“After the Rapture” pre-sales now open!

My long-awaited flash novel, “After the Rapture”, is now available for pre-orders! I wrote this book between 2016 and early 2020, finishing it the same week the world went into quarantine. For the next year I watched as the line between truth and satire began to merge, and in the continuing aftermath it is now impossible to separate the two…

Pre-order from Mason Jar Press now!

Pre-sale price: $12 (regularly $14)

Pre-sale orders ship March 7, 2023

AFTER THE RAPTURE: In a world just slant from our own, the people are waiting for the Rapture. But what they get is not at all what they thought it would be. Whether they’re pilgrimaging to the Very First Kentucky Fried Chicken, living in life-sized Barbie houses, taking the Marriott staff hostage, trading Candy Corn on Wall Street or draining Loch Ness to “find out the goddamn truth once and for all,” there is a familiar sort of desperation in this post-Rapture existence. In moments you will laugh at the absurdity of their world, and in other moments the darkness will feel all too familiar…

BUT WAIT! Do you want prizes?

(I know you want prizes!)

Every month until the March 2023 publication date I will draw a “Waiting for the Rapture” winner of quirky fun prizes!


Prizes could include books, fab art, original music, or even a spot in an upcoming workshop!


First drawing September 30, 2022


CLICK HERE TO ENTER FOR PRE-SALE PRIZES!

And thank you!

“In this world of Walmarts, Barbies, Kens, orgies/time-shares, 7-11s, clones, a red Lake Michigan, and dreams, Nancy Stohlman’s humor and talent shines. The rapture becomes more than just a rapture: it’s a world turning on its head, acceptance, and then finding a new normal. Redeeming and heart-felt, this dystopian novel-in-flashes is one not to forget. After the Rapture is a rapture!” Kim Chinquee, three-time Pushcart Prize winner, author of seven collections and the novel, PIPETTE

“After The Rapture is a startling, rhapsodic, brilliant tome. Stohlman dares to venture into an intricate mosaic of layered, futuristic identities, individualities, and lives both wasted and yet fully explored. A dazzling oscillation of scintillating prose, on the threshold between the ephemeral and the eternal. After the Rapture is a book full of surprise and wonder, a compelling and majestic book.” Robert Vaughan, author of AskewFunhouse and Addicts & Basements

“Mesmerizing, challenging, funny, awesome, entertaining, bewildering, full of doom, wisdom, absurdity, and heart. I love how gigantic and scary Biblical personages and events are swallowed up by commercial / pop culture. It’s ridiculous, genius, and moving, all at the same time.” Robert Shapard, co-editor of the Norton Flash Fiction anthologies Sudden FictionFlash Fiction Forward, and Flash Fiction International

“Nancy Stohlman’s After the Rapture is the most raucous, innovative–and ultimately moving–disappearing act you’ll ever read. Brilliant!” SmokeLong Quarterly

Thank you so so much in advance! I can’t wait to share this book with you!

Love,

Nancy

Fall Workshops Opening August 1

Flash Flood: Write a Flash Novel (and Launch Your Big Idea)

August 22-Sept 2 (10 days, online asynchronous)

Early Access Registration opens August 1

Do you have a Big Story Idea brewing, but you don’t know where to begin? Is it a flash novel? Novella? Collection? A regular novel or memoir or a million other things? Sometimes not knowing can stop us from getting started. Sometimes the scope of it feels overwhelming. 

Flash Flood: Write a Flash Novel is my signature course designed to help you launch your Big Idea. For 10 days we will envision, draft, collage and create the momentum for that large-scale idea you’ve been wanting to tackle. We’ll begin breaking it apart and making friends with the scope of it, and in that process of discovery you will find momentum, insight, excitement, and sometimes a total pivot–that’s okay! For 10 days we’ll get out of our own way–10 days and a flurry of words and ideas and encouragement and camaraderie–and when it’s over you will have the bones (at least) of a longer project and a much better idea of where to go next.

Whether your book is fiction or creative nonfiction, if you are drawing on the skills of flash forms–from collections to novellas in flash to flash novels–then this class will help you launch your idea into the world. Many, many flash novels and other books have been conceived, executed, and written from the seeds of this class. Maybe yours?

*Participants should have a basic understanding of flash fiction. Come with your big story idea and be prepared to shake up what you thought you knew. (This course may be taken multiple times. It is also the prerequisite/jumping off point for the Flash Novel Mastermind, a private, guided, 12-week community incubator to write yourself to the finish line of the first draft–see description below)

Full payment of $250 is required upon registration. This holds your spot, as workshops fill quickly.


Beautiful Flash Fiction II: Pop Lit and Flash Fusion (NEW)

September 5-9, 2022 (5 days, online asynchronous)

Early Access Registration opens August 1

The world is a constant and incredible source of inspiration–IF we are paying attention. In this brand new workshop we will engage with unexplored or under explored avenues of potential inspiration including pop culture, science, math, music, trends, politics, fashion and more to discover unusual angles and back doors into new ideas. We will continue previous conversations on what makes something beautiful, actively blur the distinctions between low brow and high brow art, and elevate the mundane to the miraculous. As always, come with an open mind and expect to play.

Taking a deeper dive into the concepts from Going Short, we will try a variety of approaches to the compressed narrative and you will generate your own original flash pieces. 

*This course is open to writers with all levels of experience in the form, whether you are brand new to flash fiction, a writer coming from other genres, or a veteran flasher looking for a dose of inspiration and some writing camaraderie.

You do NOT need to have taken Beautiful Flash Fiction I to participate.

Full payment of $175 is required upon registration. This holds your spot, as workshops fill quickly.


Flash Novel Mastermind: A 12-Week Guided Community Incubator

September 12-December 2

To embark on the journey of a book is to lose sight of the shore, to surrender to the story and the muse. Now imagine boarding that ship out to sea with like-minded others, colleagues on their own creative adventures but together, in community, with expert guidance and encouragement.

The Flash Novel Mastermind is a private, guided, 12-week community incubator for flash novelists and flash novels in process…a space of content, coaching, and camaraderie where we build on the momentum from Flash Flood while also finding a rhythm that will sustain us over the long haul of actually writing a book to completion.  

Whether your book is fiction or creative nonfiction, if you are drawing on the skills of flash forms–from collections to novellas in flash to flash novels–then this is the community and support you need to write yourself to the finish line of the all-important first draft–that solid and complete lump of clay that lets you discover, finally, what this story has been trying to say.

*The Flash Novel Mastermind is only open to those who have already taken Flash Flood

Waiting list opens August 1. Registration and full details available August 25

Help! I’m not writing: what do I do?

QUESTION:
Help! I’m totally blocked and haven’t written a word in too long, except in my daily journal which is more morning pages right now. How do I begin again?
~Sheila

Sheila!
Thanks so much for this right-to-the-heart question. I know you speak for many writers out there. You are SO not alone.

And I’m not just saying, “High five sister, you’re not alone!” I’m saying I totally and deeply empathize, and you are in the normal albeit sucky part of the creative process. As heartbreak is to love, the fallow season is the natural yang to the high of creation. The only way to avoid it is to never create. 

So high five for being in the arena at all. Most people would rather pretend they aren’t creative than go on that insecurity roller coaster.

But yes, the “not creating” part of the process raises all our fears and leaves us shaky and off balance. That’s real. And I don’t have a magic answer, but I do have a couple of reframes and some suggestions that might make navigating this time a little easier.

First some sleuthing: Why are you in this fallow period? It didn’t happen without a reason. Sometimes if we can figure out why something is happening, it helps us have compassion and put things back into context. For me, this phase often coincides with the end of a large creative project or push. Maybe you just finished a project or you’re coming off a very prolific period? Maybe it wasn’t a creative project but one that still drew on your creative energy—the culmination of a large work or school project or event, a large purchase or remodel, or maybe even a life cycle shift—death, birth, divorce, retirement, relocation.

So if can be helpful to discover (this can happen in your journal!) a clear precursor to this non-writing period—if only to give yourself some grace and get out of the shame/blame cycle. Too often we beat ourselves up for not writing when there is actually a good reason.

BUT understanding why you are there doesn’t solve it, I get that. And here my advice is not magical either, but there is unfortunately no other way:

Eventually we have to take a baby step back into relationship with our writing. A BABY step—smaller than we think is even worth it. I often suggest journaling AS a first baby step, and you’re already doing that. Daily, even! How many stuck writers aren’t even journaling? Show of hands? My point. Journaling is a fantastic first step because we begin showing up for the regular practice of looping words into sentences and spending time inside the maze of our minds. 

Keeping baby steps as small and non-intimidating as possible is super important, so I suggest stepping up what you are already doing in your journal. You could write a letter to your writing and/or ask your writing some pointed questions. Or, to kickstart inspiration and get outer-focused again, you could spend an entire day noticing and recording the many beautiful, strange, unique things in your world. Or you could make a list of all the stories you intend to write someday–I love a good list and I find this process will very often pop a hot idea.

Outside of the journal, when I’m blocked or sluggish I like to reread favorite books. You know, THE favorite books that made you want to be a writer in the first place.

And then step away from the page and go see some art, visit a garden, listen to some music, and trust that your new ideas are coming, especially now that you have let them know you are ready.

Bottom line—don’t panic! There is nothing I trust more than the turning wheel of the creative process—fallow periods are always followed by fertile ones, summer follows spring—if you stick with it. So keep showing up and ask:

What is one tiny baby step I could take towards my writing today?
(Then take another one tomorrow.)

Wishing you overflowing creativity!
xoxox
Nancy

Do you have a question about flash fiction, travel, writing, the creative process, craft, the writing life…or anything else?

P.S. I’ve had SO much fun sharing my travels, writing inspiration, creative discoveries, retreat photos, food poisoning and more! I love sharing the adventures with you xo

First Stop: Spain–CHECK! (photo from Spanish Retreat Salon Night! Full retreat wrap-up with photo gallery coming soon!)
Next Stop: Bristol, England and the 4th Flash Fiction Festival!
August: Final 2022 Flash Fiction Retreat in Grand Lake, Colorado!

Continue the adventures on:

Instagram and Facebook and Facebook Retreats Page 


Save the Date: Upcoming Workshops and Retreats


Flash Flood: Write a Flash Novel
August 22-September 2

Going Short: Beautiful Flash Fiction Part II (NEW)
(can be taken independently of Part I)
September 5-9

(Details here. Registration for both opens August 1) 


The Flash Novel Mastermind: a 12-week incubator to get your manuscript across the finish line
September 13-December 2
(Pre-requisite: Flash Flood. Registration and all details Sept 1)

AND
If you’re ready for some radical inspiration, a creative adventure to energize your spirit, and camaraderie with your creative community, then get on the waiting list for 2023 Retreat Early Access and announcements this fall! 

Chatting about flash fiction on the Reading and Writing Podcast

Speaking of flash fiction, thanks to Jeff Rutherford for inviting me to return as a guest on the Reading and Writing Podcast!

On this episode we talk about the changing landscape of flash fiction, the re-release of Going Short, and what it was like to narrate an audiobook in one day! We also have a lively discussion around the emerging flash novel as a form–one of my favorite topics, especially with After the Rapture releasing for pre-orders at the end of the summer!

22 minutes LISTEN NOW