I received an additional two rejections, but also the acceptance. The flash essay “Hong Kong, My Twenties” will run in the next issue of Under the Gum Tree.

ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Contest 2019


Proud to announce that for the second year running, a short piece has made it to the quarter-finals of the ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Contest. The piece I submitted this year, The Brass Ring, is in fact an essay; but I asked prior to submitting.

No news as to when the semi-finalists will be announced. Last year, my short story, I Wanted Ten, made the semi-finals. Hope to do better this year.

Still in Asia, by the way. Thailand. Studying Chi Gong at the Nam Yang Kung Fu School in Northern Thailand, out side the little bitty, hippie town of Pai.

My body is sore and my heart misses my family so much. Other than that, things are going very well. We’ll chat soon.

Rounding Down “Round Down”

jmwwI began “Round Down” at least a hundred years ago – okay, probably fifteen years ago – in a Hugo House class taught by Brangien Davis on writing humor. I hoped it would be a funny little piece about cheating in eighth grade. I titled it “The Rhenquist ‘B’ Incident.”

No one wanted it. No one gave me any feed back. It was “Dear Writer: NO” the whole way. I found the first traction with it when I began to go deeper, when I found the bravery to explore the weight that a family legacy of cheating had on me.

“Round Down” as it stands now visited the submission boxes of 24 magazine since I began tracking submission and rejections, three years ago. I have no idea how many rejections it faced when the sad sucker was in the form of “The Rhenquist ‘B’ Incident.”

Thanks so much to Jen at jmww for recognizing my brilliance.



A Second New Publication! “Girl Feelings” on Eunoia Review

Girl Feelings is the sequel to The Brass Ring.**

I thought she was a girl. Clear girl feelings. I didn’t tell Cliff because Cliff didn’t even want to let many friends know we were “trying.” I had begrudgingly accommodated his caution, telling only my closest friends. Then, when it was the last thing I wanted to discuss, I had had to tell them the baby died.

I am having boy feelings.

**If you did not yet read The Brass Ring, it is the post previous to Girl Feelings on Eunoia Review.

Stringing for “Brevity”: the Second of Three.

Continuing to tell the world about covering AWP panels for my bucket-list mag, Brevity:

When they talk about “distinguished panelists,” they are not kidding. One of my favorite writers, Mimi Schwartz (Thoughts from a Queen-Sized Bed), the editor of one of my favorite magazines, Joe Mackall (River Teeth Journal); and Philip Lopate (Philip Lopate).

“Speaking after Phillip Lopate must be like what Danny DeVito feels, at a bar with Brad Pitt. They’re not there for you but there is decent overflow.”

Joe Mackall

Read the full pieceComedy is Tragedy Plus Time



Stringing for “Brevity”: The First of Three.

A dream-come-true gig as a result of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference: I covered three panels for one of my bucket list literary magazines.


Out of the Classroom: Possible Adventures in Creative Writing

Panelists: Philip Graham, Dinty W. Moore, Harmony Neal, and Dana Sokolowski.

You want them to write outside their comfort zone.

Or outside themselves.

Or just outside.

Philip Graham said, “I could barely get under-graduates to cross the street”—let alone be so adventurous as to reach into a cow’s stomach. Which ended up happening, after a great deal of effort toward adventure-taking. The CNF movement calls it Immersion.

Read more here …


How I Got That “Mahatma”: Dinty W. Moore discusses short nonfiction with NOT ME.

Dinty Moore: some call him Mahatma.

River Teeth Journal just posted an interview with Dinty Moore. In founding and editing Brevity: A Journal of Concise Nonfiction, Moore has played a large part in defining what we think of as short (or flash) nonfiction.

I interviewed Moore circa. 2006, during his tour to promote The Accidental Buddhist. This is not that interview.

I wish I had been blogging in 2006. About Childhood has a running feature called How I Got That Story, where I interview authors about the path to their first book. (Search on How I Got That Story.) Had I been blogging in 2006: a) I’d probably have a book out by now; and b) I would post that interview.

Since I wasn’t, why … Ladies and gentleman, I introduce to you … someone else’s conversation with Dinty Moore!

Why did you choose 750 words as the maximum for Brevity submissions?

I felt a 500-word maximum was too short and 2,000 words too long.

The adage “show don’t tell” is something many readers expect from memoir, yet in more than a few Brevity essays – such as “Sam at the Gun Show” by Greg Bottoms – telling is prominent.

The writer who is sensitive to word choice and rhythm and the power of the intimate detail can do a lot of telling. There’s a difference, too, between telling and explaining. I advise my students to show the most, tell a little bit, and never explain.

What’s imperative for a short piece that’s different in a longer piece?

Everything is dialed up in a shorter piece. The first paragraph of a brief essay has to do what the first chapter of a memoir does.

What assumptions do others seem to have about flash nonfiction?

Many assume a flash piece is an excerpt from a longer work. Sometimes a significant moment out of a chapter or a long essay can stand alone, but we’re getting more and more pieces that clearly could never work in the longer form because the energy of the piece hinges on the rapid fire sharing of information, and the urgency of having to fit it into a {750 word.–Ed.} frame is what makes it powerful.

What are some other journals you recommend for short nonfiction?

Sweet, Blip, Alimentum, Fringe Magazine, Defunct, South Loop Review, Flashquake, 400 Words, Underwired Magazine, 751 Magazine, Diagram, and The Sun’s “Readers Write” section.

The above is a highly edited version of the original article.

Winner: Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize

Dinty W. Moore, is author of Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction, as well as the memoir Between Panic & Desire, winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2009. Moore has published essays and stories in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Utne Reader, and Crazyhorse, among numerous other venues.