“The Heart of Flash” Weekend Flash with Word Tango Sept. 23-25th – Registration Open!

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!

Best Small Fictions 2016 Launches TODAY!

BSF 2016 front copySo 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

ALL NEW weekend flash workshop with Word Tango in Sept. Stay tuned!

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!):

Word Tango Weekend Flash with Kathy Fish

New Stories & Interview At The Short Story

TSSLovely 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.

dodge luhan houseAnd 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.

Wigleaf Top 50!

Artwork by Philip Bond

Artwork by Philip Bond

Well. I am astounded and grateful that two of my stories were chosen by Matthew Salesses for the 2015 Wigleaf Top 50. Both stories, “Ripe” and “Tool” were published by Lauren Becker, editor of the wonderful Corium Magazine. I also thrilled that my story “The Children Called Him Yuck-Yuck” published by Ellen Parker in FRiGG, was chosen for the long list. I’m very honored to be among the fantastic writers on both lists.

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.

Two of My Stories Featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1st Ever Story Vending Machine in the U.S.

zoetrope cafeThis 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! story vending machine

Robert Vaughan & I interviewed on the Other People Podcast with Brad Listi

PodcastDuring 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 411other people podcast

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!

Happy News! Best Small Fictions 2016, Etc.

BSF 2016 front copyMy 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 is coming to Kindle soon! And lots of other news…

RIFT 4th July*Happy to announce that RIFT (Unknown Press), co-authored with Robert Vaughan, will be available on Kindle soon. Will keep you posted!

There’s been a flurry of press for RIFT recently, in the form of reviews (Change Seven Magazine and Goodreads), two interviews (Midwestern Gothic and Bartleby Snopes) and research notes at Necessary Fiction. If you’re interested, please follow the links below:

Interview with Rachel Hurwitz at Midwestern Gothic

Research Notes for RIFT by Kathy Fish & Robert Vaughan at Necessary Fiction

Interview with Leonora Desar at Bartleby Snopes

Review of RIFT by Anne Weisgerber at Change Seven Magazine

Goodreads review of RIFT by Al Kratz

Goodreads review of RIFT by Steve Karas, author of Kinda Sorta American Dream

Goodreads review of RIFT by Meg Tuite, author of Bound by Blue & Lined Up Like Scars

I will be conducting another weekend workshop through Word Tango in May. This time, we will focus on writing flash creative nonfiction. Go here for more info and to get on the mailing list!

Tomorrow I begin my SIXTH Fast Flash© Workshop! Very excited to work with a new group of amazing writers!

*cover photography courtesy of Casey McSpadden

Writing & The Importance of Community: A Conversation with Gay Degani, Author of Rattle of Want

GayI recently invited Gay Degani to Denver to participate at the Mercury Café where Nancy Stohlman curates the monthly reading series called the F-Bomb. The “F” refers to flash fiction, and because Gay has a collection of mostly flash stories, Rattle of Want, (Pure Slush Books), it felt like a good fit. She and Sally Reno took to the stage taking turns reading their short fiction. During the visit, Gay and I spent time talking about writing and about community. These are some of the questions I asked her.

(You may listen HERE to a podcast of the event with many thanks to the amazing Rocky Mountain Revival and Levi Andrew Noe!)

The F-Bomb readings are a community event. How has “community” impacted your writing?

I have to say that if I hadn’t discovered the writers I’ve met via the Internet, I’m not sure I would be writing today. I’d taken extension classes at UCLA, gone to the Iowa Writing Festival for several summers, and run a long-term writing group at my house, and even though I’d had a couple stories published, the process of sending manuscripts through the mail and following the “no simultaneous submissions” rule, made my publication prospects seem dismal.

Once I learned about the web and the writing community there, my world became brighter. First there were the forums at several e-zines including Every Day Fiction and through them, I learned what readers expected. Then I discovered Zoetrope and Fictionaut, both offering opportunities to learn from other writers. I understood that this was key to becoming good at something, anything. A writer must practice, experiment, and receive feedback.

The best part for me, however, was having access to so many wonderful writers that I could never have met in the real world, but were there, doing what I was doing in the virtual world. I learned much from what they thought and what they were doing. And Kathy, you were one of those people I admired and when you stepped in and critiqued one of my stories at Zoetrope, I was over the moon!

Author Christopher Allen says, “Rattle of Want is a narrative road trip across America.” Most of your stories seem grounded in community.RATTLE OF WANT 2

I feel as if we are where-we-live and who-we-know, especially writers, and a big part of our work comes from those who are part of our community. I’m not saying that we write about the individuals we know in particular, but our observations, our references for most of us come from the world around us, the people around us. In Rattle of Want, there many stories set in identifiable communities: desert towns, Midwest towns, Los Angeles, and points in between. Landscape and how towns form around that landscape almost always come up for me.

In “Isla Vista, 1970,” I draw on the campus unrest at UCSB over the firing of a teacher. The students burned down the Bank of America. This was a memorable event in my life, the impact it had on me. The story itself is not drawn from real life, though I did have a friend who was Miss Santa Barbara at the time, but the time and place together, the setting, is what I wanted to serve as an exploration into the dynamics of that time. “Small Town,” Starkville,” “Spring Melt” all concern themselves with people who exist in towns that suggest confinement. “Ruby,” “The Last Real Human Being in Hollywood,” and “Oranges” are about the alienation of living in a big city. The novella at the end of the collection, The Old Road, is about a small community on the edge of town and what happens in their lives after a huge windstorm knocks down an ancient oak, crushing one of their bungalows.

What makes a community work?

We saw this in action in Denver, Nancy Stohlman working hard to give local (and not so local, like me) writers the opportunity to share their work, Sally Reno working hard to make sure we brought the showbiz to our reading, and you, Kathy, being the perfect hostess, keeping everyone relaxed and having fun. On a real life level, we have to make sure we participate and support the events that come our way. The same is true online. We have to be there for each other with encouragement at both ends of the spectrum, before we finish and polish our work, and then again, when we put ourselves out there in the public forum.

This isn’t pie-in-sky hope. This has happened to me: the support and caring from my community has been consistent and generous. I thank all of you writers out there in Germany, Canada, Australia, the U.K, and of course, in the U.S, for all you’ve done to help live my dream of becoming a writer.

Thanks so much, Gay! It was such a blast having you here in Denver for F-Bomb!

Bio: Gay Degani has had three of her flash pieces nominated for Pushcart and won the 11th Annual Glass Woman Prize. Pure Slush Books released her collection of stories, Rattle of Want, (November 2015). She has a suspense novel, What Came Before, published in 2014, and a short collection, Pomegranate, featuring eight stories around the theme of mothers and daughters. Founder and editor emeritus of Flash Fiction Chronicles, she is an editor at Smokelong Quarterly and blogs at Words in Place where a list of her published work can be found.

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“Watermelon” reprinted at Catapult

The wonderful newish Catapult (and if you don’t know them, you should, they’re doing amazing things*) has reprinted my short short, “Watermelon” as part of a series showcasing stories and essays from the archives of great magazines, in this case the late, great Quick Fiction. Author Marie-Helene Bertino (Safe as Houses, Two A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas) had this to say of my tiny story:

Weighing 132 words, Kathy Fish’s “Watermelon” is the shortest story in our series. I’d quote Shakespeare—but though it be but little it is fierce—if I subscribed to the sentiment that smaller things are lacking. The final image is simple, enigmatic, and perfect. I’ve thought of it regularly in the years since I first read it. On why the story carries a particularly profound effect: I too have brothers.

In her introduction to the series, Bertino says:

In 2001, Quick Fiction began to publish slim volumes of short short stories—hundreds of trapdoors—each 500 words or fewer. What airy nothing could anyone locate and name in so few keystrokes? The whole world, it turns out. It’s been years since Quick Fiction stopped publishing, yet I’m still assaulted by the memory of unexpectedly lovely phrases, gut-punch juxtapositions, pivots on the line. I search my copies, fattened by dog-ears, for answers again and again. The five pieces I chose for this series are ones that “bother” me the most.

You can read “Watermelon” here.

* “Catapult is an innovative publishing venture created by the founders of Electric Literature and Black Balloon Publishing. The company includes a print and ebook publishing program of the highest literary caliber, a robust series of top-quality writing classes, a daily website of narrative nonfiction and fiction, and a community platform where emerging writers can share their work.

Catapult nurtures emerging writers by helping them better their craft, and supports more established writers by evenly sharing revenues from the classes they teach, and by paying to publish their work online. Catapult strives to be a successful business model for the future of independent publishing.”

“Mouth Crimes: Featuring Sally Reno & Gay Degani” Jan. 19th at The Mercury Cafe in Denver!

Please join us at Denver’s Mercury Cafe for the 1st F-Bomb reading of 2016! I’ll be hosting two PHENOMENAL writers and friends, Sally Reno and Gay Degani! The event starts at 7:30 and will feature an open mic, so bring your own amazing flash fiction to read as well! images-4

sallylSally Reno’s fiction has appeared in more than a hundred print and online journals and anthologies, has been among the winners of National Public Radio’s 3-Minute Fiction Contest, the Moon Milk Review Prosetry Contest, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in a fumeous, vaporish, ivy-festered grotto where she serves as Pythoness to Blink Ink Print and Haruspex for Shining Mountains Press.

DSC_0683_2603Gay Degani has had three of her flash pieces nominated for Pushcart consideration and won the 11th Glass Woman Prize. Pure Slush Books released her collection of stories, Rattle of Want, November 2015. Her suspense novel, WhatCame Before, was published in 2014 and a short collection, Pomegranate, features eight stories around the theme of mothers and daughters. Founder and editor emeritus of Flash Fiction Chronicles, she is an editor at Smokelong Quarterly and blogs at Words in Place where a complete list of her published work can be found. RATTLE OF WANT 2

F-Bomb, founded and curated by the amazingly talented and charismatic flash fiction writer, teacher, performer, Nancy Stohlman, is a long-running flash fiction reading series you should check out if you haven’t already! See you Tuesday night!MERCURY CAFE

Opening story of RIFT online now at beautiful Threadcount…

I sit under the elm tree in our front yard with a jar of moths in my lap. I have forgotten to punch holes in the lid like my father told me to and now the moths are dead. I want to float away, but the sky feels like a giant’s hand, pushing me down. I open the jar and eat the moths. One by one.

I’m very happy that my story, “A Room With Many Small Beds” is featured in Issue 5 of Threadcount. It is the first story of my upcoming collection, from Unknown Press, RIFT, co-authored with the great Robert Vaughan. From their “about” page:

Threadcount is a biannual online literary journal dedicated to hybrid forms, work that challenges genre boundaries and resists classifiable form, that experiments with texture and convention, that (like fabric) packs a lot in a limited space.

“I like the box on the page, the box made out of ink and alphabet, the way it sits there and contains what’s inside it. What’s inside it, though, doesn’t have to be so neat and tidy and can be a thing that is hard to say exactly what it is.”

– Peter Markus, author of We Make Mud

The Fall issue includes hybrid work from: Morris Collins, Jennifer A. Howard, Stevie Edwards, Natasha Naayem, Ben Loory, Sarah Tourjee, JoAnna Novak, Brad Modlin, and Stephanie Young. You can read the whole issue HERE and my story, “A Room With Many Small Beds” HERE.

You may read more about RIFT here at our page at Unknown Press

Advance Praise for RIFT

RIFT COVER RIFT is getting awesome praise from our very generous early readers, writing mentors, and literary heroes. Many thanks to: Lidia Yuknavitch, xtx, Daniel Handler, Michael Martone, Ron Carlson, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Jensen Beach, Robert Lopez, Michael Seidlinger, Ryan Ridge, and Luke Goebel!

Read what they have to say about RIFT here on our page at Unknown Press

Cover photography by Casey McSpadden

RIFT – Coming December 1st!

RIFT COVER

Thrilled by our beautiful cover! Many thanks to Bud Smith at Unknown Press, and to cover photographer, Casey McSpadden at Cross River Photography

For more information about RIFT, co-authored with the great Robert Vaughan, see our page at Unknown Press