Hello, flash fiction by Kathy Fish


A second flash in this week’s issue of Revolution John. Thanks again to fabulous editor, Shel Compton:

Originally posted on Revolution John:

The porcelain doll, his older sister’s, sits on the windowsill wearing a sailor dress and a goading expression. The doll has human-hair pigtails tied in pink bows plugged into its cranium. Peach-colored skin. The cat named Salsa suns itself next to her. The boy holds a ball peen hammer over the doll’s head. The cat jumps to the floor and curls up in a bean bag chair.

The boy growls at the doll. “You’re ugly and you’re nothing and you’re held together with glue.” The doll stares. The boy lays down his hammer and gnaws on his thumbnail.

His sister’s nightgown lay sprawled across her bed. It’s white and silky, with sleeves frilled at the wrists. He loves how the hem brushes the floor when his sister wears it. How tiny her feet look underneath it. He touches it. The house hums.

He slips it on over his overalls and…

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A Proper Party, fiction by Kathy Fish


My new story, “A Proper Party,” up today in the fabulous Revolution John. Many thanks to editor, Shel Compton!

Originally posted on Revolution John:

The mother stands at the kitchen counter assembling hors d’oeuvres for her daughter’s graduation party. She slathers peanut butter into the canals of the celery sticks, positions raisins on top. She makes maybe forty-five of these until it occurs to her that she may have enough. She watches the little tv and tries to think of what other foods her daughter liked. The county is under a tornado watch until 6:00 p.m.

Her brother and his husband walk in, holding bunches of balloons. The balloons are black with CONGRATS GRAD on them in gold.

“What a great idea,” the mother says, as they release the balloons and allow them to roam free. “I’m making food.”

Her brother says, “I could use a drink.” So the mother pours her brother and his husband good, strong gin and tonics.

Her brother’s husband opens the sliding door and steps out onto the deck…

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First Official Fast Flash© Workshop Coming Soon! Watch this space….

vintage-typewriterI’m very excited. The beta test of my Fast Flash© Workshop was a success! And I’m getting ready to officially launch this two-week intensive, generative workshop. Thanks so much to my beta group, who were amazing! I’ve got a list of writers who’ve already expressed interest. Watch this space for the upcoming (official) announcement. In the meantime, here are some very kind testimonials:

“I feel fortunate that I was allowed to take part in Kathy’s beta workshop in Flash Fiction along with the talented writers who participated. She is as imaginative and energetic a teacher as she is a creator of the form. I had no idea going in that she would find this hairline crack inside of me, help me break through it, and tap into surprising, generative creativity and control. In two weeks she provided enduring lessons on craft, structure, revision, publication, and collaborative opportunities in flash. It was a wild ride and I’d do it again. I can’t recommend Kathy Fish’s workshop experience highly enough. She brings craft together with artistry. If you have an opportunity to work with Kathy, grab it with both hands and hold on tight.” —April Bradley


“I recently took a two-week intensive class with Kathy Fish on flash fiction and I found it to be one of the most useful writing classes I’ve had.

Each day, Kathy focused on a topic—characters, imagery, titles, opening sentences, etc. She offered short examples to illustrate how other writers had explored this topic, and then she designed a writing prompt around the topic to help us write our own flash fiction story.

Kathy’s writing prompts were close to perfect: specific enough that they were easy to access, and general enough that we were each able to respond with our own unique voice and artistry. The workshop was relentless: there was never time to doubt or second guess—and as a result, by the end of the workshop, I had eight new short stories.

Her feedback was always supportive and encouraging.

I know already this workshop will have a lasting impact on my writing technique, because it offered me a new set of useful, usable tools I can use to create new work.

If you want to to generate new material quickly—material that will come out of you with surprising ease and clarity—take a workshop with Kathy Fish.” Christopher DeWan


“Don’t let the length fool you. The art of writing flash is particular and requires far more than simply condensing longer pieces or expanding shorter ones. In Kathy Fish’s Flash Fiction workshop, you’ll learn all the tricks of the trade. Not only is Kathy one of the best writers of flash I’ve ever read, she is also one of the finest teachers I’ve ever worked with. She is generous, encouraging and inspiring. In this workshop you will generate new material, refine existing work, and maybe once and for all, learn how to create a damn good title! Whether this is your first time experimenting with the flash form or you have been writing for some time, I highly recommend this workshop.” Lisa Mecham


“Studying flash fiction with Kathy Fish is like taking a ballet class from Baryshnikov.” Jayne Martin


“…the two weeks really sparked my brain. I felt more productive during our time than I had in the previous five or six months, and now I have a bunch of little drafts to spend the rest of the summer polishing.” Benjamin Woodard

If you’re interested, please let me know in the comments below! I look forward to working with you!

New work in Change Seven Magazine & The Vignette Review and other news…

Happy first day of summer! I’ve just completed the first week of the two-week flash fiction workshop and am enjoying the experience immensely! The writers who are helping me beta test it are excellent. They’re posting such inspiring work and are giving each other really insightful feedback. I am thinking of running the first “official” workshop in August, so stay tuned! I’m keeping a list of those who have expressed interest, so let me know if I should add your name.

Some new stories have been published recently in great, new zines, so I’m very excited about that.

The debut issue of The Vignette Review landed today, edited by Abigail Sheaffer, and it’s gorgeous. My piece, “River,” may be read HERE. The issue is bursting with beautiful summer themed vignettes, such as “Salt” by Camille Griep, “Time to Run” by Robert James Russell, and “Ladders Like Silk Stockings” by James Claffey, among others.

Also, I wrote a flash length creative nonfiction piece about my 5th grade music teacher for the 2nd issue of Change Seven Magazine, founded and edited by the great Sheryl Monks.

The piece is called “We Learned to Pronounce Prokofiev” and you can read it HERE. The issue also includes work by: Donna Vitucci, Susan Tepper, Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz, Frank Morelli, Jan Parker, Val Nieman, Eric Rampson, Laurel Dowswell, Patty Somlo, Peter Haynes, Ron Hayes, Rosalyn Marhatta, Allison Grayhurst, Shuly Cawood, Howie Good, Spencer K. M. Brown, Terri Brown-Davidson, Justin Hamm, Dean Pasch, and Corey Noll.

I was thrilled to see this story reviewed at fictionfeed.net. And you may read that review here: “Education, Musical and Otherwise”.

Nancy Stohlman, who hosts Denver’s long-running F-Bomb Reading Series, is launching the first annual National Flash Fiction Festival, July 21st at the Mercury Cafe and it’s going to be HUGE! I will be reading along with the brilliant flash fiction writers, Paul Beckman, Robert Vaughan, Karen Stefano, along with all of the F-Bomb Series All-Stars. I’ll say more about this great event as it gets closer to July 21st but here is the announcement: F-Bomb National Flash Fiction Festival!

Whew! That’s all for now. Hope your summer is off to a great start!

Fast, Fun, and Free: Help me Beta test a two-week generative flash fiction workshop…

vintage-typewriter[HA, OKAY, THAT FILLED IN LIKE FIVE MINUTES…THINK I’LL CAP IT AT THE EIGHT PARTICIPANTS I HAVE NOW, BUT STAY TUNED FOR FUTURE WORKSHOPS! THANKS!] Who’s game? I’m going to run a two-week generative flash fiction workshop right here on my blog beginning Monday, June 15th. I need fellow flash writers (or aspiring flash writers) to help me Beta test this for possible future workshops.

So! The two-week free workshop will include:

* Daily prompts

* Reading suggestions

* Comments & Feedback on your work

* Opportunities to give feedback on each other’s work

* Suggestions on places to submit

The idea is to get lots of new writing done and to make it fun for all of us! I would like to limit the workshop to 5 participants. Respond here if you’re interested!

Some new stories…

Busy week ahead as my youngest daughter graduates from high school (*sniff) and off to a wedding over the holiday weekend. I’ve got some new work recently published in two great places:

Three flashes in the Spring issue of the always beautiful FRiGG:

“The Children Called Him Yuck-Yuck”

“There’s No Time for Prairie Dog Town”



As always, I love the artwork throughout the journal and especially the art accompanying my stories. There is fantastic work you won’t want to miss in this issue, including work by Daphne Buter, Paula Bomer, Patricia Parkinson, and Bill Yarrow. I was especially blown away by Gail Siegel’s beautiful story “Commuting”.

Also, I have two new microfictions in Gone Lawn 17. I love this zine. It is described as “a webjournal of artistic and progressive literature” and they publish the coolest stuff. My pieces are:

“Vocabulary” and “Bear”

I’m happy to have received in the mail Blake Kimsey’s winning chapbook of the Black River Chapbook Competition through Black Lawrence Press, Families Among Us and Karen Stefano’s collection from 1Glimpse Press, The Secret Games of Words. So eager to read both of these amazing writers!

Later this week I’ll post a new flash fiction exercise, so stay tuned. Enjoy your long holiday weekend, all!

Fifty Random Sentences or How to Face the Blank Page…an exercise for when you’re stuck


I’ve sorely neglected the writing tips/exercises aspect of this blog because I’ve been writing so much lately! I promise to get back to it, but in the meantime here’s a reblog of my 50 random sentences exercise…I don’t know why but you have to click on “view original” and get to the link that way, sorry!

Originally posted on Kathy Fish:

vintage-typewriterRecently writer/editor Wendy Russ asked me if I would again contribute a small piece of writing advice for Lascaux Review. (Here is my previous article: Read). I decided to share with their readers an exercise I’d devised and that always seems to work for me, no matter how stuck I am. Some people have already written to me to tell me they tried it and now they have some great first drafts!

Soooo, if you’re stuck right now (and I am, frequently), go and have a look:

Fifty Random Sentences or How to Face the Blank Page.

I’d love to hear back from you if you had success with this exercise!

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