Tag Archives: flash memoir

Add some crackle

It’s called onomatopoeia and it’s words that bring sound to your stories.  Merriam-Webster defines it as 1) the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (buzz, hiss)  2) the use of words whose sound suggests the sense (hiccup). Make a list of word sounds you like.  […]

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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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You know you’re a flash writer when …

– You get peevish reading a preamble. – You know eight synonyms for “short.” – You guzzle Brevity magazine like a morning cuppa joe. –  You can whack 2000 words down to 800 words in 10 minutes flat. –  You couldn’t write in passive voice to save your mother. –  You have 500 publishing credits. […]

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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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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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Sin by Max Garland

It hovered in the glowing tips of my unmarried uncles’ cigarettes. And in the red, rounded tops of lipstick tubes. It smelled, not sweet like lilies of the valley or hyacinths, but more like the insides of purple irises or, stranger, like azaleas or hawthorn blossoms—not bad, but definitely not all that good. It sounded […]

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Holidays make great flash stories

From snowy heights to palmy beaches, and the chemo chair to Santa’s lap, the holidays provide great fodder for flash story writing. You can get a lot of mileage out of the oddest family members, the best presents, the unforgettable faux pas, and the magnanimous surprises if you pay attention. Take notice of the rare […]

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The Fine Art of Piddling by Rick Bragg

If you are a piddler, or if piddling runs in your family, you’ve got to treat yourself to this story. If you don’t know what piddling is, or you have great disdain for piddling, you will still love this story.  Only Rick Bragg, and his Pulitzer prose, can bestow piddling with the reverence it deserves. […]

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Writing Wonder: Where I’m From

WHERE I’M FROM by George Ella Lyon I am from clothespins, from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride. I am from the dirt under the back porch. (Black, glistening, it tasted like beets.) I am from the forsythia bush the Dutch elm whose long-gone limbs I remember as if they were my own. I’m from fudge and eyeglasses, […]

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The Rooster by Kerry Headley

I love this funny little story by Kerry Headley.  She explains its origin: “I responded to the theme ‘Craigslist Roommate.’ Since I’ve had more than my share of not so sane housemates, it was easy for me to come up with something. In fact, it was hard to choose.” See this and more great flash stories in […]

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Crumbs by Kelli Stuckart

A night like any other. Except: crumbs on the floor. She would have been mortified. You’ll be missed, pup. My friend Kelli sent me this flash story today in memory of her sweet dog, Selva, who died yesterday. Rest in peace, Selva.

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Pink Horse by Kate Bernheimer

I got fooled by this terrific story and I bet you will too.  It’s got it all: a compelling opener that pulls you right in, atmospheric detail that makes you feel the scene, and a doozie of a surprise. You gotta read the story so we can talk about it … Pink Horse by Kate Bernheimer […]

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