November 5, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about lost time. You can write a realistic scenario or something speculative. How does lost time impact the character of your story? Bonus points if you include a 1982 brown rubber watch Go where the prompt leads!
Stan picked up an imaginary sand timer, turned it over and watched as the grains of sand ran. He didn’t say a word. His grandchildren were playing on the beach building sandcastles, oblivious to his moment of sadness. On his wrist, he wore a 1982 brown rubber watch. It was now 2020. The watch had long since given up ticking, but he’d never throw it out. It would be terrible to do so. The watch belonged to his beautiful wife and brought back happy memories.
June died in 1983, was never fancy but always special.
Witness great feats of literary art from daring writers around the world: stories crafted in 99 words.
Flash fiction is a literary prompt, form, and tool that unites writers in word play. This creative craft hones a writer’s skills to write tight stories and explore longer works. It’s literary art in thoughtful bites, and the collective stories in this anthology provide an entertaining read for busy modern readers.
Writers approach the prompts for their 99-word flash with creative diversity. Each of the twelve chapters in Part One features quick, thought-provoking flash fiction. Later sections include responses to a new flash fiction prompt, extended stories from the original 99-word format, and essays from memoir writers working in flash fiction. A final section includes tips on how to use flash fiction in classrooms, book clubs, and writers groups.
CarrotRanch.com is an online literary community where writers can practice craft the way musicians jam. Vol. 1 includes the earliest writings by these global literary artists at Carrot Ranch. Just as Buffalo Bill Cody once showcased the world’s most daring riding, this anthology highlights the best literary feats from The Congress of Rough Writers.
Thank you to Charli Mills for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
A thoroughly enjoyable read and very well structured. It delivers a wide range of flash fiction and so much more. The anthology succeeds in celebrating the wonderful sense of community that is Carrot Ranch and the benefits of participating, therein. Charli Mills has created a welcoming, nurturing community of ‘Rough Writers,’ who develop through practice – the necessary skills to polish their flash fiction writing, overcoming the challenging constraint of 99 words.
I’d highly recommend this anthology to EVERYONE, but particularly to writers and aspiring authors. But, don’t let that discourage the general public as they will most definitely enjoy reading this compilation too.
Being a part of Carrot Ranch Community is indeed a fantastic thing to do for experienced writers and wannabe writers too. I just wish I had more time to join in Carrot Ranch more regularly. But the community allows for writers to come and go as they wish, which is a positive aspect of Carrot Ranch. No one feels pressurised to write flash, it is a very free and giving group.
My rating: 4.5 stars.
A very engaging Foreword from Charli Mills.
Part 1 : Best of Show
Part 2 : A New Flash Fiction challenge
Part 3: Expanded Flash. This interested me as I recently attempted this and struggled to take a story from 99 words and expand it to 1,000. It isn’t easy!
Part 4: Essays From Memoirists: An unexpected section entitled Essays From Memoirists which I found fascinating. Particularly as I am currently penning a 3000 piece memoir about my dad’s early years, national service, and first taste of exotic travel for a competition!
In this section individual writers penned their thoughts and feelings about writing memoirs:
Sherri Matthews: From Memoir to Flash Fiction And Back Again. How writing flash, ‘energised,’ and enabled her ‘to soar,’ ‘and write fearlessly.’
Paula Moyer. In Praise of Nine Year Olds with Vision. Flash allowed for a ‘Parallel universe’ where the writer could ‘feel free’ ‘I am called to write.’
Lisa Reiter – How Flash Fiction Helps My Perfectionism by letting go and putting words on paper. Allowed her to realise that ‘The words are good enough’ ‘To Let it go,’ ‘the discipline of a little flash fiction is a good way to practice that.’
Jeanne Belisle Lombardo – How The practice of Flash Fiction Hones the Craft of the Memoirist – ‘focus on the moment’ and on ‘honesty in one’s work,’ which is what readers are looking for in memoirs.
Irene Waters – Defining Differences between Memoir and Fiction – ‘Writing fiction gave me a freedom I had not experienced before.’ ‘no room for unnecessary words.’ ‘major benefits’ – ‘freedom of expression’ – ‘honed technical skills.’
Let me know if you’d read the anthology I’d love to hear your thoughts…
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