Flash Recommendation: The Best Small Fictions 2015
The Best Small Fictions 2015 was guest edited by Robert Olen Butler and the series editor was Tara L. Masih. 2015 marked to beginning of this series featuring the year’s best flash, micro fiction, prose poetry, and haibun stories. I was first introduced to Tara’s keen eye for flash and her expertise in the genre when I read The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, which includes her ASTOUNDING and comprehensive introduction detailing the history of the genre.
Gearing up to teach my April online course, Into the Flash (now enrolling at early bird prices!), I reached out to Tara about her thoughts on the power of flash form:
“I’ve always found it difficult to make the minutiae of everyday life and ordinary movement interesting not just to the reader, but to myself as the writer. Flash allows me to skip stones over water, just touching lightly on the surface those moments that make the heart flutter and the mind light up. It’s like doing a complex dance, trying not to fall but also to perform something poetic. I absolutely love the challenge.”
Guest editor for the 2015 version, Robert Olen Butler, had this to say about flash:
“The art form of the small fiction speaks strongly to the zeitgeist of the 21st century and this sort of focused recognition is long overdue.”
If you’re like me, one of your greatest teachers is a good book. This series is a solid place to start, and making sure you “read like a writer” and applying that learning to your works of flash fiction and flash nonfiction will take things a step further. Email me if you have questions about how reading helps writing, or how you might benefit from a community of writers working with precision, metaphor, and the imagination. I’d love to work with you!