Sabotage Reviews: Neil Campbell’s Insightful Review of “Going Short”

An excerpt:

Read the entire review at Sabotage Reviews

This book could become the definitive introduction to the form. It’s admirably lean and devoid of ego.

“This is also a good book for creative writing courses and, even better, a book for that old fashioned entity, the solitary writer, the one excluded from academia by not having thousands of pounds.

You could read this book in an hour and go back to it for years. And there’s a hundred prompts at the back for those of you feigning ‘writer’s block’.”

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Join Me This Weekend: Readings and Readings and Workshops, oh my!

Need something to do this weekend? Next week? I’m going to be part of three virtual events and I’d love to see you at any of them!

Friday March 5th: Fbomb NYC Reading, 6-9 pm EST

Fbomb NYC: Friday, March 5 KGB Zoom FBomb reading Mar 5th 6pm est – 9 pm est. 

Featuring:

  1. Roberta Beary
  2. Andrea Marusco
  3. Nancy Ludmerer
  4. Jayne Martin
  5. Nancy Stohlman
  6. Kathy Fish
  7. Susan Weiman
  8. Hank Paper
  9. Linda Woolford
  10. Sally Reno
  11. Paul Beckman
  12. Cindy Rosmus

Contact Paul Beckman for Zoom link at: paul@paulbeckman.com

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Friday, March 5th: Bending Genres Reading @ SMOL Book Fair, 9 pm EST

More about Book Fair here

March 5, Friday, tomorrow, at 9pm EST.
Featuring: DOMINIQUE CHRISTINA! 💜💚❤️💚❤️💜
Also reading are:
AIMEE PARKISON
DESPY BOUTRIS
BILL SOLDAN
TOMMY DEAN
KIM MAGOWAN
KAJ TANAKA
NANCY STOHLMAN

PLUS GIVE-AWAY OF MERCH!
OPEN MIC TO FOLLOW FOR FIRST FIVE TO SIGN-UP

More info here:

Reading Schedule

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March 9-13, Writer’s Studio Literary Festival at Arapahoe Community College

More info here

For $50 (lots of discounts available too), you have access to SIX instructional workshops, and four different readings, all virtual, so you can attend from anywhere. As a bonus, when you sign up, you will get a copy of the Progenitor Vol 55 mailed to you (the one published during the onset of the pandemic–it’s very good!).

AGAIN: NEXT WEEK March 9th through the 13th Please consider registering! https://www.arapahoe.edu/…/writers-studio-literary…Featuring: Hillary Leftwich, Nancy Stohlman, David R Slayton and others. That’s three sessions you’ll love right there: Fantasy Writing, Flash Fiction Writing, and Writing About Your Ghosts

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Hope to see you soon at a virtual writing event soon!

xoxo Nancy

The Short of It: The Origin Story of Going Short and the Changing Landscape of Flash

Curtis Smith is an amazing interviewer. Here’s a little excerpt from our conversation at JMWW where we talk about origin stories, including the genesis of Going Short, my time co-founding/running Fast Forward Press, and how ultimately most books are smarter than we are.

Read the full interview at JMWW

Nancy Stohlman has been writing, publishing, and teaching flash fiction for more than a decade, and her latest book, Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2020), is her treatise on the form.

Curtis Smith: Congratulations on the publication of Going Short. Can you tell us a bit about the book’s origins—your motivations and how you came to work with Ad Hoc?

Nancy Stohlman: Thank you, Curtis. And I just want to say that the response to Going Short has been so heartwarming and validating in a year that was otherwise challenging. So thank you all for that.

The book has been simmering for a long time, over 10 years. I think sometimes we’re called to write books that are smarter than we are, so it basically took me 10 years to catch up. There were (and still are) very few flash fiction specific books, and I wanted to write a craft book (as opposed to a straight textbook)—I envisioned it like having a long conversation about flash fiction with a fellow writer. Ad Hoc was a natural choice; I first collaborated with them at the Flash Fiction Festival in the UK in 2018, and I have always been impressed by their vision of a flash fiction community—a vision I share. It seemed like (and has been) a natural and perfect fit for this book.

CS: You’ve been writing flash for a long time. Who were your influences? What initially drew you to the form. How has the form (and market) changed?

NS: Running a flash fiction press before flash fiction had really “caught on” was enormously influential in my education and trajectory. In 2007, during graduate school at Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (I never get tired of saying that name!), a group of us co-founded Fast Forward Press, and then from 2008-2013 we put out a yearly print flash fiction anthology as well as some early flash novels. So much of my education came from reading and analyzing hundreds of story submissions, both the ones I loved and the ones we rejected. We had many spirited conversations about was is/isn’t flash fiction, what constituted a story. At that time our answers were purely instinctual, but I see now that we were helping to define the genre in those early stages.

The flash fiction landscape has changed quite a bit, even in the last decade, but I think the work we did there laid much groundwork, including acting as a honing signal for other early flash fiction writers. More than a dozen years after our first anthologies, I can flip through the Tables of Contents and see so many flash fiction giants and friends, names like Kim Chinquee, Robert Scotellaro, Meg Tuite, Chris Bowen, Jane Anne Phillips, Tom Hazuka, Sally Reno—and you!

KEEP READING

Find out more about Going Short

Sick Of This Cold and Stir-Crazy? A Friday prompt from Going Short:

Are you stir crazy and sick of being cold?

Are you losing it a little bit? (me!)

Going Short is ready to snuggle and do some writing.

“I can’t get enough of your love, babe.”

Prompt: Bribing the Muse: On Your Mark, Get Set…

A great trick to create urgency in a flash fiction story is by using another constraint: Time.

For almost a decade now, all my college classes have begun with a 10-minute timed writing. Timed writing is nothing new. We know that it helps us transition us into the writing space, like stretching before a workout. We know that it forces us to stay present and dig deeper—writing past where we might have naturally given up. And we know that keeping the pen moving quickly, without crossing things out or rereading, is a great way to evade the internal critic and uncover fresh ideas.

But I discovered something else through years of this practice: 10 minutes of writing without stopping is also the perfect amount of time to draft a flash fiction story idea from start to finish.

It makes sense: Flash fiction is defined by a word constraint, so why not create under a time constraint? Having that clock ticking while you furiously try to reach the end of an idea gives the piece a natural sense of urgency. And writing from the beginning to the end in one sitting also creates a sense of continuity—we see the end coming as we embark on the journey.

You can use timed writing in many ways. For instance, you can:

  • Set the timer while writing to a prompt.
  • Set the timer when you’re feeling stuck and don’t know what to write about.
  • Set the timer and rewrite a “flat” story from scratch while the clock chases you to the finish line (my favorite)

And as a daily practice it’s even better. Besides, you can do anything for 10 mins, right?

Because only you can write your stories.

Happy flashing and stay warm, friends!

Love, Nancy

P.S. Want your own copy?

Order Going Short from Ad Hoc Fiction

Order Going Short Amazon/Kindle on Amazon UK  or Amazon USA 

Or get a signed Going Short from me here

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