“My Mother Was a Circus Clown” published in Flash: The International Short Short Story Magazine


My Mother Was a Circus Clown

by Nancy Stohlman

When she kissed me goodnight she left smudges of white paint on my cheeks. When I tried to ask her a question she was inside a box—a wall left, right, above, oh my! When I came home from school she was painting pink eyebrows on her forehead. When I tried to hug her she squirted me with a rubber flower or knocked herself unconscious with a rubber sledgehammer or blew confetti out of a trumpet.

It’s because her parents never let her see live music when she was growing up, my father explained. It was against their religion or something. She vowed to become a clown if they didn’t let her see Elvis when he came through town back in ‘76.

My mother nodded, miming a tear sliding down her cheek with her gloved hand.

Read all about Flash: The International Short Short Story Magazine here

(DENVER: Watch me read this and other clown-related stories from my forthcoming book, Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities on Sept 30 at Hampden Hall, Denver, as part of the 100, 000 Poets for Change grand finale event. I will be accompanied by the genuis of composer Nick Busheff!)


Fbomb NYC on Sept 9, 2016

I was thrilled to be able to join the kickoff of Fbomb NYC on Friday, Sept 9, hosted by Paul Beckman and featuring myself and Bud Smith. The series is a spin-off of the Denver Fbomb, a flash fiction-based series I began in 2013. The Red Room above the KGB bar in in the East Village was a wonderful location and there was a packed house! Readers included:

Read what fellow reader A.E. Weisgerber had to say about the event here as well as a great photo slideshow of all the readers:Jane Liddle, Alice Kaltman, Loren Kleinman, Paul Beckman, Gessy Alvarez, Sara Lippman, Chuck Howe, Anne Weisgerber, Jan Elman-Stout, Jolene McIlwaine.

(Host Paul Beckman (below left), featured reader Nancy Stohlman (below right)


The readers from left to right: A.E Weisberger, (featured reader) Bud Smith, Chuck Howe, Gessy Alvarez, Jolene Mcllwaine, Jan Elman Stout, Alice Kaltman, Jane Liddle and Sara Lippman. (Not pictured Loren Kleinman.)

Fbomb NY

This Friday: Denver’s First Lit Crawl!

September 2

Friday, September 2
6-9 pm

Sponsored by At the Inkwell, The Fbomb, Mile High MFA, The Lighthouse Writers, Colorado Humanities, Tethered by Letters and the Bookbar!

Lit Crawl is from 6-9 pm along Tennyson Avenue

Check out whole lineup here:

I will be hosting the Fbomb portion of the evening.
FBomb will be reading from 8-8:45 p.m.
Local 46
4586 Tennyson Street

Team Fbomb: Nancy Stohlman, Rob Geisen, Steven Dunn,  Kona Morris, Nick Morris, Roseanna Frechette, Bryan Jansing and Jonathan Montgomery!


August 27: Boulder Fringe Festival


The Boulder Poetry Tribe Presents:
“For the Howlers: A Five Part Series of Poetic Performance”
More info on the entire lineup of poets here
Boulder Fringe Festival Tickets and info here
Saturday, August 27
8 pm
 Nick Busheff and Nancy Stohlman perform pieces from:
Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities
madam velvet picture
along with incredible members of the Boulder Poetry Tribe!

“Naked” published in 100 Word Story


 by Nancy Stohlman
The scissors slide easily through the thick denim of my favorite blue jeans, fromnaked1-300x294 ankle to waist, ankle to waist, as one leg then the other falls away. He slices up the middle of my thin cotton shirt like tissue paper, unwraps me, my pink Victoria’s Secret bra a final ribbon snipped and spilling to the ground, leaving me naked. Exposed.

Are you having trouble breathing? he asks with kind brown eyes.

A little, on one side, I whisper.

We’ll be there soon he says, gently placing an oxygen mask as the ambulance sirens rattle the warm evening air.


 Published in 100 Word Story. Read the original here

July 19: 2nd Annual Fbomb Flash Fiction Festival

All shows begin at 7:30 at The Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St, Denver.


The FBOMB (Flash-Bomb) Reading Series is Denver’s only flash fiction reading series!  A beautiful blend of amateur and professional set in the quirky Mercury Cafe.

If you’re flash-curious, come on down and see what all the fuss is about! Open mic slots are first come first served and are limited to 3-4 mins–the length of one flash piece.

Join Facebook Page here

Elvis and the Nancys.jpg

Come one, come all!

1940s nancyHost Nancy Stohlman! Nancy Stohlman’s books include The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories, The Monster Opera,  Searching for Suzi: a flash novel, and four anthologies including Fast Forward: The Mix Tape, a finalist for a 2011 Colorado Book Award. She is the creator and curator of the Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series in Denver, the impetus behind FlashNano, and her work was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. Find out more about her at www.nancystohlman.com

Chris BFeaturing Chris Bowen! Christopher Bowen is the author of We Were Giants (Sunnyoutside Press, 2013) and the forthcoming When I Return To You, I Will Be Unfed. He lives and works as a chef in Cleveland and blogs from Burning River.

DavidFeaturing David S. Atkinson! David S. Atkinson is the author of “Not Quite so Stories” (Literary Wanderlust), “The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes” (2015 National Indie Excellence Awards finalist in humor), and “Bones Buried in the Dirt” (2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist, First Novel <80K). His writing appears in “Bartleby Snopes,” “Grey Sparrow Journal,” “Atticus Review,” and others. His writing website is http://davidsatkinsonwriting.com/ and he spends his non-literary time working as a patent attorney in Denver.


 Featuring April Bradley! April Bradley is from Goodlettsville, Tennessee and lives with her family on the Conneticut shoreline near New Haven. Her work has appeared in Boston Literary, Flash Fiction Chronicles, Flash Fronteir, Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Magazine, Narratively, Pure Slush, Southern Women’s Review, and Thrice Fiction, among others. She has a MA in Ethics from Yale University and studied Philosophy and Theology as a post-graduate scholar at Cambridge University. Her fiction recently has been nominated for the 2015 Best of the Net Anthology and for the Pushcart Prize. She is the Associate Editor for Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine and Press.

mathias svalina author photo w dogsFeaturing Mathias Svalina! Mathias Svalina is the author of five books of poetry, including Destruction Myth (Cleveland State University Poetry Center) & Wastoid (Big Lucks Books). He most recent book is The Wine-Dark Sea from Sidebrow Books. He is an editor for the poetry press Octopus Books & lives in Denver, where he teaches writing & runs a Dream Delivery Service.


10% off Sculpting Flash Fiction until June 30


July 11-July 31

Editing is the most important part of the writing process. As serious writers, you know it’s through the editing process that we begin to refine and sculpt our messages. But just as writing flash fiction requires a
bonsaidifferent set of skills, so does editing flash fiction.

In this workshop we will use the tools of ambiguity and implication; we will learn the different between chipping and chopping; we will learn how to shrink-wrap text, and most of all learn how to achieve the specific needs of flash fiction as I guide you and other participants to edit your real works in progress.

This will be a 3-week online workshop format class with limited availability. Participants should have a basic understanding of flash fiction and come to the class with flash pieces already in progress. Each participant will have the opportunity to submit 1-2 stories per week.

I’ve been a freelance editor since 2004 as well as a co-founder and editor for the flash fiction press Fast Forward Press. I have edited four anthologies including Fast Forward: The Mix Tape, an book of flash fiction that was a finalist for a Colorado Book Award.

Tuition: $109 


Workshop runs July 11-31 (capped at 10 participants)

Contact me with questions at nancystohlman@gmail.com

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