2023 Writing Retreats in France, Colorado, and Iceland!

If you’re a flash fiction writer who’s longing for a new creative spark, an adventure to energize your spirit, and camaraderie with your creative community, then join us in 2023!

Registration starts in October!

Chalais, FRANCE: June 26-July 3

Grand Lake, COLORADO: August 15-20

Laugarvatn, ICELAND: October 25-29

Get on early access WAITING LIST here 

Do you dream of uninterrupted days to write in beautiful locations? Do you long to meet, be mentored by, and network with other writers? Are you enamored with flash fiction and want to learn more or refine your work?

We give professional and aspiring writers, struggling to create amidst the everyday demands of life, the gift of time, community, instruction, and the opportunity to reconnect with your own imagination and sense of possibility so you can confidently bring the work inside you to fruition.

From past participants:

“The retreat was life-shaking. It was a dream to learn from writers whose stories I’ve read for years. The combination of Kathy’s generative workshops with Nancy’s editing/revising workshops is a great approach.  Peace Retreat is beautiful, and the staff couldn’t have been nicer. I came away with better writing AND eating habits.” ~Bill Merklee

“Location, location, location? Not only. This experience pulled my writing in new directions and left me with a sense that a retreat can be both demanding of one’s mind and easy on one’s spirit. Kathy and Nancy were inspiring instructors who brought together a talented and generous group of flash fiction-loving writers. Together, they offered guidance that I can continue to draw on each time I take to the page.” ~Charmaine Wilkerson

“A Flash Fiction Retreat with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman is the perfect way to refresh one’s writing practice. Inspiring locations, like-minded short-fiction writers, and their hallmark positive feedback style make for a true retreat: Pressure-free, productive, and restorative.” ~Anne Weisgerber

“My week of “writing wild” at Peace Retreat in Costa Rica ” with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman was an amazing way to start of 2019. Everything a writer needs to gain confidence and fire up her word machine was provided: time to write, community, useful exercises, mentoring, helpful critiques, encouragement, time for rest and contemplation, time for fun and games, time to reflect and dig deep. Stunning experience.” ~Gay Degani

The writers retreat with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman was an inspiring, magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience. They are wonderful instructors, writers and mentors with great insight into the craft, as well as the writing life. I also loved meeting people from all over the world who are passionate about writing. I left the retreat feeling re-energized and refocused about my writing. In short, I loved every minute.” ~ K.B. Jensen

If you want to learn about yourself as a writer and a person, if you want to open yourself to your creative potential, and your inner truth as a writer, take a retreat with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman, they will guide you, encourage you, and inspire you. The rest is up to you, put aside your usual way of thinking, open yourself up to what you want to avoid, and.prepare to be amazed.” ~ Annie Bien

The French writing retreat with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman – my first ever writing retreat – lived up to all my expectations, and they were pretty high. It felt like a fairy godmother had shown up, asked us what we wanted and needed most for a week of writing, thinking, creating, sharing, learning and laughing, waved her wand and made it all come true: exceptional teachers in an exceptional location in the company of other inspirational writers. With a pool and fabulous food thrown in. I feel I am leaving with my writing well filled up to the brim with riches for me to keep drawing from. Thank you Kathy and Nancy!” ~Philippa Bowe

Read “Everything is a Story”: Reflections and photos from the 2022 Spanish Flash Fiction Retreat

My embarrassing writer moment, or Why I sobbed over a cake….😂

This story does have a happy ending, but here it goes:

When Going Short was first released as a print book in 2020, I knew the decision to release it in a quarantine year would mean some sacrifices: no live events, no release party, no fancy cake with a picture of my book cover on it. However, I felt strong enough that it was the right book at the right time that I embraced the virtual book tour and all the wonderful virtual events (and I don’t regret it!)

BUT…here’s the cake story: The night before the official release, I was in the kitchen, thinking about that cake with my book’s picture on it that I wasn’t going to get and I just lost it. All the self pity and all the fears of 2020 just bubbled up and out and I was found by my partner, sobbing at the dining room table about how I never get to have a cake.

So, like any good partner, Nick went on a mission to end this sobbing immediately (and for anyone reading this, if anyone in your life is ever sobbing over cake–heed this course of action!) 

As the story was later relayed to me, he went to the nearest grocery store bakery, but since it was already 10 pm, the bakery was closed, and the decorators were gone. However, the teenagers on the night shift, wanting to be helpful, (and maybe having had a sobbing cake episode in their own lives) suggested they could let Nick into the kitchen with some frosting tubes and he could decorate the cake himself.

The situation was of course, desperate. 

When I woke up in the morning on the official Going Short release day I saw this cake in the fridge:

And honestly, it’s my favorite cake ever.

So now, two years later, it’s a thing. This past weekend, in preparation for the Going Short Audiobook release, I still haven’t hugged most of you or had a pre-2020 style release party, but I’m eating cake. All week.

And I’m hoping you not only love the new audiobook (and my narration debut!) but that you eat a piece of cake with me! There’s no way I would rather celebrate than to eat virtual cake with you! For real!

Thank you all for the many years of support, inspiration, and friendship. If I’ve learned anything in these last two years, it’s to cherish your tribe in all the ways, hug them when you can, and always know they are eating cake with you, wherever they are.

Let the cake-eating begin!! 
xoxoxo Nancy

(Yes, I know this is a St. Patrick’s Day cake! I’m not good at this cake thing!!! xoxo)

AND Presenting….
GOING SHORT: THE AUDIOBOOK!

Listen exclusively on Audible NOW

For New Audible members: Listen for $0.00

Seriously!

Happy Reading and Writing (and Listening!)

P.S. Tell me what you think!! Nervous!

P.S.S. Head over to @apparelforauthors on Instagram this week, where I am talking all about writing and fashion!

Heavy Feather Review: Hillary Leftwich Reviews Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities

Reviews mean so much to writers, especially to Indie writers, so I’m so grateful to Hillary Leftwich and Heavy Feather Review for this gorgeous review of Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities–THANK YOU!

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Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities, by Nancy Stohlman. Boston, Massachusetts: Big Table Publishing, October 2018. 104 pages. $15.00, paper.

Excerpt: “If you’ve ever stood and stared at yourself in a funhouse mirror and saw yourself as someone you don’t recognize, distorted or with two faces, then you have a pretty good idea of how Stohlman’s latest collection of oddities takes you through the gambit of freakshow possibilities in each of her stories. Stohlman, a performer herself, speaks of a childhood growing up with a circus clown for a mother and a father who seems to be obsessed with placing in the Guinness Book of World Records for various silly attempts.

Although the obvious thread connecting these stories together seems to be Stohlman’s quirky, clown-angst teenage years followed by confusing adulthood scenes, there’s another side to this thread that runs parallel to this theme. Much like the two-faced lady or the conjoined twins, Stohlman seems to be running alongside of her twin from another dimension, a more popular, put together version. But with anything that reflects bigger, better, and brighter, Stohlman summons emotions in each piece that can’t be blurred or escaped from. That’s what makes this mixed bag of oddities about as real as it can get.

Keep reading on Heavy Feather Review 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.

SpokenWord
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.

Themes
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.