Guest Judge for 9th Annual Dialogue Only Contest (2018)


The Dialogue Only Contest is back! Contest officially opens on June 1, 2018.

Enter Now:

9th Annual Dialogue Only Rules and Guidelines

The Rules: Compose a short story entirely of dialogue. You may use as many characters as you want. Your entry must be under 2000 words. Your entry does not have to follow standard rules for writing dialogue. Your entry cannot use any narration (this includes tag lines such as he said, she said, etc.). These are the only rules. Manipulate them however you see fit. Check out past winners and read our tips for writing good dialogue before submitting your entry.

The Winner: The winning entry will be the story that most effectively uses dialogue to deliver a powerful and engaging story as determined by our panel of judges.

Prizes: A minimum of $500 will be awarded, with at least $300 going to the grand prize winner. Our five finalists will also be published on the website. To date we’ve awarded over $10,000 to our contest finalists including over $2800 during our 8th Annual Contest. For every entry over 50, an additional $5 will be added to the total prize money.

2018 Prize Structure:

1st Prize: $300 minimum + $3 for every entry over 50
2nd Prize: $100 minimum + $1 for every entry over 50
3rd Prize: $50 minimum + $1 for every two entries over 50
4th Prize: $30 minimum + $1 for every 4 entries over 50
5th Prize: $20 minimum + $1 for every 4 entries over 50All prizes will be paid in USD via PayPal within 30 days of the announcement of winners.

Judges: All finalists will be chosen by the Staff of Bartleby Snopes. Five finalists will be submitted to the final round of voting. The order of winners will be determined by the staff of Bartleby Snopes and our two guest judges. All decisions regarding contest winners are final. Meet our guest judges below.

About Our Guest Judges:

Nancy Stohlman is the author of many books, including the forthcoming Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities (Oct 2018), The Vixen Scream and Other Bible StoriesThe Monster Opera, and Fast Forward: The Mix Tape, which was a finalist for a 2011 Colorado Book Award. She is the creator and curator of The Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series, the creator of FlashNano in November, and the co-founder of Flash Fiction Retreats. Her work has been published in over 100 journals and anthologies including the Norton anthology New Micro: Very Short Stories and had been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Denver and teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder. Find out more about her at

Caleb Echterling’s New Year’s resolution is to write more stories in the 4th person, as soon as he figures out how to break the 5th wall into the 6th dimension. His work has appeared in Jersey Devil Press and Twisted Sister Lit Mag, among others. He tweets funny fiction using the highly original handle @CalebEchterling. You can find more of his writing at


Join me at the Flash Fiction Festival UK this July!

Read original article on the Festival blog  here:

Sculpting Flash Fiction & Flash Books

with Nancy Stohlman

I’m so excited to be part of the second annual Flash Fiction Festival!

I’m going to be teaching two classes that both come primarily out of my 15 years as an editor. The Sculpting Flash Fiction class is my love letter to the art of editing—for me this is where the real magic happens. My own first drafts are fast and uncensored, but the sculpting of those ideas is the real dance and my favorite part. I hope to not only give some concrete tools for editing flash fiction but also to inspire an appreciate for this part of the process, which I fondly call the “puberty” of our work, where everything changes and starts to find itself.

The Flash Fiction Books class also comes out of my work as an editor. I’ve worked with authors on all sorts of books from novels and memoirs and nonfiction books, but it wasn’t until 2007 that flash fiction appeared in my world. Over the last decade flash writers have become more sophisticated in their storytelling but are often lost when they go from the individual story to the book length concept. My intention with this class is to help writers pan out and see the big picture—and embrace the creativity involved in generating a completely different artifact.

Both of these classes are usually taught as 3 or 4-week online workshops, so we’ll be compressing a lot of information into a small space in Bristol, but I hope it will flood you (as the whole weekend will!) with new ideas and a new direction.

Fun fact: I spent my early childhood in both Germany and Spain as a military brat, so travelling to Europe is always very nostalgic for me. But the last time I visited the UK it was 1981 and I was a little girl—I remember the year clearly because Charles and Diana had just gotten married and Charles and Diana memorabilia was everywhere: from Christmas ornaments and t-shirts to life-sized wax figures. It’s ironic that I’m finally returning the same year as another royal wedding!

I’m really looking forward to communing with fellow flash fiction lovers this July. Feel free to contact me ahead of time for questions about my classes or even to join me on one of my upcoming Flash Fiction Retreats with writer Kathy Fish in Costa Rica and in Italy. I can’t wait to meet so many of you in person finally! It will be like a big flashy reunion!

Find out more about the Flash Fiction Festival here.

Sculpting Flash Fiction June 4-25: earlybird discount for one week only!

June 4-25, 2018   (NOTE: This class is full)


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 different set of skills, so does editing flash fiction.

article-2337449-1a32cffb000005dc-882_634x439In this 3-week intensive 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 and swap text. You will learn how to achieve the specific needs of flash fiction as I guide you and other participants to edit your real works in progress.

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.

This is an online workshop format class with limited availability.

Cost: $125

Contact me with questions at

Or fill out form below:

Need Summer Inspiration? Introduction to Flash Fiction (Self-Paced) Course

Are you flash-curious?


Maybe you are already in love with these tiny stories. Maybe you come from another tradition and are eager to try your hand at the form. Either way, this course is your invitation to flash fiction.

Flash fiction is redefining how we tell stories. By embracing this compressed form, all writers–from poets to novelists to nonfiction writers–are cultivating a new set of skills and creating an entirely new kind of story.

In this course you will try new approaches to the compressed narrative, examine what makes successful flash fiction, and generate your own original flash pieces.

This is an extended version of my 3-week live workshop which writers always said “went too fast!” It has 5 Units and I’m offering some bonuses including a private Facebook space to converse with other writers taking the course. As a self-paced class you can go at your own speed through the lectures, examples and assignments.

The cost is $97 and this gives you 12 full months of access to all the materials.

Bonus! Register before May 31 and receive a free 500-edit (redeemable before Dec 31, 2018)

This course is open to writers with all levels of experience in the form, whether you are brand new to flash fiction or a veteran flasher looking to hone your craft.


(It may take up to 24 hours to receive your access code)

Other questions? Contact me below:


Springtime in Italy Writing Retreat!


italy 11
13th Century Tower

Is it on your bucket list to write in a castle? Join Kathy Fish and I in the beautiful Palazzo Forani in the Italian countryside, May, 2019!

Click HERE for more information!

This 7-day 8-night retreat will feature generative classes, workshops, craft talks, and one-on-one mentoring sessions as well as plenty of inspired individual writing time.

Tues May 8: I’m featuring at Punketry!

Which basically means I’m going to read my weird stories while Black Market Translation plays weird music. It’s all going to be very synergistic and spontaneous and wonderful!! Check out the video of past performances below:


ALOC Media, LLC and Punch Drunk Press present “Punketry” at Mutiny Information Cafe. Second Tuesday of every month.

Mutiny Information Cafe

2 S Broadway, Denver, Colorado 80209

4 featured poets performing to improvised psychpunk music by Black Market Translation.

Featured poets for Punketry night:
Idris Goodwin
Garen Lavender Whitmore
Changa Hernandez
Nancy Stohlman

Hosted by Sarah Rodriguez
$5 suggested donation
Seats at 7, show begins at 7:15pm



“The Awakening” in Digging Through the Fat

The Awakening by Nancy Stohlman

Read original at Digging Through the Fat


After the Rapture, the people were waking up, but I’m not sure what that meant, and I’m not even sure they knew what it meant, and I never trusted anyone who claimed to have woken up. My friend claimed to have woken up a few months ago, but she still seemed like a bitch to me. And, even at Starbucks, they would stare at you, and if you weren’t awake they wouldn’t draw a heart in your latte foam.

I started to see someone about it privately because I was getting worried that I should have woken up by now—if my neighbor, who loves NASCAR, was now awake as he had claimed when we were both at the mailbox on Thursday—hey, guess what, I woke up! he said—then surely I should be awake.

But then a new movement started to discredit those who were awake, claiming there was no science behind it, after all, and “awake” was subjective, and by the way what is wrong with sleep?—sleep is scientifically proven to be good for you—and pretty soon everyone claimed that lucid dreaming was more evolved, and people started sleeping 18 hours a day and taking classes where they would try to meet each other inside of dreams and a new café called Asleep opened next to the Awake café and they served chamomile and valerian drinks and everything was cushioned and comfy and if you fell asleep anywhere, in class, on the train, people would assume that you were on some spiritual path.

And of course, I talked to my guy again because I didn’t know if I should be awake or asleep now, and he said to become asleep while waking was the true goal.

Pretty soon a rock shattered the front glass of Asleep café, and everyone assumed it was the awake folks, and some people thought it was a provocateur, an asleep person who wanted to frame the awakes and turn public opinion against them. Splinter groups further divided–those who claimed to be both asleep and awake as well as radical groups that never slept or never woke. And people had no idea who was awake and who was asleep and so people were afraid to interact at all.

The government, or what was left of it, called a state of emergency. Pretty soon all the awake people decided they should leave. So they all got on boats and trains and buses and left. And the asleep people felt sad they had no one to fight with and some of them wondered if maybe the awakes had been right all along and they tried it and woke up. While the people on the boats and trains, free from the pressure of always having to be awake, finally fell asleep.

Art by C. Alvarez