Upcoming Live Appearances!

How exciting to even be able to say that!

Friday, April 22: Fbomb Returns Live!

The F-Bomb returns to a live venue for the first time in 2022! Join us at The Roxy on Broadway on Friday April 22 from 6-9 PM. Our host will be Meg Tuite, with featured readers Nancy Stohlman, Kona Morris, and Robert Vaughan. 4-minute open mic spots will also be available for others to share their flash fiction with the crowd. Join us in the Speakeasy space, downstairs at The Roxy!

More info and reader bios on the Fbomb Website


Wednesday, May 18: Fbomb Prom II: Even Bigger Hair

It’s the second ever Fbomb Prom! Come dressed in your bad formal attire! Be in the running for Prom King or Queen (all genders in the running for both slots!) Use “prom” as a theme for writing a new piece OR just come to be entertained by host Nancy Stohlman and featured readers SETH and our reigning Prom King: Selah Saterstrom! Live at The Roxy on Broadway More info TBA!


Saturday, May 21, VIRTUAL: Writers Digest Short Story Conference

May 20 – May 22, 2022, Short Story Virtual Conference

Writer’s Digest is pleased to present an exclusive virtual conference for short story writers! On May 20-22, our 2nd Annual Short Story Writing Virtual Conference will provide expert insights from SEVEN award-winning and best-selling authors on the finer points of how to write a short story. Spend the weekend learning techniques for honing your craft skills, marketing your short fiction, editing, and getting the tools you need to advance your career as a writer from seven different published authors*, then (if you choose) submit up to 500 words of a short story to an editor for critique.

Nancy Stohlman: Literary Squatters: Using Found Forms to Write Fresh Flash Fiction

Time: 3:00 p.m. ET Saturday, May 21


June 6-13: Open Your Art Flash Fiction Retreat, Orgiva Spain

If you’re a flash fiction writer who’s longing for a new creative spark, an adventure to energize your spirit, and camaraderie with your creative community, then join us this summer for a writing retreat in the sunny hills of Andalucia, Spain!


July 8-10 Flash Fiction Festival, Bristol UK

The July 8th -10th weekend Flash Fiction Festival is for beginning and experienced writers who want to learn more about flash fiction – an exciting and continually emerging short-short form of prose, growing in popularity around the world. Come to have fun, meet old friends, make new ones, be inspired by leading flash fiction practitioners from the UK, USA, Ireland and Germany and immerse yourself in writing, reading and listening to flash fiction throughout the weekend. All sections of the community, from all corners of the globe, are welcome.

Full program and booking here:

Sessions with Nancy:

The Deep Zoo: Excavating and Animating Our Impossible Stories

Going Shorter: Writing Beautiful Flash Fiction


August 9-14 & 16-21: Open Your Art Flash Fiction Retreat, Grand Lake, Colorado

If you’re a flash fiction writer who’s longing for a new creative spark, an adventure to energize your spirit, and camaraderie with your creative community, then join Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish this summer for a writing retreat in the glorious Rocky Mountains!

“The Coyotes” by Nancy Stohlman in Flash Fiction Festival IV Anthology

The Coyotes

by Nancy Stohlman

          I was kidnapped by the coyotes when I was 15, when my breasts and hips were soft enough to distinguish me as a woman. Not that they hadn’t been watching me before—they had. I remember the friendly neighborly warning—you should be careful letting her out, he said to my mother. A coyote has been watching her. In the daytime? Oh yeah, they don’t care if it’s day or night the neighbor said, tipping his hat. My mother didn’t pay attention, saying it was ridiculous. Coyotes don’t even like little girls she said.

          The night I was kidnapped she tried to call me back inside but I was already wild, I’d already jumped through the tear in the screen door and out into the gorgeous summer night, the air thick like black cake. The last thing I heard was—fine then, stay out there. I was smoking a stolen cigarette on a stoop still warm from August, my long body stretched out and barefoot, when I heard the first scuffle, the hiss of a cat. Then the shadow moving up the sidewalk, eyes locked with mine.

          I wonder what my mother heard. They called it a nervous breakdown in those days.  Could she hear the scream, the quick silencing pounce, the way we folded into the sewer drain? Did she cry for me, my mother, or was she still grieving her own life when the coyotes came for me, when the full smell of coyote hit my face, tufts of black fur still stuck to the sides of his mouth when he reached for me, followed by a nauseating tingle through the tip of my right breast that I would never, ever be able to scrub off?

          Strange, but what I remember most from that evening was how beautiful it was to be alive. The sweetness of lightning bugs. The silent, witnessing stars. The crickets, pausing when we passed. My last breath of free air and my final glimpse of the world, framed through the circular sewer pipe and bluish with the moon. Watching. Complicit.

          Did she finally put it together from her bed, the doctors asking who did you leave watching her? the doctors telling her to get home quickly, the doctors telling her it might be too late. What did she do when she found me already gone, my skin left suspended in the air like dust particles stirred up in a sunbeam?

****

Buy Flash FIction Festival Four Anthology here:

Are you creatively burned out? 5 (free) days to get your creativity back on track!

Is this you?

Creative Burnout is real, my friend. And unlike regular burnout, we can’t just “push through” and suck it up. Creative work draws from a different well, and when that’s dry…well, no wonder you’re having a hard time writing.

If you’ve worked with me, you know I’m as passionate about supporting the creative process as I am the finished product: whether that’s the day-to-day of writing, the specifics of finishing a book, or the daily challenge of being a visionary person in a hustle world. And yes: I want to help writers become better at their craft…but I also know we can’t plant seeds in depleted soil.

How do you know if you might be creativity burned out? Here are some possible clues:

Possible Signs of (or Contributors to) Creative Burnout
(no judgment but be honest!)

  • You’ve just finished a big creative project (a book, manuscript, etc.)
  • You find yourself down “research rabbit holes” during writing time
  • You’ve just finished a big life project (a move, remodeling, etc)
  • You’re having a hard time finding something to read that excites you
  • You’ve signed up for a workshop you didn’t finish or didn’t even start (my hand raised on this one!)
  • You’ve recently had a big life change (new baby, illness in the family, etc.)
  • Your old writing habits aren’t working anymore
  • You need more sugar/caffeine than usual to write
  • Everything you’re writing feels/sounds like everything else you’ve written–you feel stuck in a creative loop
  • You’ve had increased feelings of creative jealousy (everyone else is doing it better)
  • OR You’ve had an increased desire to isolate (I’m leaving social media, etc.)
  • You’ve stopped doing things you know are good for you (i.e. journaling, walking) and you can’t seem to get back in the rhythm.
  • You find yourself tired when it’s time to write
  • You’ve been feeling more defensive than usual about your work (not taking rejections/feedback well)
  • You can’t remember the last time you took yourself on an artist date
  • You forget to eat OR eat mindlessly throughout the day
  • You’ve had trouble sleeping–either falling asleep or waking up often
  • You are easily distracted from your creative work
  • You need external motivation or the writing doesn’t happen
  • You don’t have many other creative people in your (real) life who “get” you
  • All your writing has started to sound the same–no sparkle/new ideas.
  • You don’t have the time or mental space to go “deep”–you stay on the surface of your ideas
  • You don’t have a regular writing routine OR your regular writing routine is no longer working
  • You feel estranged from your work

Spoiler alert: The hustle is killing your creativity


(Now if this list does not speak to you–fantastic! Keep kicking butt, my friend!)

BUT…if any of these sound familiar, and you want to reverse or even avoid some of the pitfalls that might land you in Burnout Land–then I’m inviting you to join me for a brand new FREE 5-Day Reversing Creative Burnout Challenge:

From Burnout to Breakthrough: 5 Days to Get (or Keep) Your Creativity on Track: April 4-8, 2022

Five days of small but powerful action steps to overcome creative burnout PLUS a 90-minute live virtual retreat with me to end the week.

How it works:

Once you register, I’ll send you one email each day (beginning Monday, April 4th) examining each of the 5 areas of creative burnout: how it happens, how to avoid it, as well as small, actionable steps you can take today to move the needle even 10%.

Then we will gather for a 90-minute live virtual retreat on Friday, April 8 at 11 am MST. Bring your notebook and your beverage of choice and give yourself the gift of a mini-deep dive with other creatives.

This 5-Day Reversing Creative Burnout Challenge is FREE–including the mini virtual retreat–but you must register. Replays will be available for a limited time for those who sign up.

REGISTER HERE and I’ll see you next week!

xoxo

Nancy

P.S. Don’t forget to register!

Spain Flash Fiction Retreat 2022: Nancy Stohlman talks with House of Light in Andalucia

Costa Rica 2022

It’s always wonderful to welcome new retreats to House of Light, and in June, we are delighted that award winning author, professor and performer, Nancy Stohlman, along with Kathy Fish will be bringing their group of writers, to dive into their creative flow of words for the Open Your Heart Open Your Art retreat.

Thank you Nancy for taking the time to share more about you and your work… we can’t wait to meet you and Kathy in person! 

Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish

When did you first discover your love for writing and performing?

I’ve been reading, writing, and performing since childhood (as many future writers do). Growing up on military bases in Europe meant television in English was often not an option, and because we moved so often I became childhood best friends with authors and their books instead. Performance has also been part of my life for as long as I can remember–my parents were folk musicians (I was playing guitar and writing songs by age 10) and my mother started a Spanish clown troupe and recruited all of us (yes, I was a child clown). So…it’s in my blood.

So, what does Flash Fiction involves as a writer?

Flash fiction is all about compression, elimination, and the literary acrobatics required to tell a complete but compelling story in a small space.

I love novels, but as a writer (and reader) it’s a very different experience to tell a story when you have endless room to stretch out vs telling it in a restricted space. In that way I think flash fiction lies at the crossroads between the novel and poetry–we can tell epic stories with the skilled precision of language and white space, and the results are stunning.

Nancy reading at Salon Night in Iceland

Your bio describes you as a ‘rabble rouser’… tell us more!

I love to think out of the box and stir things up. I think that’s the job of all creative and visionary peopleto: envision possibilities where no one else sees them…yet. It’s really a sort of magic. And not only does this happen for me on the page, but also in the world. More than 10 years ago I started the Fbomb Flash fiction Reading Series–the first and longest running flash fiction centered reading series (it now has several spin-offs!) Around the same time I also started FlashNano: 30 stories in 30 days during the month of November. Last year was our 10th anniversary and we had over 2,000 participants! And of course five years ago Flash Fiction Retreats was just an idea I dreamed up with Kathy Fish–what if we could take writers to exotic places and give them the gift of just writing for a week? And now–poof! Here we are.

the whole gang on retreat in Colorado

What do you love most about hosting your writing retreats… what’s the most fulfilling part of your work?

I love hosting writing retreats! Kathy Fish and I have often remarked that every retreat has its unique flavour: not only is each location unique, but each group that coalesces has its own signature. And honestly, the best part for me is creating a safe, nurturing, and inspiring container for other writers like me. I know well how challenging the day-to-day of writing can be–it’s solitary work by its very nature, and alone we can find ourselves in a rut, bogged down by real life and uninspired. Travel has always been my way out of ruts–forcing me out of comfort and back into the space of novelty. To be able to give others that same experience–not only travel, time, and novelty but a real creative community welcoming you on the other side–feels like the gift I needed to give myself. Watching others walk away rested and inspired, with new stories and a reset on their lives (even just a week of catching up on sleep!)–it’s a gift I feel lucky to be able to give.

some cafe writing post-retreat in France

What are you looking forward to most about coming to House of Light?

I’ve been admiring your space and your vibe for SO long now that it already feels like it will be a homecoming. I can’t wait to eat Ceri’s cooking, sit in those hammocks, and just be in Spain. And those yurts! Those views! Can I sit on your terrace and write all day, please! Plus I’ve never been to southern Spain–so I’m excited about that. But mostly I’m looking forward to meeting our group in person and engaging with all the brilliance they will inevitably bring to the table–we have a mix of new retreat participants and old retreat friends, so I’ve been extra inspired (and excited!) as I prepare my brand new workshop materials. It’s like the first time every time!

Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Yes, we have 3 spots left, so if you are curious about flash fiction and/or want to commune with other writers for an amazing week of creativity, inspiration and renewal, then I’d love to chat with you! And if you want to know more about flash fiction, my book, Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction, is re-releasing as an audiobook on March 15–it’s a wonderful primer for newbies and a valuable resource for flash fiction veterans.

And of course: thank you for having us and for your hospitality! We can’t wait to give real hugs soon!

Find out more about facilitator Nancy Stohlman

Find out more about facilitator Kathy Fish