Writer’s Digest Short Story Virtual Conference May 22-23

Thanks to everyone who registered for summer workshops–all workshops are now FULL, and I am looking forward to working with you all!

If you were not able to register for a workshop intensive: I will be participating in several live (Zoom) opportunities in May and June! The first one is this weekend, at the Writer’s Digest Short Story Virtual Conference:

Writer’s Digest Short Story Virtual Conference, May 21-23

Writer’s Digest is pleased to present an exclusive virtual conference for short story writers! On May 21-23, our Short Story Writing Virtual Conference will provide expert insights from SEVEN award-winning and best-selling authors on the finer points of how to write a short story. Spend the weekend learning techniques for honing your craft skills, marketing your short fiction, editing, and getting the tools you need to advance your career as a writer from seven different published authors.

Experience the education, camaraderie, and opportunities provided by a live writing conference without ever having to leave your home!

  • Marketing Short Fiction: The Science of Publishing by Jacob M. Appel
    The purpose of this session is to demystify the submission and selection process, ultimately leading to a more impressive acceptance to submission ratio.
  • Editing the Short Stuff by Windy Lynn Harris
    This session will walk you through a four-step plan to go from first draft to last with confidence.
  • Whose Story Is It Anyway?: Point of View in Short Stories by Ran Walker
    Award-winning author Ran Walker discusses the ins and outs, pros and cons, of using the various forms of point-of-view so that you can approach your next story with greater confidence.
  • How to Use Eight (vs Five) Senses in the Short Story by Jenny Bhatt
    During this session, we’ll look at practical examples from well-known short stories for how to leverage all eight senses in our own writing.
  • Going Short: Flash Fiction for the Flash-Curious by Nancy Stohlman
    In this session, veteran writer, publisher, and professor Nancy Stohlman will take you on a flash fiction journey to examine and discuss the fundamentals of flash, examine different approaches to the compressed narrative, debunk flash myths and distinguish flash fiction from its close cousins, the short story and the prose poem.
  • How to Develop an Enticing Story Premise by Rachel Swearingen
    In this session, you will learn how to use the elements of craft to discover the unique premise hiding in your material.
  • Worldbuilding and the Bi-valve Heart of the Story by Brenda Peynado
    This craft lesson will show you how to forecast the heart of the story within the first sentence or paragraph at the same time as it builds your fictional world, small or large—a family, a suburb, a spaceship, or a planet.

Info, full schedule, and registration for the conference:

***Going Short: Flash Fiction for the Flash-Curious will be held Saturday, May 22 at 3 pm EST/12 pm PST

Would love to “see” you there!

Ten Flash Fiction Tips for the Flash Curious on Creative Indie

Are you flash curious?

by Nancy Stohlman

Read the full article on Creative Indie

An excerpt:

There’s a revolution happening in literature: writers are going short.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve already heard of flash fiction, those tiny, compressed stories flourishing in the literary underground. Writers and readers are falling in love with the form and discovering something delightful and poignant in these small spaces.

Originally called sudden fiction, microfiction, nanofiction, or short shorts, flash fictions are ultra-compressed stories following only two rules: they must be under 1,000 words and they must tell a story. The result is a miniature narrative that creates an entire story experience in just a few well-placed brushstrokes. And the stories, far from trivial or lazy, have their finger on a new kind of urgency.Carving away the excess, flash fiction puts the short story through a literary dehydrator, leaving the meat without the fat.

This is an exciting time to be a flash fiction writer.In my book, Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction, I explore how flash fiction has successfully broken the old story out of its skin and transformed it, cultivating not only a new kind of story but also a new kind of writer.  

So, whether you are flash curious or a flash veteran, here are 10 of my best tips as you embark on (or continue) your flash fiction journey.

1. Become a beginner. This goes for any new artistic endeavor, but if you’re a poet, or a novelist, or even new to writing, embrace the glory of being a beginner. There will be an adjustment period, and that’s good! It’s so much easier to take risks and lower expectations. And when expectations are lowered, the real beginner’s magic can slip through the back door. Allow yourself the possibility of creative play—and creative discoveries.

2. Respect flash fiction as its own form. Flash fiction is not the bunny slope to something harder. It is not easier or less powerful or less profound just because it’s small. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. The bonsai tree is a marvel in miniature, requiring an entirely different set of skills. And just as learning from other genres can strengthen your existing work, learning from flash fiction will make you a better writer, regardless of your preferred genre.

3. Just because it’s short doesn’t mean it’s flash fiction. A lot of things are short—vignettes, character sketches, prose poetry. These may overlap with flash fiction, but they aren’t interchangeable. Prose poetry is a poem using sentences. Flash fiction is a compressed story with a narrative arc and movement. When in doubt, see rule #2

4. Don’t try to butcher a longer piece and pass it off as flash fiction. You might be able to pull this off one or twice (I did), but it’s a little bit like adding line breaks to a story and calling it poetry. Ultimately you want to start seeing the world through a flash fiction lens, noticing the potential for stories everywhere and honing your radar for great flash material.

5. The word limit matters. At first you might feel like you are battling the word limit. Eventually you will realize the word limit is the necessary container that allows the magic to happen. Without constraints, the story can expands in all directions like an amoeba. Strategically pushing against the constraints, the story realizes itself as flash fiction. Once you embrace the constraint as a vital part of the process, it won’t be an issue.

KEEP READING HERE

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’.”

READ MORE

December Book Special: Dealer’s Choice

December signed book special!

One Going Short

+ One Vintage Book

= $25 (plus shipping)!

Choose:

Going Short

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+

Dealer’s Choice:

Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities (2018, Big Table Publishing)
Searching for Suzi: a flash novel (2009, Monkey Puzzle Press)
The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories (2014, Pure Slush Press)
The Monster Opera (2013, Bartleby Snopes Press)

(Click for more info on these books)

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= 2 Books for $25!

Gift one to your writer friend.

And keep one for yourself.

ORDER NOW!

While supplies last! Some books are out of print with very limited supplies!

Thank you and happy reading!

Love, Nancy