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When I was younger, I feared I’d run out of ideas to write. Now that I’m older, I know I’ll run out of days before the well of story ideas runs dry. Each week, I continue to marvel at the creative responses to a single prompt framed within 99 words, no more, no less. And each of those stories become beginnings.
Imagine taking all that creativity and harnessing it to one wagon. Now that’s a trail drive, and that’s the power of The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1. Thirty-three writers banded together and created a compelling work of literary art.
The anthology extends far beyond that of a collection. It’s several side-shows and behind the scenes action. It’s not homogenized, but rather a mixture of different perspectives, experiences, and imagination. It’s the creation of a community.
Every writer contributes to the whole. It’s like a meadow full of wildflowers. It’s not one flower that creates the stunning visage — it’s the combination of all parts. To work with the creative expressions of thirty-three writers has been a thrilling experience.
The Rough Writer Tour Around the World has offered a glimpse at how far ranging the literary trail at Carrot Ranch has become. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to meet different Rough Writers on their own turf. Here’s a recap in case you’ve missed any trail stops:
Geoff Le Pard (UK) Anne Goodwin (UK) Ann Edall-Robson (CA) Sacha Black (UK) Luccia Gray (SP) Sherri Matthews (UK) Norah Colvin (AU) Irene Waters (AU) Susan Zutautas (CA) JulesPaige (US) Lisa Reiter (UK) Urszula Humienik (PO) Ruchira Khanna (US)
I’d like to thank all the writers of Vol. 1 for contributing to a community effort that provides a platform and growth opportunity for all involved. As a first work, several professional book reviewers have given the book high praise. It’s earned a 5-star review from Readers’ Favorite and a silver award for Literary Titans.
Vol. 2 follows and is currently in the works. It’s going to blast a new trail, going beyond where Vol. 1 left off and includes more writers. And readers can expect more unicorns. I got to speak about both Vol. 1 and 2 in a recent interview with Literary Titans which you can catch here.
Never doubt that literary art matters.
American author, Susan Vreeland wrote,
“Where there is no human connection, there is no compassion. Without compassion, then community, commitment, loving-kindness, human understanding, and peace all shrivel. Individuals become isolated, the isolated turn cruel, and the tragic hovers in the forms of domestic and civil violence. Art and literature are antidotes to that.”
Through writing together on projects of creative expression, we are on the trail to happiness. We ride the trail of peace.
Happy Trails, Writers!
Ruchira Khanna’s writing bridges two worlds (India and America) just as her latest book tackles what the immigrant experience is like, coming to the US for school, jobs, new friends and love interests, but yearning for parents and home-connections, as well. Her book, Breathing Two Worlds portrays the experience through language and story-telling.
Voyagers into the Unknown, Ruchira’s earlier fiction novel released January 2016 hit # 1 as Hot New Release in Amazon India and #8 as a Best Seller. Again, she melds a multitude of cultural experiences into an enjoyable, world-perspective read.
It’s been a joy to watch her author career unfold. Today, Ruchira hosts at her blog Abracabadra, sharing the anthology she contributes to as a Rough Writer.
Next week, our tour wraps up at the Ranch.
Lisa Reiter is one of the Rough Writers whose calling is not fiction. She writes about her experience writing flash fiction as a memorist. More than that, she explores the topic of perfectionism, giving sage advice to all writers who might struggle with perfecting drafts. She frames her story with a memory of worming cats. For a few laughs and a delightful and informative read, visit Lisa at her blog as we return to England on our Rough Writer Tour Around the World.
Join us next week as we go to Poland to visit Urszula Humienik.
Rough Writer and memoirist, Irene Waters, flashes Noosa skies and fiction based on trure stories. Learn how a memoirist came to write fiction of many genres. Irene supports Carrot Ranch in many ways, extending the community’s outreach to make literary art more accessible. In the beginning, she was part of building that community.
Norah Colvin wandered onto a Ranch four years ago and discovered the joys of flash fiction. She brought with her a unique perspective, writing flash fiction with children in mind. Although some of her stories express the carefree spirit of children, often she tackles heavy issues, including bullying. With years of education knowledge and classroom experiene, Norah has become the Teacher at Carrot Ranch — a Rough Writer who remains curious to look up the meanings behind prompts and to share thought-provoking posts on topics that demonstrate what it is to cultivate a growth mindset.
We join Norah this week in Australia, and her fellow Aussie, Irene Waters next week on the Rough Writers Tour Around the World.
One virtual literary space is neighborly with another: from the wild west of Carrot Ranch to the lush pastorial countryside of England, the Summerhouse is the latest stop on the Rough Writer Tour Around the World. Sherri Matthews is more than a literary friend and original Rough Writer — she’s also my trusted writing partner and one of the advisors to Carrot Ranch Literary Community.
Sherri and I share much in common in our approaches to writing craft and processes, and yet we both take one different genres. We’ve learned much from each other by sharing our processses. I’m delighted to share the Summerhouse stop with all of you. Continue over to Sherri’s virtual and eternal summer place: Real Memoir, Imaginary Flash Fiction and Not Your Typical Anthology.
Join us as we continue the tour:
Get ready for a treat — today’s tour is going to take you to Spain where Rough Writer and Victorian historian, Luccia Gray lives, teaches and writes. She has some terrific tips for writing flash fiction.
Lucy is the author of the rich Eyre Hall Trilogy that picks up Jane Eyre’s story. She has a broad grasp of the characters and the era. In her essay, All About Jane Eyre, Lucy connects the past to the present. This represents the depth of knowledge and passion she has for a beloved Victorian character that has become hers, too.
In The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1, Lucy joins as a new writer under a section editor Sarah Brentyn created. Thirty writers took to flash and produced a unique anthology. Readers’ Favorite gave it a 5-star review, and the reviewer even wrote his own 99-word contribution to describe Vol. 1:
“A fascinating book packed with bright ideas and worthwhile material. I was greatly entertained by the stories and essays and so taken with the idea that I thought I would give it a go with a 99-word review.
Stories of ninety-nine words, no more, no less, little gems from the Rough Writers of the Carrot Ranch. Like wild flowers in an early morning meadow glistening with dew and I, a butterfly or bee, flitting from bloom to bloom, immersing myself in a kaleidoscope of experiences which pass through my mind like an ever-changing dreamscape. Stories of love and loss, victory and defeat, struggle and gain from the pens of talented authors with backgrounds as diverse as their stories. A brilliant idea that has created an astounding anthology, one that you will return to time and again.”
~ Charles Remington for Readers’ Favorite
The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1 is available through distribution in 17 countries worldwide. Buy direct from our Print on Demand distributor at Book Baby.
Join us next week as we return to England:
Bold, driven and fabulous, Sacha Black is the energy and inspiration behind the Bloggers Bash event, its awards, and competition. As an author of a YA sci-fi series, she’s learned much about weird scientific phenomenon and villains. Sacha created a workshop series in book and text about how to create one of a book’s most crucial character — not the hero, the villain. She’s also a Rough Writer.
This week’s Rough Writer Tour Around the world is back at Sacha’s pad in England. She has an excellent lesson in flash fiction prepared for you so hop on over there!
Five Reasons Why Flash Fiction Makes You a Better Writer by Sacha Black
There’s nothing I like more than getting to the point. That’s what flash fiction does, and it’s also how I started writing. For the longest time, I wrote fractured pieces, snippets of stories that weren’t destined for me to finish. Characters came and went, challenges were entered, and pieces of stories lay frayed at the edges and abandoned to dusty corners. (Continue…)
For a complete schedule of past and future tour destinations, see our Events page.
On Family Day in Canada, Rough Writer, author, photographer and Lover of Life, Ann Edall-Robson welcomes us to her place in Alberta. She writes books and blog posts, flash fictions and novels, “Capturing moments others may never get to experience.” Learn how Ann first came to Carrot Ranch and adopted flash fiction into her writing process.
Previous stops on the tour:
Anne Goodwin, Rough Writer & Author, joins the Rough Writer Around the World Tour from the UK. She has practiced the craft of flash fiction at Carrot Ranch for four years now and is the author of two novels (Sugar and Snails, Underneath) published by Inspired Quill
By Anne Goodwin
A couple of months ago I was privileged to attend a meeting of a local writing group in their “invited author” slot. As well as speaking about my own writing and journey to publication, I was asked to set a writing exercise. Given that I’d inadvertently begun both my published novels with a character descending a staircase, it wasn’t difficult to find my prompt, to which the writers responded admirably. But, as a practitioner of the 99-word story, I thought I could give them a little more by modelling writing less.
Join Carrot Ranch every Monday to explore the writing and blogs of Rough Writers from a different country. Next week we head to Canada!