Michael Davis

Journalist, fiction writer, teacher.

London and Paris

Michael Davis

My writing has appeared in over 36 magazines and websites. I write fiction, narrative and journalistic nonfiction, work as a freelance content writer and copy editor, and teach composition and fiction writing.



Trump Impeachment Syndrome and the Uses of Political Theater

My current political orrery: I want to see the Trump crime family and his motley crew of dysfunctional fixers, sycophants, and apologists get shot directly into the sun as much as any liberal. On a just planet, Trump removed from office is the least of what should probably be done to restore the integrity of the presidency, but we don’t live on a just planet.
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Jonathan Franzen Can’t Solve Climate Change for Anyone Who Matters

Jonathan Franzen’s current New Yorker op-ed, “What if We Stopped Pretending,” is a mournful capitulation to the inevitability of a climate change apocalypse. He suggests that we become more realistic in order to make the best of things going forward. Unfortunately, Franzen’s suggestions are aimed at the same audience he’s always had, which is to say, an audience largely identical to that of The New Yorker.
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Jeffrey Epstein and the Usual Media Hate Porn

This isn’t the article I wanted to write. I was 1,000 words into a follow-up to “Mob Justice for Jeffrey Epstein,” arguing that he’d probably (and deservedly) get a harsh sentence, but that would be determined by the court of public opinion instead of in a court of law. Then I saw the headlines come across my Twitter feed on Saturday.
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Mob Justice for Jeffrey Epstein

The level of hysteria and groupthink surrounding Jeffrey Epstein is disturbing, if not surprising. I thought I’d seen everything after the Trumpification of the 24-hour news cycle. But here comes the breathless torch-and-pitchfork crowd, giving an already irresponsible media even more reason to churn out lurid speculation as if it were straight-faced reportage.
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Preponderance of the Small

I went over to Misty’s house to get the car battery her brother owed me, but he wasn’t there and Misty was drunk. She waved at me from the top step of the porch and I waved back, even though I was only a few feet away. Then she stood and hucked the empty fifth of Jim Beam into the dead cornfield where it shattered against another of its kind.
DecomP Magazine Link to Story


WTR strives to put forth the best contemporary poetry, fiction, photography, and artwork and publishes a mix of established and up and coming writers.
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Letting Go of Game of Thrones

Breaking up is hard. Most of us, at some point in our lives, will have to say “It’s not working out. I don’t want to see you anymore. I’d rather be elsewhere than with you.”. If we’re trying to be kind, we might include something along the lines of “It’s me, not you,” because that’s probably somewhat true, even though it’s a cliché.
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William Barr and the Subversion of Justice

One thing I’ve always loved about James Ellroy’s crime novels is that they’re as unreal as Harlequin romances. Where Harlequin has windswept cliffs, muscle-bound aristocrats who have the souls of poets, sympathetic protagonists with whom the reader can identify, and dependable happy endings, Ellroy goes to the opposite extreme.
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Into the Badlands Loses Its Way

When I was in high school, I loved Groo the Wanderer, a comic book series written and drawn by the Spanish-Mexican illustrator, Sergio Aragonés, who’s sometimes better known for the tiny illustrations he did in MAD magazine called “marginals.”. Groo spoofed the sword-and-sorcery genre made popular in the 1980s by Dungeons & Dragons, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Conan movies, and a raft of suburban mothers campaigning against role-playing games, convinced that childhood imagination was the left hand of Satan.
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Trump is Interesting Again

In the 1994 film, The Madness of King George, Ian Holm as Dr. Francis Willis makes a telling aside while waiting to meet the king for the first time. Speaking more to himself than to Colonel Greville, standing nearby, he says, “Did you know, Mr. Greville, the state of monarchy and the state of lunacy share a frontier?
Splice Today Link to Story

Outrage is Over

The entire US government has descended into a kind of dirty, wired, gag reel. I took a three-month hiatus from writing about politics and crime. I had my reasons. If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you already know what they were. You’ve been on a similar trip. If you haven’t made a complete news fast, a total break from the morbid comedy of this administration’s grinding comeuppance, then you’ve been in a cultural trance.
Splice Today Link to Story


If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thanks for visiting! I witnessed Charles Allan Speakman in a blue jumpsuit, standing on a tower of metal shipping containers, arms open wide, illuminated from above by a 400-watt ceiling flood like some junkie messiah.
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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 36 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, Visitant, Terror House, West Trade Review, DecomP, and Splice Today. My first book of stories, Gravity, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2009. My second collection, Cruel Stars, came out in 2017.

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).



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