Carrot Ranch Literary Community

The Ranch


A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the first annual Flash Fiction Rodeo! We welcome your feedback at:

Carrot Ranch is a dynamic online literary community for those practicing craft, reading stories and discussing process. Charli Mills is the lead buckaroo who hosts a weekly flash fiction challenge, a jam session for writers.

You might think of the Ranch as a writer’s getaway: read, write, repeat.

The core of this literary community is the Congress of Rough Writers, who challenge themselves to explore creativity, craft and voice. Equally important are the Friends who read, comment and offer encouragement.

Flash fiction becomes the common ground for a diverse group of writers who include different genres, background, goals and countries of origin. Carrot Ranch makes literary art accessible to writers and readers.

Take a look around. This website is full of resources and inspiration. You can:

  • learn about flash fiction and why we embrace the form;
  • take the weekly challenge;
  • discover advanced flash fiction challenges;
  • see what’s coming up or sponsored by the Ranch;
  • find new and interesting books to read;
  • support literary art;
  • subscribe to The Roundup, a monthly literary newsletter for readers and writers;
  • and learn more about the Rough Writers from around the world.

The Ranch schedule includes:

  • Mondays: Admin day with #MondayBlogs participation on Twitter
  • Tuesdays: Ranch Business/Guest Authors (essay and advanced flash fiction topics follow for 2018)
  • Wednesdays: Weekly Challenge Compilation posts
  • Thursdays: New Flash Fiction Challenge posts

Feel free to join us! Pour a cup of cowboy-coffee and wander about the Ranch.

« ♦ »


A buckaroo called Charli once decided between saddle and pen. She chased an ink trail across the Rockies to the city-slicker lights of Minneapolis. She signed on to an outfit writing roughshod over marketing communications, wielding their brand.

That’s where she discovered carrots — the food movement that believes in accessibility for people. Food for people matters. The kind of horse a buckaroo rides matters. And words matter, too.

“With lots of junk food on the market, people deserve access to fresh carrots and words.” ~just a thought from a buckaroo

One day, the ink trail turned west, toward stories and sunsets. Charli found a place to settle her pen and she called it Carrot Ranch. Other word wranglers joined the show. That’s the legend, and Charli is sticking to it. Rumors that Charli Mills is a country-western singer can easily be dispelled — just ask her to sing.

Carrot Ranch provides words for people: stories to read, encouragement to practice craft and a commitment to creating community through literary art. That’s something we can all raise a carrot to.

« ♦ »

Introducing the Kid, keeper of Ranch Yarns. Author, D. Avery, begins the serial:


The sky, sun-blistered blue, was punctuated by patient buzzards. Heat soaked, every rock and bit of sage shimmered, illusory to their uncertain eyes. So when they spotted it they stared, blinking and unsteady, wondering if it were real. They stumbled on.

Sounds of laughter and conversation drew them on. Finally they reeled through the gates. “Please”, they croaked. “We’re parched. Please, give us some words.”

In a flash the ranch hands refreshed them with words, cool and crisp. They gulped thirstily.

“Whoa, now. There’s plenty. Just take 99 at a time.”

“Wha- ?”

“I’m Shorty. Welcome to Carrot Ranch.”


For more Ranch Yarns visit ShiftnShake.






Support Carrot Ranch Literary Community.

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Contest