ll never forget how he phrased his question: “I realize this may be a delicate subject and I hesitate to ask, but is it simply pandemonium over there?”.
Splice Today Link to Story

My Friend Has Gone Nazi

After the recent van attack outside the Finsbury Park mosque in London, I overheard someone ask if it’s ever going to end. The violence and tragedy. The terrorism. The disasters filling newspaper front pages. And I wanted to say, no, it won’t ever end. This is our world. These are the times in which we live.
Splice Today Link to Story

Fatal Vision: the Precipitous Exile of James Comey

It’s an old story. The new king, having attained the crown by first secretly betraying it in some fundamental way, is chagrined and afraid. His subjects do not love him. Ghosts follow him everywhere. He rants incoherently through the night and rarely sleeps, obsessed by the thought that certain powerful lords know his secrets and are plotting against him.
Splice Today Link to Story

Money Is Thicker Than Blood

New DOJ policies on illegal immigrants will benefit the private prison industry. After his ill-considered speech to Customs and Border Protection agents in Nogales, Arizona, Attorney General Jeff Sessions looks as dirty as they come. And in this era of scorched-earth partisan politics, artless graft, and self-serving chicanery, that’s saying something.
Splice Today Link to Story

The End of the Hustle

The first thing you have to understand about drowning is that it doesn’t look like drowning. Mario Vittone, a retired U.S. Coast Guard accident investigator, writes that the “Instinctive Drowning Response” is actually rather muted and undramatic: “Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event.
Splice Today Link to Story

The Crying of Lot 45

Let’s entertain, just for a moment, the possibility that our current political situation is a hoax, that we didn’t elect Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, and that the country has no actual chief executive. The Trump we see in the media is nothing more than a bewildered-looking parade balloon.
Splice Today Link to Story

Sater, Cohen, and the Collapsing House of Cards

There are three immutable laws in DC politics: things can always get worse; when things are in the process of getting worse, they do not get better overnight; and the truth will always come out. It might not come out right away. We might have to wait a few months or years or until the interested parties have all died in freak middle-of-the-day muggings or plea-bargained themselves into alternate dimensions.
Splice Today Link to Story

Speak of the Devil

Watching Donald Trump’s Thursday’s press conference made me feel like I’d finally acquired the ultimate director’s cut of Dune. I now have definitive proof that Baron Harkonnen didn’t get devoured by a gargantuan sandworm at the end of David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation. I always suspected that the Baron survived, but it took me 33 years to figure out what happened.
Splice Today Link to Story

Michael Davis: The Catherine Wheel

I first noticed the wolf in East Africa. Heard of brothers fighting and killing each other outside Makamba, daughters poisoning fathers in Goma, laughing while their houses burned, and everywhere the ritual of suffering enacted with a kind of desperate abandon. So I knew it had come around to this once again: an axe age, a sword age, a wind age, a wolf age.
Painted Bride Quarterly Link to Story

The Problem of Evil in Hauberk, Missouri on JSTOR

The Georgia Review Link to Story


Michael Davis

I've been a professional writer since 1998. I was lead writer for the Los Angeles Diversity Project; a freelance writer / editor privately and through the Gotham Writers Workshop; and my writing has appeared in over 32 magazines and websites. Samples of my work can be found here and on my website at

My writing has appeared in Descant, The San Joaquin Review, The Jabberwock Review, The Black Mountain Review, Eclipse, Cottonwood, The Mid-American Review, Full Circle, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Georgia Review, Storyglossia, The Chicago Quarterly Review, Willow Springs, The Normal School, Arcana, The Superstition Review, The New Ohio Review, The Painted Bride Quarterly, The Atticus Review, Isthmus, the Earlyworks Press Short Story Anthology, Redline, Forge, The Writing Disorder, Small Print Magazine, the Ginosko Literary Journal, The Blather, Pain Talks, ReVue, Literati Magazine, Student Voices, Human Parts, Ink & Coda, and Splice Today. My collection of stories, Gravity, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2009.

I have a BA in English from the University of California, Irvine, an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Montana, an MIS in Information Technology Management from University of Phoenix, and a PhD in English from Western Michigan University. I hold an Expert TESOL teaching certification from the American TESOL Institute and an ABA Paralegal Certification from the University of California, San Diego.

I’ve taught English at Stamford International University (Bangkok, Thailand), The Gotham Writers Workshop (online), Tallinn University (Tallinn, Estonia), Butte College (Oroville, CA), Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI), San Joaquin Memorial High School (Fresno, CA), University of Missouri (Columbia, MO), University of Montana (Missoula, MT), California State University Fresno (Fresno, CA), and Fresno City College (Fresno, CA).

I have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Hayden’s Ferry Review (2003), The Mid-American Review (2004), Storyglossia (2007), Isthmus (2014), and Forge (2015). My awards include the Editor’s Choice Award in the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Contest (2004) and the George Garrett Fiction Award (2008). My story, “The Man in Africa,” was voted one of the Million Writers Award Notable Stories of 2007.

My fiction has been reviewed in Five Star Literary Stories (2008), The Southeast Review (2009), and Third Coast (2010).



  • Narrative Non-fiction
  • Explanatory Journalism
  • Online Content Writing
  • Writing Instruction
  • Story Doctoring
  • Corporate Ghostwriting
  • Copyediting
  • Legal and Business Writing
  • Corporate and Legal Research
  • Investigative Journalism