In the second episode of the Writer’s Digest Presents podcast, we talk about flash fiction and short stories, including interviews with Gina Barreca about flash nonfiction, Ran Walker about flash fiction (especially dribbles and drabbles), and the workshop experience at MFAs.
In the second episode of the Writer’s Digest Presents podcast, Amy, Robert, Moriah, and Michael discuss flash fiction, short stories, and the origin of the February Flash Fiction Challenge. This includes sharing their own personal favorites and how reading short fiction is different than reading a novel.
Then, Robert has a conversation about flash nonfiction with Gina Barreca, author or editor of more than 20 books, including Fast Funny Women: 75 Essays of Flash Nonfiction and They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of Humor. Quote on writing flash pieces: “You have to see it like a tiny studio apartment. … You learn how to use your real estate very carefully.”
After that, Amy speaks with Ran Walker, award-winning author of 24 books, including The Library of Afro-Curiosities: 100-Word Stories and The Strange Museum: 50-Word Stories. Quote on finding flash fiction: “When I first started writing, I started with novels, because that’s what everybody told me I should be doing. And I wrote several of them, but I just kept feeling like I was saying a lot more than I really wanted to say. So I started shrinking, and I went from novels to novellas, wrote a couple of those and felt I was still being a little bit too verbose with what I was trying to express, and then I went to short stories and felt the same and eventually got to flash fiction. But I didn’t really find my sweet spot until I hit the 50- to 100-word area.”
Finally, Michael and Moriah pick up their conversation on MFAs from episode 1. This includes a deep discussion of traditional workshop structures and newer methods. Quote on the workshop experience: “It is very difficult for a lot of people, myself included, to sit there and feel like everyone is tearing you apart. It’s almost like people are talking about you in another room, and they don’t realize that you’re hearing them.”