I’m honored to be judging the 2017 Newfound Prose Prize. Please send your beautiful chapbook length fiction or nonfiction work! Esteemed panelists Ashley Hutson, Michele Finn Johnson, and Rowland Saifi will be doing the first round of reading and long list selection. This contest closes March 15th, so you have time to polish your work and send it in!
I’m very excited to teach “The Heart of Flash: Characters Who Yearn,” an all new weekend flash workshop with Word Tango.
Registration is now open and spaces are limited! Go HERE to read some really nice testimonials for my classes and to sign up!
So honored that my story, “A Room With Many Small Beds” from RIFT, and originally published in Threadcount Magazine, was chosen by Stuart Dybek for inclusion in this stellar anthology. Congratulations also to my co-author, Robert Vaughan, whose story, “A Box” (also in RIFT) was also selected. Huge thanks to Tara Masih and her team for their tireless efforts in showcasing the best in short short fiction from all over the world. And of course, thanks to Stuart Dybek, whose work I admire so much.
From the Goodreads page: “This second installment of The Best Small Fictions continues to celebrate the diversity and quality captured in fiction forms fewer than 1,000 words. Forty-five acclaimed and emerging writers—including Alberto Chimal, Toh EnJoe, Kathy Fish, Amelia Gray, Etgar Keret, R. O. Kwon, and Eliel Lucero—offer readers “some of the brightest concise writing available today” (NewPages). With spotlights on Texture Press and author Megan Giddings, the acclaimed new series, with its “finger on the pulse,” succeeds in its aim to make something big from many small things.”
Featuring Small Fictions by:
Amir Adam, Daniel Aristi, Tina Barry, Paul Beckman, Laurie Blauner, John Brantingham, Alberto Chimal, Justin Lawrence Daugherty, Toh EnJoe, Grant Faulkner, Kathy Fish, Rosie Forrest,Megan Giddings, Amelia Gray, Charles Hansmann, Britt Haraway, Mary-Jane Holmes, Laird Hunt, A. Nicole Kelly, James Kennedy, Etgar Keret, R. O. Kwon, Nathan Leslie, Paul Lisicky, Eliel Lucero, Nancy Ludmerer, Melissa Manning, Michael Martone, Elizabeth Morton, David Naimon, Jessica Plante, Dianca London Potts, Dawn Raffel, James Reidel, Sophie Rosenblum, Caitlin Scarano, Vincent Scarpa, Robert Scotellaro, Courtney Sender, Janey Skinner, Curtis Smith, Robert Vaughan, Clio Velentza
“Prepare to be surprised by this striking new series–it has quickly become essential reading.” ~Amy Hempel
I’m teaming up with the wonderful Word Tango in September for a new online flash fiction course, Sept. 23-25th! Stay tuned for more details and get on the mailing list for updates and first dibs on registration. These are always a lot of fun for me to teach (and fun for the participants too, I hope!):
Lovely Marie Gethins interviewed me about all things flash and my recent co-authored flash collection with Robert Vaughan, RIFT, for The Short Story. Marie asked great questions!
I have a couple of new stories published in stellar places! First, “Imagine Your Daughter Is a Cherry Red Convertible,” a micro under 100 words, at New World Writing. Many thanks to editors Kim Chinquee and Frederick Barthelme.
And “I Have Not Pushed Back My Cuticles with An Orange Stick Since the Nixon Administration,” at the wonderful, long-standing journal, Monkeybicycle. Monkeybicycle published one of my first stories, “The Next Stanley Kubrick,” back in 2007 or so. I’m honored to be back. Thanks so much to editor James Tate Hill.
And wow, it’s August already! Looking forward to the workshop I’m running with Robert Vaughan in Taos later this month. Some few spaces remain if you’re interested in joining us! What a magical place.
We have a few remaining openings for our week-long workshop (Aug. 20-26th): “Exploratory Fiction: Tap In, Dig Deep, Discover Voice.” Robert Vaughan and I will be leading a unique writing experience at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House once owned by Dennis Hopper and visited by the likes of Martha Graham, Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keefe, D.H. Lawrence and more! Eat, sleep, write, and commune with fellow writers in a magical setting. More info here: Exploratory Fiction with Robert Vaughan & Kathy Fish, Tao, NM
Nancy was recently injured in a head-on collision by a car going 60 mph. She is currently hospitalized and will not be able to teach this summer as she continues to heal. I can think of few writers in the literary community as energetic, inspiring, and generous as Nancy. Please contribute if you can:
Thanks so much to Selecting Editor, Matthew Salesses, as well as Series Editor, Marcelle Heath and all of her team of readers. And thanks, of course, to Scott Garson, editor of Wigleaf. This is a huge effort every year to recognize and showcase the best flash fiction published online. As Marcelle Heath says in her foreword:
Flash fiction opens up the page, becomes larger and more fluid, and gives back to us so that we can see what remains: vitality, provocation, enchantment.
Again, thanks so much. I had a few painful years of hardly writing at all. This and all the recognition my stories have received this past year mean the world to me.
This is the most fun thing to happen in my writing life in a long time. Two of my stories have been chosen to be sold in the first ever story vending machine in the U.S. This has been introduced already in France and Coppola unveiled his story machine at Zoetrope Cafe in San Francisco last week. More about this HERE! If you’re in San Francisco, do check it out and buy a story!
Hey, the snow has finally melted here in Colorado and there’s some good news to share! Co-author Robert Vaughan and I were thrilled by this lovely review of RIFT by Amelia White at the JMWW blog:
“There were moments of peace and violence, of connection and loneliness, of levity and weight. Ultimately, the beauty of Rift lies both its scope and its detail. Even on the second read through, every story held its own surprises, some small, some large, all profoundly human.”
You can read the whole review HERE.
Also, some great new reviews on Goodreads by amazing writers Nancy Stohlman, Mark Kerstetter, Jen Knox, and Christopher DeWan. (Reminder: you can purchase a signed–by me–copy of Rift right here on THIS PAGE of my website.)
Also, my NEW Flash Creative Non-Fiction workshop with Word Tango is now open for registration. It will run online from May 20-22nd. These are a lot of fun and fill up quickly! More info HERE.
And stay tuned for more information about the upcoming Writing Workshop in Taos that Robert and I are teaching in August. That is also filling quickly! It’s going to be a very busy summer…
During our time in L.A. for AWP Robert Vaughan and I visited Brad Listi and chatted in his garage where he makes the fabulous Other People Podcast. We conversed at length about our co-authored collection, Rift, life, our childhoods, current events, and more. We’re told this was Brad’s first interview with flash fiction writers! He is a brilliant & generous host and we had a great time. Rift was The Nervous Breakdown Book Club feature for December and Brad heads up that as well.
You can listen here: Other People Podcast, Episode 411
You can get the Other People Podcast App or listen via ITunes Or you can sign up for Go Premium which helps to support the podcast and gives you access to all the many great interviews with such writers as George Saunders, Elizabeth Crane, Roxane Gay, Cheryl Strayed, Edwidge Danticat, Jonathan Letham, Tom Perrotta, Susan Orlean, Sheila Heti, and more!
Tara Masih and Queen’s Ferry Press have announced the next guest editor for The Best Small Fictions. So exciting!
￼The Best Small Fictions 2017 Announcing Guest Editor Amy Hempel
￼￼”The Best Small Fictions . . . could be at the forefront of a burgeoning cultural movement.”
—Allan Drew for The Newtown Review of Books
Coming in October 2017, the third volume of The Best Small Fictions will feature Amy Hempel as Guest Editor. Series Editor Tara L. Masih will be joined by Michelle Elvy as Assistant Editor. Kim Chinquee will serve as Prose Poetry Consultant and Small Fictions Consultants include Brian Doyle, Ioanna Mavrou, Ben White, and Leesa Cross-Smith.
The Best Small Fictions 2016, Guest Edited by MacArthur Fellow Stuart Dybek will be available this fall. Winners include:
Amir Adam • Daniel Aristi
Tina Barry • Paul Beckman
Laurie Blauner • John Brantingham Alberto Chimal • Justin Lawrence Daugherty Toh EnJoe • Grant Faulkner
Kathy Fish • Rosie Forrest
Megan Giddings • Amelia Gray Charles Hansmann • Britt Haraway Mary-Jane Holmes • Laird Hunt
A. Nicole Kelly • James Kennedy
Etgar Keret • R. O. Kwon
Nathan Leslie • Paul Lisicky
Eliel Lucero • Nancy Ludmerer Melissa Manning • Michael Martone Elizabeth Morton • David Naimon Jessica Plante • Dianca London Potts Dawn Raffel • James Reidel
Sophie Rosenblum • Caitlin Scarano Vincent Scarpa • Robert Scotellaro Courtney Sender • Janey Skinner Curtis Smith • Robert Vaughan
“Prepare to be surprised by this striking new series—it
has quickly become essential reading.” —Amy Hempel
Amy Hempel is the author of four acclaimed story collections. They were compiled and published in 2006 as The Collected Stories, which was named one of the Ten Best Books of the year by the New York Times and
won the Ambassador Book Award for best fiction of the year. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the USA Foundation, and has won the PEN/Rea and PEN/Malamud Awards, among others. In 2015, Hempel received the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence from Centenary College. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages, and her stories have been heavily anthologized, including in Flash Fiction Forward: 80 Very Short Stories. Hempel taught at Harvard, New York University, Princeton, Bennington, and elsewhere, and now teaches at the University of Florida.
“It will be well worth your while to spend a minute or 60 with some of the brightest concise writing
￼We would like to acknowledge the contributions of
￼X.J. Kennedy, Michael Martone, Dawn Raffel, Motoyuki Shibata, and James Thomas; much appreciation also goes to roving editors Michael Cocchiarale,
Tara Laskowski, and Mary Slechta, Best Small Fictions 2015 consulting editors
I’m excited that AWP is in L.A. this year! Yay, for warmer weather than we typically have to deal with at the annual AWP conference! I really hope to see as many friends as possible this year, but it’s a huge conference and I’ve come to expect that I won’t get to see everyone I want to. Here’s (roughly) where I can be found:
Thursday, March 31st
I’ll be arriving with my daughter and checking into the J.W. Marriott and the conference. No specific plans until the afternoon, when co-author Robert Vaughan and I will meet with Brad Listi to do the Other People Podcast. Thursday night may involve dinner & drinks with friends.
Friday, April 1st
10:00 – 11:00 I’ll be signing books at the Matter Press / Journal of Compressed Creative Arts table (831)
11:00 – 12:00 I’ll be signing copies of RIFT at the Cossack Review Table (1236)
(“free” time…I may be working the Unknown Press table (1442) for awhile, selling Rift and other Unknown Press titles)
4:30 – 5:30 The North/South Short Shorts Reading (Passages North & New South) Pyo Gallery, 1100 South Hope Street, Suite 105, L.A. 90015 (featuring Zach Doss, Megan Giddings, Michael Martone, Kelly Magee, and myself)
5:00 – ??? Hot Pillow Reading hosted by Joani Reese, Ginosi Figaro Apartel, 1361 South Flower Street, L.A. 90015
6:30 – 8:00 Literary Colorado Reception, Diamond Salon 8&9, JW Marriott LA, 3rd Floor
(Join the literary communities of Arapahoe Community College, Colorado College, Colorado Review, Colorado State University, Conundrum Press, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Lithic Press, Mile-High MFA, University of Colorado, Western State Colorado University for refreshments and a chance to socialize and network.)
Later Friday evening, may be attending a BBQ/Reading, but I anticipate collapsing early that night. We’ll see. I may get a second wind!
Saturday, April 2nd
May be spending some time at the Unknown Press table in the morning before the book fair closes up?
7:30 – ??? Books & Booze, hosted by Alternating Current Press, Los Angeles Center of Photography, 1515 Wilcox Avenue, L.A. 90028
Join us for Alternating Current’s #AWP16 Offsite Reading Event at LACP! $3 LIQUOR, WINE, & BEER. Free snacks. No cover charge (Donations always welcome.). Readers include: Sunil Yapa, Matt Bell, Eric Shonkwiler, Will Chancellor, Kathy Fish, Ben Tanzer, Ryan Ridge, Andrew F. Sullivan, Ashley Farmer, Carmen Lau, A. Jay Adler, and Tabitha Blankenbiller. Mayhem will ensue. Fun will be had. Booze will be consumed.
My story, “A Room With Many Small Beds” (originally published in Threadcount Magazine and the first story in Rift) was chosen by Stuart Dybek for inclusion in the Queen’s Ferry Press Best Small Fictions 2016! I’m just so thrilled. Another story, “A Proper Party,” originally published in Revolution John and also included in Rift, made the finalist list. And hurray for Rift, as another story from the book, Robert Vaughan’s excellent “A Box” ALSO made the winner list and will be included in the anthology of 45 small fictions for 2016. Congratulations to Robert! Many thanks to series editor superwoman Tara Masih and all of the consulting editors, as well as guest editor Stuart Dybek.
The full list of winners, semi-finalists, and finalists may be found HERE. Congratulations to all the great writers and the journals that published and nominated their work! Special congratulations to beloved Smokelong Quarterly, which has THREE stories among the 45 winners!
In other good news, I’m so pleased that my story of a three-horned woman, “There Is No Albuquerque” is published in the new “Wild” themed issue of Newfound Journal. That story is also featured in Rift. You may find the story HERE. Oh and read the whole, glorious issue, which also features “Daughters of The Animal Kingdom” by the great Bonnie Jo Campbell.
RIFT received three new glowing reviews this past week! Co-author Robert Vaughan and I could not be more grateful for the surge in attention the book is getting lately. Thank you to everyone who has bought the book, read it, reviewed it, mentioned it, promoted it, etc.!
Gabino Iglesias, in his review at Dead End Follies, says:
“Rift is constructed so that each writer has an equal amount of space and they trade stories so that, instead of half and half, readers get four sections in which they alternate narratives. This works really well because it allows for the stories to flow nicely and for each voice to feel fresh every time it comes around. Fish is up first, and her work throughout the book is outstanding. Her knack for surprising the reader and writing about relationship as it were a new theme is enough to make this book one that all fans of short fiction should check out. There are many standouts from Fish, including Vocabulary, which puts an entire new relationship and its possibilities inside a paragraph, Grip, which pushes the boundaries of how much sadness and reminiscing can be crammed into a very short tale, and The Blue of Milk, which is at once gritty and incredibly haunting but also poetic and beautiful in the way only unexpected encounters can be. That being said, this is a review and one piece needs to be held above all other and given the space/spotlight of a quote, and that story is There is No Albuquerque, a narrative that packs the heart-wrenching biography of a pale-eyed woman born with a hole on her neck and three horns. This one is what happens when literary fiction, bizarro, and magic realism collide:
When I was little, my mother used to stand me before the mirror every morning and make me say: I am beautiful. After she died, I keep doing it for a while until Buddy told me to stop. After he married the Tattooed Lady, they soon lost interest in me, and I was sent to a foster home. My foster parents thought I was retarded. They told everyone who would listen that they saved me from a dumpster. I ran away when I was sixteen.
You can read the entire review HERE.
Gay Degani, in her lovely review at Heavy Feather Review, says of Rift:
“Imagine a coffee shop, something independent, unique, not part of a chain, where the air is filled with a rich, dark aroma, where the tinkle of music is subtle, underlining real conversations about real things. Now imagine a solid wooden table, highly polished by hand, scarred by time, yet warm with love. Stitting across from you are two writers you admire, not just for the skilled pieces of written art they create at their computers, but also for their humanity, their generosity, their views on the human condition. Who would those two writers be? How about Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughan? What if they were taking turns, telling you stories? What would that be like?”
You can read the rest of her review HERE.
At The Tavern Lantern, the blog for the lit journal Literary Orphans, Ray Nessly wrote another wonderful review. In it, he says:
“Simply put, Rift is a collection of stellar examples of an infinitely variable art form, by two writers at the top of their game.”
You may read the entire review HERE.
Many thanks to Gabino Iglesias, Gay Degani, and Ray Nessly!
*cover photography courtesy of Casey McSpadden