The Flash Fiction Festival is almost here!

I’m heading out to the Flash Fiction Festival in Bristol, UK! Stay tuned for all the pictures and details!


Flash Fiction Festival, Fri 20th, Sat 21st & Sun 22nd July 2018

Following on from the success of the inaugural literary festival entirely dedicated to flash fiction which took place in June 2017 in Bath and attracted flash fiction writers from around the world, we are happy to host the 2018 Flash Fiction Festival UK at Trinity College Bristol which is in Stoke Bishop, a beautiful part of Bristol and a short journey from the city centre. This

Funded and organised by Bath Flash Fiction Award

The 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 and be inspired by leading flash fiction practitioners from the UK, USA, Ireland and Germany and to 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

Flash Fiction Festival Presenters

From the UK Vanessa Gebbie, David Gaffney, Ashley Chantler, Peter Blair, Meg Pokrass, Jude Higgins, K M Elkes, Carrie Etter, Michael Loveday, Calum Kerr, Santino Prinzi, Haleh Agar, Ingrid Jendrzejewski
From the USA Nancy Stohlman, John Brantingham, Grant Hier, Laurie Stone
From Germany Christopher Allen
From Ireland Nuala O’Connor

Find out more here:


Monday, July 23: Featured Reader at Spoken Word Paris (Theme: Carnical/Circus!)

Nancy Stohlman to Guest at SpokenWord Paris July 23–Monday’s Theme: Carnival/Circus

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Join Facebook Event here

SpokenWord Paris is one pole of a nomadic tribe of people who love poetry, writing and song. A home for creatives and lost anglophones. We do an open mic night called SpokenWord every Monday au Chat Noir and an allied writers’ workshop at Shakespeare & Company (every Sunday.) We do a literary journal called The Bastille and Tightrope Books published many of us in the book “Strangers in Paris.” Click on the blue stamp on the right to sign up to the mailing list.

Open mic/scène ouverte: Performance poetry. Lire vivant. Poésie sonore. Stand up. Monologue. Stories. Beat poetry. Spoken word. English. Français. Your own original texts. Old texts from Rimbaud to Dr Seuss, Beowulf to Gil Scott-Heron. Chacun a son mot à dire. Make the words come alive…………………….. Acoustic songs also welcome.

SpokenWord Sounds
Some podcasts from Monday nights au Chat Noir, by Victor. Listen or download here.

Starts again 4th Sept. Then every Monday Au Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud 75011. Métro Parmentier/Couronnes. Sign up 8pm to 9.30pm in the bar. Poetics start from 8.30pm underground. Check out thePractical info page for more info. Paris’ biggest and longest-running English open mic night, started in 2006. All langues welcome. Entry one euro.

Check next week’s theme here

AWOL Writers’ Group – free!
6.30pm-8.30pm every Sunday at Shakespeare & Company, 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005. Free. Bring your writing or just come and listen join the discussion. Hosted by Bruce Sherfield and Simon Millward. Description Join us afterwards for a drink.

Chat Noir sketch drawn by Allison Iwata.

“My Mother Was a Circus Clown” on Flash Boulevard

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Read it on Flash Boulevard here
by Nancy Stohlman

When she kissed me goodnight she left smudges of white paint on my cheeks. When I tried to ask her a question she was inside a box—a wall left, right, above, oh my! When I came home from school she was painting pink eyebrows on her forehead. When I tried to hug her she squirted me with a rubber flower or knocked herself unconscious with a rubber sledgehammer or blew confetti out of a trumpet.

It’s because her parents never let her see live music when she was growing up, my father explained. It was against their religion or something. She vowed to become a clown if they didn’t let her see Elvis when he came through town back in ‘76.

My mother nodded, miming a tear sliding down her cheek with her gloved hand.

from the upcoming book, Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities (October 2018)

Also by Nancy Stohlman in Flash Boulevard:

Which World Dictator Are You Related To?

The Beautiful People

Thursday, July 5: Featured Reader at Paris LitUp!

Paris Lit Up featuring Nancy Stohlman

PLU Open Mic featuring Nancy Stohlman
Get your sunglasses at the ready, because July 5’s featured performer is queen of flash, the author Nancy Stohlman! Sign-up from 8, shades on at 8.45pm…
Nancy Stohlman is the author of the flash fiction collection The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories, the flash novels The Monster Opera and Searching for Suzi, and three anthologies including 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. She lives in Denver and teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her newest book, Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities, is forthcoming in the fall of 2018. 
Paris Lit Up Open Mic

Paris LitUp happens every Thursday in English (other languages too – when in Rome, speak French) at the historic home of French Slam poetry, Culture Rapide (103 Rue Julien Lacroix, 75020).  If you would like to read, dance, sing or otherwise express yourself, sign up is open and free to all starting at 8pm-ish. We go until we drop – which means all night long! In any language. Or no language at all. No limits. From extreme poetry and explosive prose to exhilarating music and even excellent theatre.

Plus, each week Featured Performers from around the world are invited to strut their stuff before our rowdy but respectful audience.

Rotating hosts include Ed Bell, Matt Jones, Jason Francis Mc Gimsey, Emily Ruck Keene and special guest hosts.

Summer Reading: A List of My Favorite Re-Reads

It’s Summer Reading Time! On the Beauty of Rereading

Yes, that’s right, it’s summer, and if it all goes as planned you will get a lot more reading done, right? But several times a year (usually in the summer) I find myself saturated with words, burned out on sentences. It’s like my reading engine gets flooded and I just can’t take in anything else. And just like with an actual engine, the only thing you can do when you’ve flooded your reading engine is wait.

So what do you read while you are waiting? This is when I start rereading. The beauty of rereading is there is no risk–you aren’t trying to figure out the plot, you aren’t even trying to decide if you like the book or not. With all that out of the way rereading becomes a comfortable reunion with an old friend, words and stories that have moved you (at least once) already. You don’t have to pay such close attention–you can just enjoy the scenery a little more and watch how the whole mechanism gets put together.

So for your summer (re) reading pleasure, I’ve put together a list of 40 of my favorite recent rereads, books I’ve read at least twice including some old friends I’ve read dozens of times and never get tired of:

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40 Books to Reread this Summer (or discover for the first time!)

The Virgin Suicides: Jeffrey Eugenides
1984: George Orwell
Lolita: Vladimir Nabokov
For Whom the Bell Tolls: Ernest Hemingway
100 Years of Solitude: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Road: Cormac McCarthy
The Handmaid’s Tale: Margaret Atwood
The Old Man and the Sea: Ernest Hemingway
The Woman in the Dunes: Kobo Abe
The Lover: Marguerite Duras
On Writing: Stephen King
Flash Fiction Forward: James Thomas and Robert Shapard
Blindness: Jose Saramago
Never Let Me Go: Kazuo Ishiguro
The Alchemist: Paulo Coelho
The Pink Institution: Selah Saterstrom
Europeana: Patrik Ourednik
Tropic of Cancer: Henry Miller
The Aftermath, etc. Rob Geisen
The Thirteenth Woman: Lydia Davis
Rift: Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughan
On the Road: Jack Kerouac
Romeo and Juliet: William Shakespeare
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test: Tom Wolfe
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail: Hunter S. Thompson
Frankenstein: Mary Shelley
Beloved: Toni Morrison
A Wrinkle in Time: Madeleine L’Engle
Juice: Renee Gladman
On Writing: Annie Dillard
Evening Would Find Me: Katie Estill
Henry and June: Anais Nin
Potted Meat: Stephen Dunn
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick
Bird by Bird: Anne Lamott
Pizzas and Mermaid: Jonathan Montgomery
The Trial: Franz Kafka
Writing Down the Bones: Natalie Goldberg
Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Truman Capote
The House on Mango Street: Sandra Cisneros

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