Summer Workshops! NEW Flash Flood: Write a Flash Novel, NEW Absurdism as a Way to Truth, and Editing Masterclass!

NEW Flash Flood: Write a Flash Novel

July 8-19
Do you have a large, book-length idea that you’ve been wanting to bring to fruition? Do you love the intensity of FlashNano or NaNoWriMo? Then get ready: In 10 days we will create a literal “flash flood” and you will leave the workshop with the bones (or more) of a flash novel.

Find out more

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NEW Editing Flash Fiction Masterclass (my most popular)

July 22-Aug 9
In 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.

Find out more

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NEW Opening the Back Door: Absurdism as a Way to Truth

August 23-25
Bending Genres Monthly Workshops
While realism in fiction has its place, some truths can be clumsy when faced head-on. When you cannot take the front door into your material because it’s too raw, painful, blunt or overdone—then you must find the back door. Absurdism (and the surreal) is that back door, a less obvious way into the material where The Big Truth can be revealed.
Find out more

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This Friday, May 3: Colorado Book Award Finalists Reading!

CBA

Friday, May 3, 7-9 pm

BookBar

4280 Tennyson St, Denver, Colorado 80212

So who knows how often I’ll be able to invite you to a reading of the Colorado Book Award?? Should be a hopping night and you can buy everyone’s book and have some wine. Madam Velvet is always fun to read and I might have a surprise or two up my sleeve!

*Be a part of the Colorado Book Awards! BookBar is pairing with Colorado Humanities to bring you finalist readings for various categories.
This week we celebrate General Fiction, Literary Fiction, Poetry nominees.

General Fiction:
Aimie Runyan – Daughters of the Night Sky
Elisabeth Hyde – Go Ask Fannie
Diana Holguin-Balogh – Rosary without Beads

Literary Fiction:
Ramona Ausubel – Awayland
Nick Arvin – Mad Boy
Nancy Stohlman – Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities
Tiffany Quay Tyson – The Past is Never

Poetry:
Diana Khoi Nguyen – Ghost Of
Bin Ramke – Light Wind Light Light
Julie Carr – Real Life: An Installation

COLORADO BOOK AWARDS

So You Wrote a Book? Selah Saterstrom

If you’ve read Selah Saterstrom’s fiction you know it’s rapturous and visionary, hallucinations seen, cauterized and juxtaposed. In her latest book of non-fiction, Ideal Suggestions: Essays in Divinatory Poetics, Selah takes us behind the curtain on a epistemological journey of her process: writing as an act of divination that casts the writer into relationship and revelation with their work. Using meditations, pictures, vintage texts and even 80’s pop culture, Saterstrom does what she does best: collages her experience into an artifact that is fiercely individual and yet strangely universal.

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Nancy Stohlman: Describe this book in six words

Selah Saterstrom: Works underlit by divinatory practices, partial.

NS: There are many different “pieces” in here, from meditations to screenplays, and each feels complete and self-contained. Did the collage of these many parts happen organically or did you model this structure on other books?

SS: I wrote the collection over a long period and it holds many valentine-genuflections to other books. I did not intentionally model my book’s structure on other books, though the valentine imprint is real and en-layered. Would I have structured a book this way prior to reading the work of Joan Fiset? Or, what about the Pentateuch? My book is in love with those books! Such a flirt. I’d say I modeled this book’s structure on a life spent being in love with reading.

NS: Sometimes your work feels as if you are speaking in tongues, and I will often let it wash over me rather than allow my cognitive brain try to make literal sense out of everything. Does the work come out of you that way or is there an intense refinement process?

SS: The work just comes out this way and there is an intense refinement process. Both. These two experiences are unfixed – they change places with one another, interrupt one another, wake within one another, and also vanish into one another.

In writing I often feel like I’m trying to sync form and content or that I’m trying to achieve a calibration. It’s like listening for a click-click sound. But of course there is no sound (spooky). But there is (a switch in the nervous system that knows).

I have to add…I can’t think of speaking in tongues without thinking of C.D. Wright’s Translations of the Gospel Back into Tongues, a book (and working concept) profoundly important to me.

NS: I love your inclusion of “Notes” at the end of each section—they’re more than just pragmatic, they are actually a way that you let us into your process. Talk about your choice to include these? 

SS: I always thought of the “Notes” as love notes to the people, places, texts, and conditions essential to the writing. Foremost, they were places to proclaim love.

I recently led a graduate class called The Critical Imagination. My colleague Rachel Feder visited and spoke about “expanding the citation” – ways that as writers we might invite, include, and acknowledge collaborative energies vital to our processes.

Her ideas moved me and gave me a framework to think about generosity and reciprocity as sacred technologies that belongs in books. And I’d add, in classrooms, faculty meeting rooms, and in every space. In death spaces. In throw away spaces. And I want to think of spaces and books as zones (that can be) wired for this generosity/reciprocity so that we might increase the possibility for discernment and revelation to have places at our tables.

My other intention with these love notes was to share and show the process which made the work, as much as I was able, and because the processes were no less important than their creations. I wanted the act of writing to saturate all of the efficiently situated justified paragraphs.

Trying to show the process is also an invitation to write. To follow steps or (even better) to make new ones, but to write into the mystery of the overwhelmingly weird fact that we are alive inside immense passions and sufferings.

NS: In one section you talk about a failed attempt to do eco-poetics at Chernobyl, which led you to study photographs instead. Can you talk about your original intention vs the final piece here?

SS: This particular research effort was meant to be part of a chapter in a long-suffering hermeneutics book project, which is about reading devastated landscapes. My Chernobyl research effort fail has stalled out a long chapter in this book. If I’m driving county back roads and pass by an old, abandoned pick-up, rusting out in some pasture, weeds growing up through the hood, I think: there’s my book chapter. There she is.

As I note in Ideal Suggestions (the actual book where the failed text landed), during the time period I was trying to go to Prypyat, when applying for research clearance in Chernobyl, at the top of the application it was stamped: Your Application To Be Excluded. This referred to the “Exclusion Zone,” which required special permits, but was of course also amazing for all the reasons. After going through this involved and expensive process twice, both times, I couldn’t actually get into the Exclusion Zone at the last minute because of a fluke. Huge, blousy, tacky flukes! So the work ended up happening on the boundary line of the Exclusion Zone and I worked from that place, which is also part of what the essay became about.

Shifting the focus a bit, I want to encourage all of your readers to check out Svetlana Alexievich’s stunning, Voices of Chernobyl.  It invokes a polyphonic chorus in one of the most powerful ways I’ve experienced yet. Also, Mariko Nagai’s Irradiated Cities – a really stunning achievement. I hope everyone will read these two books. They have an inexhaustible urgency cleverly staged in the past-tense though they are about right now.

NS: As your student at Naropa over 10 years ago, I remember a prompt to write of a “ruined landscape.” How do ruined landscapes figure in your work?

SS: Your question has me thinking of the word ruin, in all its historical iterations, how it etymologically looms in notions of collapse, which means, at root, “fall together.” Ruination as a community event. Put another way: I feel like every landscape can be a Charnel Ground site – a place we might encounter ourselves or something greater, a place where we are going to either endure in our individual and collective pain or find healing and liberation.

NS: The “brother and sister” dialogue you attribute in your notes both to a lost child and a lost twin. You allow yourself to be extremely vulnerable in revealing this (we usually get to “hide” behind the fiction label when it gets this personal), and you could have chosen to not reveal this. Talk about your choice to reveal?

SS: I keep thinking about this idea that you shared, that it is an option to hide behind the fiction label when things get personal.

I think, in general, fiction (I’d say all of writing) has never been about obscuring things for me, but about revealing things to me – even revealing me to me. So, I feel buck-ass naked in writing pretty much all the time.

I find that rather than creating distance (and therefore room and accordingly, room to hide), writing has had the effect of collapsing distances, and therefore creating intimacy. Intimacy, even if it be terrible, delightful, or whatever.

I also embrace revision and am obsessive regarding syntax. Writing is still/always a form of making. That said, for its many gifts, relief (in the form of not being seen), has not been one bestowed on this writer.

I think I don’t want to hide in writing because I don’t want to hide anywhere.

I know the suffering (and exhaustion) I’ve experienced by trying to hide myself (how I really am) through casting an image of myself I hope others will agree upon or approve of or buy into. At this point, I don’t want fancier ego strategies around constructions and projections of self, I just want to keep shifting so I can do my best work and so that I can be a really good partner, friend, teacher, mother, neighbor, community member, and so on.

NS: Your “Screenplay” section includes major references to movies such as The Blue Lagoon and Revenge of the Nerds, among others. These are quintessential 80’s movies and not particularly “literary.” How does the vulgar (in the true sense of the word) meet the holy in your work?

SS: When I was in fifth grade, my dad had HBO (a super big deal) and I have many memories of being alone at his townhouse during long weekends when he’d be at his girlfriend’s and I’d watch the hell out of HBO. It is when I first watched Revenge of the Nerds, which seemed to show constantly on HBO’s  “After Dark” selection, and which I was excited to view because it supposedly featured boobs. Though when I actually watched it, it kind of scared me. I often thought about Betty. How she was deceived in the Fun House etc. It felt more like a flat, low-budget horror movie where the monsters were unfocused, sweaty white guys with crumbs stuck to their pasty faces while their bodies were pumped up with insane juvenile lust the color Peach Ne-hi. It was like a super dumb cautionary tale for boobs! Jesus! And I do mean Jesus. Because during that time in my life the other story that kept me up at night was the story of Jesus and his awful fucking death.

I don’t believe in a rigid sacred/profane division, much less that it might be one governed by the binary, and I don’t think holiness has anything to do with purity.

What can I say? I’m like a lot of women I know: I have a vagina that has a trans-generational memory of being 100% screwed over lifetime after lifetime as a result of “purity.”

Purity (and its violent after effects) is messy and complicated; a paradox considering at root it means, and all at once: “clean, clear, unmixed, unadorned, chaste, fresh, new, sifted, and undefiled.” This doesn’t have anything to do with holiness for me. I feel that holiness can be dirty, swampy, mixed, over-dressed and under-dressed, lounging in its own desire, wearing day-old make-up if it wants, and is stock full of agency, resonance, presence.

NS: What advice would you give to a writer creating their first book?

SS: I think of Anne Waldman’s charge to make a vow to writing…the importance of  articulating your energetic contract to writing, the medium of language, and I hope that contract is also rooted in curiosity and a consistent willingness to see your own bullshit and surrender what you think you know about (even!) your own book. And stay with it. Tenacity is important in a world that too often forgets to give folks permission to be visionary.

NS: Anything else you want to add?

SS: Yes: thank you, Nancy! I love you and I love your work and am grateful for the ways you cast community spaces and make so much magic happen here (and elsewhere, too!).

In closing, I’d mention a couple of books because I am a believer in the book-list-share! Three visionary works I recently read/am reading and recommend completely because they are so damn good: Patty Yumi Cottrell’s Sorry To Disrupt the Peace, Alicia Mountain’s High Ground Coward, What I knew by Eleni Sikelianos, and Myriam Gurba’s Mean.

Links to the book or other promo links

http://www.essaypress.org/selah-saterstrom/

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Selah Saterstrom is the author of the novels Slab, The Meat and Spirit Plan, The Pink Institution, and the collection of essays, Ideal Suggestions, which was selected for the Essay Book Prize. She teaches and lectures throughout the United States and abroad and is the Director of Creative Writing at the University of Denver.

So You Wrote a Book? Meg Pokrass

Meg Pokrass can be heartbreaking, shocking, witty, and wise in the same sentence, and her new book, Alligators at Night, is both bizarre and tragic, with turns of phrase that will take your breath away and narrators who are almost too smart for their own good. And while the work may be witty on the surface, it points to a deeper sophistication; profound insights, poignancy and sadness/hopefulness bleed through the seemingly regular occurrences of regular people looking for love, belonging, and redemption.

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Nancy Stohlman: So, Meg, this is not your first book. You’ve also published other collections of flash fiction including The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down, Cellulose Pajamas, and Damn Sure Right.  How is Alligators at Night different from your other books? 

Meg Pokrass: This book is mostly shorter pieces, newer, mostly pieces that fall between 100 – 600 words (with a few exceptions). This is the length of stories that I love writing the most.

NS: You have stories in Alligators at Night that were published over an 8-year period, from 2017 all the way back to 2009. Would you call this book a sort of “Greatest Hits” of your work?  

MP: I imported a handful of strong stories over from my first collection “Damn Sure Right” for “Alligators At Night”, but it’s definitely not a “best of” volume. Most of the pieces in AAN are brand new. But I would certainly like to have a “best of” collection published someday.

NS: Your story “Barista” appeared in Best Small Fictions and it is one of the stories (along with “Bug Man”) that ends on this lovely note of belonging and/or not belonging. I think many of your stories touch on this idea. Is this an intentional theme for you?

MP: I do agree, and it is unintentional. I think it’s something I ponder often, and have felt for most of my life, that sense of being an outsider. Of “almost” belonging. Which stems from my unusual and stressful childhood, leaving my father in Pennsylvania when I was five and moving with my mother to perfect California where we knew nobody. I loved California but never really felt that I belonged there. If I unconsciously use this feeling in my writing, then it’s finally useful to me! But it’s not a conscious thing at all.

NS: You are particularly great at endings. Your endings just seem to stop at the right time—not too early (although sometimes shocking) but not a beat too late. What is your philosophy around endings? How do you know when the story is finished? Do they end like this on the first try or is this something you refine afterwards? 

MP: I grew up as a writer reading the short fiction of Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, Jayne Anne Phillips and Bobbie Ann Mason. These writers taught me how to end stories, are masters of it. And I must have learned it long ago. I remember studying these endings, thinking Holy crap! That’s IT. It’s not a conscious thing, where a story ends as I’m writing it, but I like to end with a sense of some seemingly small yet significant character realization. A slightly new way of seeing or of understanding. Often I need to go back to a story after the first few drafts and hunt for that ending, find it through multiple re-readings. It’s often hidden. Sometimes I change the order of paragraphs and sentences, and sometimes the story structure benefits from this too.

NS: Okay, here’s the tough question: What is your favorite story in this collection and why? 

MP: “Barista”. I feel it captures something mysterious, something I can’t put my own finger on, and it feels as if it wrote itself. The idea that this story came from something I wasn’t aware of thrills me. I’m also rather fond of “Probably, I’ll Marry You”. I like what the story says about love, how deeply flawed the nature of romantic love is, and also how that is exactly what makes it so wonderful.  And “The Bug Man” because it is semi-memoir. My mother really was secretly smitten with our exterminator, and so was I. But he didn’t have long spidery arms, and I didn’t have a brother. And of course, our exterminator died of lung cancer. I love making something of such a sad but sweet memory.

NS: I heard you read “Imaginary Chinese Take-Out with Lydia Davis” at the Bath Flash Fiction Festival last year and you have a very funny, almost deadpan reading style that perfectly emphasizes the outrageous, weird situations of your stories. I know you have a performance background—how does that background inform your public readings? 

MP: That’s so kind of you Nancy. It’s wonderful to have that reinforcement. I’m sure the acting training helped. But I admit to having awful jitters when reading my own work. I’m so glad you can’t tell.

NS: Many of these stories have been republished and anthologized. How do you feel about your older work vs your new work? 

MP: I believe that about 1/6 of these stories are older, and a few have been anthologized. But most of the stories in Alligators At Night have been written in the last 3 years.

NS: You are (I believe) the first single author collection released from Ad Hoc Fiction. Congratulations! Talk about your journey with Ad Hoc Fiction. 

MP: This began as a rather casual and fun  conversation I had with Jude Higgins soon after I moved to England, when I was judging the Bath Flash Fiction Award and had visited Bath to take part in a reading with Jude and her writers. Jude told me that Ad Hoc was moving into publishing single author collections, and I boldly asked her, point blank, would they consider my new collection (I had a manuscript ready to go). The rest is history.

NS: Finally: What advice do you have for someone writing their first book? 

MP: I wouldn’t tell myself I was writing a book at all. I’d just keep making stories. That’s much less intimidating, and it’s exactly how it worked for me.

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Meg Pokrass is the author of five flash fiction collections and a novella-in-flash from Rose Metal Press. A new collection “What the Dog Thinks” and a novella-in-flash, “Smog Is Invisible” are forthcoming in 2019. Her work has been anthologized in New Micro (W.W. Norton & Co., 2018), Flash Fiction International (W. W. Norton & Co., 2015), Best Small Fictions, 2018 and 2019, the Wigleaf Top 50,and numerous other international anthologies. Individual stories have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines includingElectric Lit, Tin House, McSweeney’s and Passages North, Tupelo Quarterly, Smokelong, Wigleaf, etc. Meg currently serves as Flash Challenge Editor at Mslexia Magazine, Festival Curator for Flash Fiction Festival, U.K. (Bristol) Co-Editor of Best Microfiction, 2019, and Founding/Managing Editor of New Flash Fiction ReviewAlligators At Night is available from Ad Hoc Fiction’s online bookshop.Meg’s website is: www.megpokrass.com and her teaching website is here: http://flashfictionworkshops.uk/ You can follow Meg on Twitter at @megpokrass.

“The Bad Thing” to be included in 2019 Best Small Fictions Anthology!

The Best Small Fictions anthology is a yearly treat for writers and readers and I’m just thrilled to be included for the first time in what will be a truly stellar lineup!

Check out the entire lineup here!

I have to give my deep thanks to Jonathan Cardew and Connotation Press for first publishing “The Bad Thing”–check it out here as well as read a crazy 6-word interview between Jonathan and I!

Also, as a teacher, I want to give a shout out to all the people on this list who I have worked with in some capacity: in workshops, in person, as an editor, as fellow teacher. It’s no small thing for someone to entrust you with their creative process, and the greatest reward is to see writers getting the recognition they deserve! So here’s a special shout out to colleagues:

Christopher Allen, Lori Sambol Brody, Kim Chinquee, Sheldon Lee Compton, Tommy Dean, Nod Ghosh, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, Karen Jones, Fiona J. Mackintosh, Jolene McIlwain, K.C. Mead-Brewer, Meg Pokrass, Pedro Ponce, Santino Prinzi, Robert Vaughan, and Nan Wigington.

Rock on, flashers!!

NancyStohlman

*Compressed Q&A (6 words max)*
Q’s: Jonathan Cardew
A’s: Nancy Stohlman

Q: Earliest memory?
A: Waiting for the Oz ruby slippers

Q: Some writers you love?
A: Saterstrom, Svalina, Hemingway, Garcia-Marquez, Atwood, Geisen,

Q: How to write flash?
A: Let go. Then let go more

Q: How NOT to write flash?
A: prose poem, vignette = flash fiction: no

Q: Favorite recent story read online?
A: I can’t keep up. In awe.

Q: The problem with politics?
A: Too much emotion; no strategy

Q: Finish this: “I woke under stars…”
A:  with pierced bellybutton, *Sturgis circa 1994*

So You Wrote a Book? Robert Vaughan

Robert Vaughan’s latest book Funhouse is a wild ride–he starts us off in the kiddy rides and before we know it we’re doing double loops on the Scrambler and full speed on the Centrifuge, the floor dropping away and we’re spinning and stuck to the wall, hair full of static like crazy cotton candy.

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Nancy Stohlman: Describe this book in 6 words:

Robert Vaughan:

Harrowing

Neglected

Frightening

Hilarious

Oddball

FUN

NS: You have authored multiple books including Addicts and Basements and Rift, which you co-authored with Kathy Fish. How is Funhouse different from your other books?

RV: Funhouse is a varied collection and contains four diverse sections. There is the opening flash and micro pieces. Then the two middle collaborative sections, “Hall of Mirrors” which I like to refer to as the “Kids in the Classroom”; and “Tunnel of Love” which is my nod to the numerous musical Divas. It also is my first book to contain my short stories in the fourth and last section of FUNHOUSE (unlike only flash or prose poetry in previous collections).

NS: I loved this tiny story, “Corn Maze”: 

“I got lost in a corn maze this morning. I know you’re not supposed to panic, but this happened in Soho. I met a lot of other people in there. Many of them were in the arts. One girl told me she’d been in there since Labor Day. I think she said this out of shame. She was wearing white shoes.”

For me this is the perfect example of a micro—lots of implication and white space for the reader to fill in the rest of the story. How you decide what becomes a micro and what becomes a poem?

RV: First of all, thanks for liking this tiny piece. I never really know what something I write is, prose or poetry or whatever. I often like to say that categories of writing were made for libraries and bookstores! I know there are all of these defining “rules,” etc. But I do feel like I tend more toward the gray areas, or middle ground, then the “defining areas” of what others tell us are a micro or a poem. It’s probably what drove me to start Bending Genres journal and workshops/ retreats. Who knows?

NS: Your “Hall of Mirrors” section (2) is somehow both sweet and chilling at the same time, like Shel Silverstein crossed with Tim Burton. I could totally see this as a stand alone (freaky) children’s book. Talk about your inspiration for this. Would you ever consider publishing it as a stand-alone?

RV: One of my favorite book collections as a kid was a gift from my grandfather. It was The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey. I was fascinated by the poem lure (it’s all Iambic pentameter), completely entrancing gore and horror. Each kid dies (“A is for Amy who fell down the stairs, B was for Ben who was bitten by bears…”) So, my “Halls of Mirrors” is a nod to Gorey, and grandpa, but also in my own way, I decided to twist it, make it my own. And it’s a great idea to possibly make this into its own chapbook. Any takers?

NS: Loved your choice of “divas”—I approve of all of them! Explain your process: did you pick the line from their song and then break it apart or how did you use it as a starting point?

RV: This section began in 2013 when my friend Joseph Quintela started a project while at Sarah Lawrence, called The Word Poeticizer. He asked 15- 20 of his poet friends to re-assign their own definitions of words. Then you could feed anything into his Word Poeticizer and pop a new version of the lyric or poem out. Then I decided to do the nod to divas, or female singers who have meant everything to me. I chose a line, and it evolved into these prose poems. My last part was asking Eryk Wenziak to do the layout, and he laid each poem on the page so uniquely, many with much white, and symbolic space.

NS: In your “Tunnel of Love” section (3) you literally doubled your alphabet, using pretty much every symbol available on the keyboard. If I were to name this section I would have named it The Scrambler! There is a lot going on in this section and it’s definitely your most avant-garde. Talk about your inspiration here.

RV: Again, because we used the Word Poeticizer, it became quite odd, more abstraction. I wavered with editing these “too much,” and then decided to go back to the originals, which became the “Tunnel of Love.” I felt like I wanted one entire chunk of the book that left people sort of “huh?” And yet, many times, I’m told it is a reader’s favorite part of Funhouse. I also think because it was a collaborative project at the onset, asking Eryk to add his brilliant touches really made it all the more wondrously strange.

NS: You are a writer that really embraces (and promotes) the hybrid form. Gun to your head: Prose or poetry for the rest of your life—what do you choose?

RV: I’d take the bullet! HA. Actually, I have to choose poetry. It’s my go to, again and again. With all of the bullshit going on the world, poetry helps me to balance, to feel more deeply. And my mentors are all poets: Dorianne Laux, Ellen Bass, Marie Howe, Nick Flynn. But then there are all these amazing contemporary writers who effuse hybrid forms: I’m thinking Sabrina Orah Mark, Alina Stefanescu, Kaj Tanaka, Len Kuntz, Maggie Nelson, Meg Tuite, Steven Dunn, and so many more. Deep Gratitude to them all!

NS: You seem inspired by visuals—both the drawings in Hall of Mirrors (amazing artistry by Bob Schofield) and the use of white space in Tunnel of Love are very visual. How important are visuals to your creation process?

RV: Of course, I am a very visual person. And Bob did great renderings for the Hall Of Mirrors. Almost like he was in my head it is so terrific! I’d love to think I am a sensory person (all senses firing). I like to write from visual prompts, and I am also inspired by how words look on a page. How the author thinks about this (or in more cases, not). So, visuals are very important to me. And then, also, what is going on BELOW/ BENEATH/ UNDER.

NS: What is your favorite story in this book?

RV: ______________?

NS: This is your second book with Unknown Press. Talk about your publishing process.

RV: My fortune started with Gloria Mindock and Cervena Barva Press, she published “Microtones” in 2012.  Joseph Quintela published “Diptychs, Triptychs, Lipsticks & Dipshits” (Deadly Chaps). My first full collection, “Addicts & Basements” was published by Civil Coping Mechanisms. Michael Seidlinger cold- called me after hearing me read and host a reading at the Boston AWP in 2013. (can you say HOLY FUCK?!!) In 2015, Bud Smith (Unknown Press) suggested Kathy Fish and I to do a collaborative book. I thought: she’s never going to do this! Turns out, Kathy was in a tough writing spot. We work-shopped that entire year (Fish, Smith, Michael Maxwell and me) online in the Night Owl Café. This made RIFT a possibility, which became a book! Bud and I also chatted about FUNHOUSE along the way. It came out almost one year later (December, 2017). Every single publisher I have worked with has been beyond my wildest dreams. So professional, beyond qualified, and brilliant.

NS: Advice to writers?

RV: Write as often as possible. PAY ATTENTION! Believe in yourself. Be curious. Meet other writers and greet your family. Make love often. Take suggestions with an open mind. Travel whenever possible. Cook with others. Read, read, read…

NS: Anything else you want to add?

RV: Have I mentioned how much I adore and revere you? Truly, I do. I’m so grateful to anyone who gives back to our writing community, and you always do in such a huge way.

NS: BLUSHING!! Thank YOU so much, Robert. I am honored to call you a friend. xoxoxo

Links to books or other promo links:

www.robert-vaughan.com

www.bendinggenres.com

Robert Vaughan teaches workshops in hybrid writing, poetry, fiction at locations like The Clearing, Synergia Ranch, Mabel Dodge Luhan House. He leads roundtables in Milwaukee, WI. He was a finalist for the Gertrude Stein Award for Fiction (2013, 2014). His flash fiction, ‘A Box’ was selected for Best Small Fictions 2016 and his flash, “Six Glimpses of the Uncouth” was chosen for Best Small Fictions 2019 (Queen’s Ferry Press).  He is the Editor-in-Chief at Bending Genres, LLC.

Vaughan is the author of five books: Microtones(Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs+ Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits(Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements(CCM), RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press) and FUNHOUSE(Unknown Press). His blog: www.robert-vaughan.com.

Saturday, April 13: Writer’s Studio Literary Festival

Writers Studio Literary Festival

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Date and Time:

4:00pm
Location:
Arapahoe Community College 5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, CO 80120-1801 303.797.4222
Cost is $20 for ACC students or $45 for Community Members; includes lunch! Register for sessions and pay online.

Spend a Day with Denver’s Stalwarts and Rising Stars

ACC’s Writers Studio Literary Festival, which will be held on Saturday, April 13 from 8:30am to 4:00pm, brings you the best of Colorado, from upcoming stars and a Colorado Book Award winner to Colorado journalism stalwarts.

An annual tradition, the Festival offers the opportunity for community members and students alike to spend the day honing their craft and hob-knobbing with professionals. Attendees work with two authors, which you choose from a group of six, for two two-hour sessions:

  • 8:30-9:15am: Check-in
  • 9:30-11:30am: Morning session
    • Steven Dunn – Applying Film Techniques to Writing
    • Joseph Hutchison – The Music of What Happens: Exploring Soundscape
    • Christopher Merkner – Writing About (Not Your) Family
  • 11:30am-12:45pm: Reading and lunch
  • 1:00-3:00pm: Afternoon session
    • Hillary Leftwich and Deanna M. Rasch – Discovering Your Ghosts in Writing
    • Nancy Stohlman – Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction
    • Kevin Vaughn – Finding Your ‘e’ Spot — Crafting Stories That Don’t Begin ‘Once Upon A Time’
  • 3:00-4:00pm: Participant Open Mic

We understand this will be a difficult decision — and that’s how we wanted it to be!

Attendees can expect to learn, to write, to conversate. There will be a continental breakfast served, as well as a hot lunch. Guests will be enamored with the lunch-time reading and will also have the opportunity to share the work they produced at the end-of-the-day Open Mic from 3-4.

Register and read about the workshops being offered here!