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Best flash memoir collections

These are books I would classify as flash memoir collections and great reads: – I Remember by Joe Brainard (1975) – Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman (1995) – The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard (1998) – My Life as a List by Linda Rosenkrantz (1999) – Safekeeping: Some True Stories […]

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Featured Journal: Brevity

Reading good flash stories walks hand in hand with writing good flash stories, which means you’ve gotta know about Brevity magazine. Brevity is synonymous with flash, and has been publishing stalwart and emerging writers for decades. Be sure to browse the current & past issues, as well as the craft advice, book reviews, and blog. […]

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Fans by Sue William Silverman

If you haven’t checked out Brevity magazine online yet, you need to bookmark it post haste and visit often. My chosen featured story this month is published there, called Fans by Sue William Silverman. The format is graceful and the motif of the fans is exquisitely deft.  The story shows off the characteristic zinger of all […]

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The Wheels of Fortune by Peter Hessler

This story perfectly captures the charm of a village and its people, a cultural trait illuminated by the routines of the wider world, and the author’s hilarious ex-pat take on it all. I discovered it via Longform’s compilation of 25 Favorite Unlocked New Yorker Articles, which quickened my pulse at first glimpse. Please take a […]

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Ars Poetica, Sort Of by Kathleen Lewis

This is a great piece, published in Treehouse literary magazine, about writing … and feeling … and …   Ars Poetica, Sort Of by Kathleen Brewin Lewis Because you think your poetry has become too full of clear skies and morning birdsong, you begin breaking your pills in half. There’s a little line in the […]

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Moving Water, Tucson by Peggy Shumaker

This is a story I read aloud in Flash Memoir 101 class, and is the first piece in the Short Takes anthology. It’s a great example of making a story out of something small and beautifully illustrates the traits of good flash stories. If you like it I hope you’ll read more from Peggy Shumaker […]

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Sweet Sixteen by Gary Wilson

I read this flash story out loud in nearly every class I teach. I can’t believe I missed posting it here for so long. It’s included in the Flash Fiction Forward anthology, which I highly recommend – and am convinced contains many memoirs posing as fiction. There are so many things to love about this […]

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Pity the Man Who Doesn’t Travel by Philip Kelly

The featured story this month comes from Pushcart Prize author Philip Kelly in The Sun magazine. It’s a masterful flash story of place and painter, Irish Mike, and footfalls across Europe. Here’s an excerpt; be sure to click at the end to read the whole story … ———— I ARRIVED IN VENICE in a drenching […]

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Hitchhiker’s guide to flash stories online

“Vignette” is a word that originally meant “something that may be written on a vine-leaf.” It’s a snapshot in words. It differs from a short story in that its aim does not lie within the realms of traditional structure or plot. The vignette focuses on one element, mood, character, setting or object. It’s descriptive, excellent for […]

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I Quit Smoking (Again) Today by Johnny Moore

Look what I found at Squalorly lit magazine this week. This well-crafted story by Johnny Moore is also a good study in the comingling of present and past tense, and repetition.  Be sure to read the whole story to see what I mean.  Here are a couple excerpts: My parents used to smoke with life […]

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Make Love Not War by Sarah White

This month’s featured story is an intoxicating tale of cultural encounter, romance, and missed opportunity by Sarah White, president of the Association of Personal Historians.  It will likely remind you of your own ‘un coup de telephone’ which I hope you’ll write about post haste. This story was just released in the Seasons of our […]

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Tiny memoirs

I’m a big fan of the literary journal Creative Nonfiction and especially their Tiny Truths feature, which are micro-memoir tweets. There’s plenty of debate about whether these meet story criteria – what do you think? If you love these too, I hope you’ll participate: On Twitter, follow @cnfonline and tweet your 130-character stories to #cnftweet.

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