Peter Never Came

​(Winner of the Autumn House Press Fiction Prize)

The characters in Ashley Cowger's short stories learn to accept the fear, the regret, and the beauty of growing up in a world where Peter Pan will never come. The lives portrayed here are firmly planted in reality, a place where dreams loom only as hope on a faraway horizon. In Shades of Blue, an entire town mourns the death of a six-year-old boy, not knowing what a rotten human being he would have grown up to become; Pan and Pirates shows us two brothers attempting to summon a demon pirate out of a mirror. Wishing on Airplanes takes us into the mind of an aging college professor who longs for the kind of love he reads about in classical poetry; and in Nature, a woman copes with the strength and anger she only just discovered she carries.

Journal and Anthology Publications:

  • "Election Day," creative nonfiction, ​Hippocampus Magazine ​(Summer 2020)
  • "Thank You and God Bless," short fiction, Free State Review ​(Summer 2019)
  • "Fifty-Four Minutes," short fiction, Fleas on the Dog (Summer 2019)
  • "Thirty-Eight Today," short fiction, Prime Number Magazine​ (Summer 2018)
  • "Louise Roberta Crandall," short fiction, Nunum (Spring 2018)
  • "Diane Goodman," biography, American Writers Volume XXVIII ​(Fall 2017)
  • "How to Figure the Returns," short fiction, Santa Clara Review​ (Spring 2016)
  • “Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday,” short fiction,​ Imagine This!: An Artprize Anthology (Fall 2015)
  • “After the First Snow,” short fiction, Jabberwock Review (Summer 2015)
  • “The Final Score,” short fiction, published in The Lindenwood Review (Summer 2015)
  • “Public Access,” short fiction, Blue Lyra Review (Summer 2015)
  • “A Very Nice Visit,” short fiction, Bound Off (Special 8th Anniversary, Editors’ Edition, Spring 2014)
  • “Ursula,” short fiction, Quarter After Eight (Spring 2013)
  • “Hair,” short fiction, Bound Off (Fall 2012)
  • Review of Destroy All Monsters by Greg Hrbek, Necessary Fiction (Winter 2012)
  • Review of How to Stop Loving Someone by Joan Connor, Necessary Fiction (Fall 2011)
  • “Eradicating Reviser’s Block: Bringing Revision to the Foreground,” scholarly essay, Dispatches from the Classroom (Fall 2011)
  • “The Choice,” short fiction, Storyglossia (Spring 2011)
  • “Shades of Blue,” short fiction, Bound Off (Fall 2010)
  • “What If You Married That Guy?” short fiction, Metal Scratches (Summer 2010)
  • “The Things We Take and the Things We Leave Behind,” short fiction, Fast Forward (Summer 2010)
  • “From “Pretty Nearly Perfectly Happy” to “the Depths of Despair”: Mania and Depression in L. M. Montgomery’s Anne Series,” literary criticism, ​The Lion and the Unicorn (Spring 2010)
  • “Passion, Pain and Politics,” Review of Out of the Silence by Wendy James, Antipodes (Winter 2010)
  • “Interpretations of Aurora,” short fiction, Etchings (Winter 2010)
  • “8 Stories I’ll Never Tell,” short fiction, Pedestal Magazine (Fall 2009)
  • “Nobody, Too,” short fiction, Ampersand Review (Summer 2009)
  • “The Number One,” short fiction, New Ohio Review (Spring 2009)
  • “Peter Never Came,” short fiction, Compass Rose (Spring 2008)
  • “Of Quicksand Mats and Peaceful Meditation,” short fiction, 34th Parallel (Spring 2008)

 ​​​​​​The Official Website of Author Ashley Cowger