Flash Fiction: for writers, readers, editors, publishers, & fans


Thursday Flash: Jess Bouchard Reviews Carol Guess’s TINDERBOX LAWN

In order to read Car­ol Guess’s prose poet­ry col­lec­tion “Tin­der­box Lawn,” I had to sit with each piece indi­vid­u­al­ly, read­ing with care, nur­tur­ing each word. There isn’t a sto­ry that deserves a one-time read or a lazy glance. Her lyri­cal sen­tences and provoca­tive imagery explore life with an inten­si­ty that leaves the read­er just as vul­ner­a­ble and exposed. Themes of iden­ti­ty, sex­u­al­i­ty, and gen­der pulse on each page—her words breathe. In this book, you’ll be pulled deeply into your­self and want­i­ng to stay in this place.


Wednesday Flash Therapy: What Do You Find (within) When You Write?

I recent­ly asked an illus­tri­ous group of writ­ers, “What do you find with­in your­self when you write? Is it some­thing that you find at oth­er times?—or is it some­thing that you find only through writ­ing?” Because I don’t have per­mis­sion to write their answers here, I’ll talk instead about what arose in me read­ing their answers, that sense of com­mu­ni­ty, the feel­ing that I’ve found my peo­ple. It might be too much to say that I wept read­ing what they con­front­ed & expe­ri­enced when writ­ing, but I felt that build­ing of pres­sure behind the eyes that my ther­a­pist tells me is what oth­er peo­ple call “emo­tion,” but I have no word for. 


Tuesday Focus on Flash: Todd B Stevens Reviews Matt Bell’s HOW THE BROKEN LEADS THE BLIND

Matt Bell’s How the Bro­ken Lead the Blind seems decep­tive­ly sim­ple at first, con­sist­ing of 55 pages, with only ten sto­ries, of length rang­ing from a sparse page and a quar­ter to near­ly sev­en pages in length. The ten sto­ries, though, are care­ful­ly arranged, their tra­jec­to­ries minute­ly adjust­ed and sent to spin and crash togeth­er with a pre­ci­sion that would seem cold if it didn’t have beneath it a true con­cern for the human con­di­tion.


Monday Guest Flash Blogger: Anne Willkomm Reviews Sherrie Flick’s I CALL THIS FLIRTING

Sher­rie Flick’s I Call This Flirt­ing, a 46-page chap­book of flash fic­tion , is an inti­mate col­lec­tion detail­ing grief, aban­don­ment, mem­o­ry, love, and long­ing. She chose to con­struct her sto­ries in pre­dom­i­nate­ly very close first per­son, often the “I” speak­ing direct­ly to “you” the read­er. This close per­spec­tive will pull you into the fic­tion­al worlds Flick has cre­at­ed, and it speaks to the book’s title. And while I enjoyed many of the sto­ries in this col­lec­tion, it is the inti­mate voice found in Flick’s writ­ing that I found most appeal­ing.


Monday Guest Flash Blogger: John C. Mannone Answers “What is Flash Fiction?

Below is John C. Mannone’s answer to a pre­vi­ous ques­tion and answer about the def­i­n­i­tion of flash fic­tion. ? Of course, this is all my opin­ion, so I am going to dis­pense with those qual­i­fy­ing words IMHO. An opin­ion is an opin­ion. It is nei­ther hum­ble nor is it wrong (though it can be mis­guid­ed; […]


Saturday Flash Interviews: Check Out Jim Harrington’s Six Questions for…

In response to a post on my per­son­al blog, a read­er sug­gest­ed I pub­lish a series of inter­views in which edi­tors ‘list, in excru­ci­at­ing details, all that each edi­tor desires in his/her sto­ries.’ Wow. What a great idea. Not only does this pro­vide authors with spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion about what edi­tors are look­ing for in the sub­mis­sions they receive, it offers edi­tors a venue for adver­tis­ing their pub­li­ca­tions and get­ting the word out about what, in their opin­ion, con­sti­tutes “good writ­ing.” If you: 1. have a ques­tion or com­ment, 2. would like to sug­gest a pub­li­ca­tion, agent, or pub­lish­er for me to con­tact, or 3. are an edi­tor, pub­lish­er, or agent and would like to par­tic­i­pate in this project, please con­tact me.


Friday Flash Prompt: Use Four Or More Elements

I’ve recent­ly been read­ing Roy Peter Clark’s Writ­ing Tools: 50 Essen­tial Strate­gies for Every Writer. Tool 20 asks writ­ers to “choose the num­ber of ele­ments with a pur­pose in mind.” 


Thursday Flash Craft: Making the Machinery of Compression Work for Short Short Fiction (Part I)

Recent­ly, in a guest blog at Ethel Rohan’s Straight From The Heart In My Hip (which for some rea­son my serv­er won’t let me link to), I talked about flash as a machine of com­pres­sion, an idea I got after read­ing Dou­glas Glover’s essay on nov­el struc­ture, in which he refers to the nov­el as “a machine of desire.” For me, here are ways that flash machin­ery might work. 


Wednesday Flash: Deborah Walker Answers the Question “What is Flash Fiction?

As a fol­low-up to Shaula Evans’s ask­ing “What is flash fic­tion?” Deb­o­rah Walk­er pro­vides an answer: I write the short-sto­ry kind of flash, but after read­ing some of the con­test sto­ries I’d like to attempt the vignette type. ? But what I try with all my sto­ries, no mat­ter what length, is to get the […]


Tuesday Focus on Flash: Shaula Evans Asks “What is Flash Fiction?”

The writer Shaula Evans recent­ly began a dis­cus­sion on flash fic­tion in her Zoetrope Vir­tu­al Writer’s Stu­dio room it takes a vil­lage to raise a writer. Here’s how she began that dis­cus­sion: I’ve been read­ing up on flash fic­tion over the hol­i­days. There seems to be zero con­sen­sus about what flash is. Cool! That’s excit­ing! […]