Monday, 29 November 2010

"Hidden from View: The Prose Poem in English Poetry"

is a useful historical overview of the situation, written by David Caddy and up on his blog. It originally appeared in Stress Fractures: Essays on Poetry, edited by Tom Chivers and published by Penned in the Margins; see the book's page on the press website for details of further essays on contemporary poetry.

Monday, 15 November 2010

David Gaffney's The Half-Life of Songs

Salt Publishing has brought out what looks to be an interesting collection of flash fictions by David Gaffney. To read more about the book and a delightful selection from it, please see this entry at Tony Williams' blog.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Flash fiction prompts

Writers of flash fiction may like to see these ideas for stories on

Monday, 8 November 2010

"Imagined Sons 18: Greek Salad" nominated for Micro Award 2011

I'm pleased to say that The Iowa Review has decided to nominate my piece, "Imagined Sons 18: Greek Salad," for the 2011 Micro Award, for the best flash fiction under 1,000 words published in the preceding year. The results are announced February 17, 2011. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Leaf Books' Nanofiction Competition results

The winner is Claire Trévien for "My Daddy." Happily my story "Origins" was commended and so will be included in the anthology as well.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Arvon's Six-Word Story Competition

Alluding to the legacy of Hemingway's great six-worder (For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.), the Arvon Foundation is holding a competition for six-word short-short stories. Stories can be sent now (some are being posted on the website) and will be received until 1 September, at which point judge Karen McCarthy will select the winners. The prize is a splendid week on an Arvon course, so go ahead, email your six-word stories to

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Under the Radar seeks submissions for short story issue

Print journal Under the Radar is seeking short stories up to 3,000 words--but with no minimum word count--for a special short story issue; the editors specifically say flash fiction is welcome. The deadline for submissions for this issue is end August, and submissions are welcome via post or email. See the website for further details.

Friday, 2 July 2010

A short-short story application for the iPhone

More moneyed short-short story enthusiasts might be interested in an iPhone application providing 333-word flashes direct to their screens--and the opportunity to submit their own such stories. Thanks to former Sudden Prose student Simon Reynolds for the notice.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Tania Hersman's Flash Fiction on BBC Radio 4 This Week!

This week, all of the BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Reading programs - which usually feature a single short story per day - will feature Tania Hershman's flash fiction. There will be a total of 16 stories over the three days, Tuesday June 29th, Wednesday June 30th and Thursday July 1st, read by Nicola Walker ("Ruth" from Spooks) and Tom Goodman-Hill. Some of the short-short stories are from The White Road and Other Stories, but the majority are new work.

The program is broadcast live at 3:30 p.m. UK time and then will be available online for seven days afterwards, so you can listen wherever you are.

NB this is the first time there has been flash fiction in this slot!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

A review of three new prose poetry collections

See Ian Seed's new essay in Stride Magazine for a review of three new collections that suggest the range of possibilities in prose poetry: Tsvetanka Elenkova's The Seventh Gesture, Roberto Tejada's Exposition Park, and Richard Gwyn's Sad Giraffe Cafe.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

A new kind of flash fiction competition at The Guardian

Like listening in on others' conversations? There's a competition for different kinds of writing, including flash fiction up to 150 words, based on them, conducted by The Guardian.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Jennifer Moxley's The Line (Post-Apollo Press, 2007)

Jennifer Moxley's The Line is one of the best books of prose poems I've ever read. Please go to my personal blog's post to read selections and find ordering information.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Flash fiction competition at Leaf Books

Leaf Books is accepting submissions for flash fictions of 300 words or fewer for an anthology. The deadline's 30 September; go here for further details.

Monday, 26 April 2010

An interview with Brian Clements

Brian Clements, editor of Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, now appears in an online interview at The Argotist, with much to say in regard to prose poetry.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

An exploration of the nature of prose poetry

The online magazine The Offending Adam is currently exploring the nature of prose poetry. Take a look.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Holly Howitt's Dinner Time, second selection

Here's my second selection from Holly Howitt's Dinner Time. I should mention that some pieces are much darker and more surreal than the ones I've selected--the book has an impressive range, but that those pieces tend to be a little longer, and I wanted to stick with what one could see in one small laptop screen.


It's always been the same, I try to explain. Periods and spiders, they're the thoughts I'm bored of. If it's not a furry-legged tarantula, a bird-eating monster, I'm thinking of the heat that makes my insides moan, the dance of my stomach and the heaviness in my knees, then the weightlessness afterwards, like a money spider dancing over my wrists. These are the thoughts that keep me awake, I say. The ones I can't exorcise, the ones that line my dreams and scuttle through my words, wombs and black widows, webs and ballpoint-marked windows.

Is it just me, I ask. Why am I so afraid?

Because you are ridiculous, the woman says, and scurries away on eight legs. My body cramps, expectantly.

Holly Howitt
Dinner Time (Cinnamon Press, 2008)

You can buy the book here.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Holly Howitt's Dinner Time, first selection

I was introduced to Holly Howitt's work at the Academi annual literature conference, this year at Gellifawr near Pontfaen, Wales. I gave a reading on the Saturday, and on the Sunday Holly was on a panel on flash fiction. I bought her collection of microfictions, Dinner Time, and have enjoyed it--it is by turns surreal, lyrical, wry, and disturbing, in unexpected combinations. Holly has given me permission to reprint here two of her pieces, and this is the first selection.


Nick sees me before I see him. I can only now be pleased to see him, and smile, but I know that the few seconds he has on me, catching my sad face, will mean that he has won. He takes my hand, says nothing, and walks me home from the tired and dirty station where even the pigeons forget to coo.

The next morning, I ask Nick what he would do if one day, I woke up, saw him on the pillow next to mine, and asked who he was. He says he wouldn't care, but as I take his hand I can feel his palm sweating. I smile, my larynx flutters.

Later, I try to work on my novel, but I cannot write anything with him looking over my shoulder. I feel that, somehow, he'll affect my words.

I can never win for long.

Holly Howitt
Dinner Time (Cinnamon Press, 2008)

You can buy the book here.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

"Nanofiction" competition at Leaf Books

Leaf Books is defining nanofiction as stories of 100 words or fewer, and they are running a competition for such works with successful entries' publication in an anthology, as well as £150 and a copy of the anthology for the winner. You can read further details here, but do it soon--the deadline's the end of April.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Lovers of prose poetry and haibun

will want to check out the latest selection from the just-published anthology I edited, Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets, on my personal blog.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

A draft

I've been working for a while on a series of interconnected stories, tentatively titled Manslaughter; here are two new flash fictions from that series. It's set in my hometown of Normal, Illinois.

Taken down after a few days by my usual policy of only leaving new, unpublished work up for that amount of time.

Friday, 19 February 2010

"Good Dog" by Anne Carson

This eight-part prose poem in the 25 February 2010 issue of the London Review of Books is a must-read for any lover of prose poetry. It is exquisitely astonishing.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

New Flash Fiction Journal Links

See the right column for three more online journals that publish flash fiction: Elimae, Six Little Things, and Wigleaf. I'd be glad to hear your opinions of them.

Bridport Prize adds flash fiction category for 2010

The prestigious Bridport Prize has added a third category for 2010, flash fiction up to 250 words. You can find out more here.

Sunday, 7 February 2010


to former Sudden Prose student Thomas Clayton, whose flash fiction "Reeling" is in Leaf Books' new anthology, From the Left and More Micro Fiction. Buy a copy and check it out!