about michael

Michael Harris Cohen’s stories have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies including Conjunctions, The Dark, F(r)iction, A Punk Rock Future, and Catapult’s Tiny Crimes. His first book, The Eyes, won Mixer’s “Sex, Violence, and Satire” contest judged by Stephen Graham Jones. His horror and dark fiction collection, Effects Vary, will be published by Cemetery Gates Media in October, 2022. He’s received a Fulbright grant and fellowships from The Djerassi Foundation, OMI International Arts Center, The Atlantic Center for the Arts, Jentel Artists Residency, Blue Mountain Center, and the Künstlerdorf Schöppingen Foundation. He’s a graduate of the MFA program at Brown University where he won the Weston Award for best graduate fiction manuscript. He is an active member of the HWA and lives with his wife and daughters in Sofia. He also teaches Creative Writing and Literature at the American University in Bulgaria.


  • Shortlisted for the Steel Toe Books Chapbook Award, 2023
  • Awarded one-month fellowship at Hawthornden Castle, summer 2023
  • Winner of the American University in Bulgaria Faculty Research Award for creative work, spring 2022
  • Runner-up for Nobrow Short Story Competition, May 2020.
  • Winner of Crystal Lake Publishing's Shallow Waters Flash Fiction Challenge, April 2019.
  • Winner of F(r)iction’s summer, short story contest judged by Mercedes Yardley, May 2018.
  • Winner of Apparition Lit’s, March Flash Fiction contest, March 2018.
  • Awarded two-month residency by the Künstlerdorf Schöppingen Foundation, spring 2018.
  • Finalist for NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. Placed in top 20, Honorable Mention, out of over 2,500 entrants, January 2018.
  • Finalist for Pseudopod’s Flash Fiction Contest. Placed in top four out of over 200 entrants, November 2017.
  • Honorable Mention for Exposition Review’s Flash 405 competition, judged by Trinie Dalton, June 2017.
  • Winner of the inaugural Cosmina Tanasoiu Excellence in Teaching Award from the American University in Bulgaria, spring 2017.
  • Awarded one-month residency at OMI International Arts Center, fall 2017.
  • Awarded three-week residency at The Atlantic Center of the Arts to study with fiction writer Porochista Khakpour, supported by a grant from the Pabst Foundation, summer 2016.
  • Winner of the Modern Grimmoire Anthology Literary Prize, fall 2012.
  • Winner of Mixer Publishing’s “Sex, Violence and Satire” fiction contest, judged by Stephen Graham Jones, summer 2012.
  • Nominated for Pushcart Prize for short story, Fingered, 2011.
  • Awarded one-month fellowship to Djerassi Resident Artist Program, summer 2011.
  • Runner up in Generation XYZ Fiction Contest, Our Stories Literary Journal, fall 2010.
  • Awarded one-month residency to Jentel Artist Residency, summer 2010.
  • Coolest Non-Student” – Selected by the students of The American University in Bulgaria for the 2005 More Honors Awards.
  • Fulbright Scholar – Translated Bulgarian folk and fairy tales, Sofia, Bulgaria 2003-2004. Awarded three-month extension on grant.
  • Weston Award for best graduate fiction manu script, Brown University, 2003.
  • Honorable Mention, Quarterly West Novella Contest, 2003.
  • Awarded one-month artist residency at Blue Mountain Center, summer 2001.
  • New Century Full Scholarship for 2000 Zoetrope: All-Story Advanced Fiction Work shop, taught by Lee Harrington, summer 1999.
  • 3rd Place Winner - 1999 Quality Paper Back Book Club/STORY Short, Short Story Competition.
  • Publication in 1999 Virgin Fiction 2 Salon fiction Contest. One of 20 writers selected from 1500 entries for anthology publication.
  • Selected as alternate for 1997-98 Loft Mentor Series Competition, judged by Jewelle Gomez & Stewart O’ Nan.
  • 2nd Place Winner 1996 City Pages 12th Annual Fiction Contest.
  • Harold Bloom Book Scholarship - 1988 & 1989, awarded for scholastic achievement in English at University of Wisconsin, River Falls.
  • Sanford Syse Scholarship - 1986, awarded for outstanding work in theater at University of Wisconsin, River Falls.