Adam Gretsinger

Fiction | Kent State University | Class of 2023

A fighting club, an underground city, and a spiraling conspiracy: 13-year-old Maria Nievez must face these open secrets of her weird Northeast Ohio hometown when her best friend, Jackie, goes missing. Her strange journey puts her in conflict with a number of strange people, like her legal guardian, middle schooler-sized principal Alyssa; her manager, experimental confectionarian Will; and her classmate, ex-Quebecois girl Mary. Maria breaks hearts, crushes bones, and steals names in her quest, but with every swing of her weapon of choice (a pair of old scissors), she finds her goal of rescuing her friend falling away—and the horror underneath Rookton closing in. A story about the weirdness and cruelty of teenage relationships, the Rust Belt experience, and the burden of responsibility.


About Adam

Adam is a 26-year-old author currently based in Streetsboro, Ohio, and sleeping over in Akron, Ohio. He is an alumnus of Bowling Green State University and will complete his MFA in 2023 at Kent State University. He likes taking walks in local parks and trails, enjoys cooking, and appreciates thinking about playing video games. He tends to pay for multiple tickets to the same concert only to use one of them.

Your favorite place to write while in the NEOMFA?

Coffee shops, bars, and during work. Specifically, Cherry Street Coffee House in Seattle, Washington; 101 Bottles in Kent, Ohio; and an H&R Block receptionist desk in Akron, Ohio.

What’s on your nightstand right now?

Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley, a pile of thrift shop comic books, a small but robust collection of chapsticks, an innumerable collection of junk papers, the “Irish Folklore” trilogy of films by Cartoon Saloon, half a Swiss Army Knife, a broken cellphone, a “How to Draw Manga” book circa 2000-something…

What’s your secret talent?

I can skateboard and have completed one (1) successful Ollie.

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