Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction

“A fun and eminently useful literary treasure map.”

~Kirkus Reviews  starred review


Winner of the 2021 Reader Views Award!

Finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Finalist for the International Book Awards

Going Short Front Cover


Flash fiction is changing the way we tell stories. Carving away the excess, eliminating all but the most essential, flash fiction is putting the story through a literary dehydrator, leaving the meat without the fat. And it only looks easy.

Veteran writer, publisher, and teacher Nancy Stohlman takes us on a flash fiction journey: from creating, sculpting, re-visioning and creating books of flash, to best practices for writers in any genre. If you’re already a flash fiction lover, this book will offer new inspiration. If you teach flash fiction, you’ll want this book as part of your repertoire. And if you’re new to the form, you might find yourself ready to begin.




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“In Going Short, Nancy Stohlman captures the true spirit of flash fiction, those brief narratives imbued with all the urgency of life itself. An extremely practiced flash fiction writer, Stohlman is also a veteran teacher. She knows the territory and takes us on a trip from getting started to the finishing line, and everything in between. It’s hard to think of a more thoughtful, adept, and enthusiastic guide.” ~David Galef, author of Brevity: A Flash Fiction Handbook

“Nancy Stohlman has written the definitive, and appropriately concise, book on the flash fiction form. You’ll learn what flash fiction is and isn’t, tips on writing it, tips on honing, sculpting, and polishing it, along with thoughtful discussions on the flash novel and tips for pulling together a flash collection. As a widely-published master of the form herself, Stohlman brings years of teaching experience and her own engaging voice and wit to this useful, encouraging, and entertaining guide. A must-have for flash writers of all levels.” ~Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life: Collected Works 2003-2018

“Going Short embraces the urgency and compression of flash in presenting specific, fresh suggestions for creating, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing both individual pieces and full collections. It’s a book that knows and teaches by doing. It is inspiring and insightful, a masterful craft book written by a master of the craft.” ~Randall Brown, author of This Is How He Learned to Love

“This book is an invitation to flash dance with Nancy Stohlman, an accomplished partner who will show you the steps you can take, the fluid moves you can make on the flash fiction studio floor.  It is all about practice. She will spin you around and show you things you didn’t know you could do, and lead you to a kind of prose performance you didn’t think possible.” ~James Thomas, co-editor of the Norton Flash Fiction books

Nancy Stohlman has been a writer, editor, publisher, and professor of flash fiction for more than a decade. She has published multiple books of flash fiction and flash novels including Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities (a finalist for a 2019 Colorado Book Award), The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories (2014), and The Monster Opera (2013). She is the creator of The Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series and FlashNano in November. Her work has been anthologized in the W.W. Norton New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction and The Best Small Fictions 2019. She teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder and around the world.

P.S. TEACHERS: Are you considering or planning to use Going Short in your classrooms? Feel free to email me at nancystohlman@gmail.com if you have questions or would like me to visit your class virtually.

P.S.S: Before I forget: If you love the book and leave a review on Amazon  or Amazon UK or Goodreads, I’d be forever grateful!!

Happy writing and happy listening!

xoxo Nancy

“Urgency” from Going Short: read by author
“Are you Flash Curious?” from Going Short: read by author