Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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Howdy Folks!

Good to meet you! I’m Charli Mills. From riding horses to writing stories, I’m a born buckaroo wrangling words. I once won a trophy for goat-tying and later, one for story-telling.

With over two decades in freelancing, publications, sales, marketing, editing, and speaking, my writing is published in magazines, anthologies, and online. I use my worldly experience to consult with organizations, schools, entrepreneurs, writers, and independent authors in the art and business of story-telling.

My byline has appeared in Montana Outdoors, Colours Literary Magazine, Edible Twin Cities, and online at USA Today. I used to write wellness columns, and foodie features about turmeric and cheese-makers. I published over 200 print articles and managed the award-winning Living Naturally for 16 years.

For a comprehensive list of my writing, achievements, and presentations, see my Curricula Vitae. Yep, a buckaroo with a CV!

Nowadays, I make up stories. My literary art includes historical fiction and sensory-rich nature essays. I write about rocks, furry and feathered critters, the west, copper miners, and women on frontiers. I research buried history, write character-driven novels, and embrace the 99-word flash fiction form as scientifically-based magic.

Charli Mills 2017 (2) WEB

As lead buckaroo of this outfit, I build literary community through weekly flash fiction challenges. I host the Congress of Rough Writers and curate their creative writing into shareable formats (online compilations, Patreon podcasts, local literary events, and published anthologies).

Our literary community’s debut is The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology, Vol. 1.

Thirty writers began with 99 words and forged literary feats. Vol. 1 explores the literary art of flash fiction through the earliest compilations at Carrot Ranch and a new flash fiction prompt. Some writers extended original 99-word stories into longer ones and the group’s memoirists reflected on how their practice of flash fiction impacted their nonfiction writing. Based on the experiences at Carrot Ranch, Vol. 1 offers tips to other groups interested in using flash fiction to build a literary community.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community will begin working toward funding its next anthology, Vol. 2, in January of 2021.  Miracle of Ducks, my novel in progress, has been accepted as my thesis while I pursue an MFA  in Creative Writing 2019-2021. Simultaneously, I’m earning a degree in Teaching Creative Writing Online. That sets the expectations high for 2021. Many of my workshops and retreats will move online, and I hope to resume Vermont Writing Retreats after COVID travel restrictions.

You can follow my flash fiction prompts, compilations, and event announcements at the Carrot Ranch Facebook Page or on Twitter: @Charli_Mills. #ILOVECARROTRANCH and hope you do, too!

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  1. […] Charli Mills has this thing she calls the ultimate flash fiction challenge, or Tuff. This isn’t it. But that’s because I didn’t check, and my final piece here is 495 words, not the recommended 599. And now I don’t feel like fiddling anymore, so 495 it is. Actually there’s a longer piece over 850 words that did get improved upon from this exercise and that’s the point.  […]

    Liked by 2 people

  2. […] Image credit: Charli Mills […]


  3. nightlake says:

    Hi Charli, Thank you so much for visiting my posts and the encouraging words.


  4. […] the last couple days in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan with my good friend and former colleague Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch Literary Community. We have one of those friendships that simply picks up where it […]


  5. […] me here. A few of the interviews have included bloggers Sylvia, Irene Waters, Colleen Chesebro, Charli Mills, Cee Neuner, Terri Webster Schrandt, Susan Gutterman, Yvette Prior, Susie Burke, Lens-Artists […]


  6. […] all came about because a close friend listened to my ideas. Charli Mills, lead buckaroo at Carrot, has been my mentor for a few years now. We’re both former […]


  7. […] all came about because a close friend listened to my ideas. Charli Mills, lead buckaroo at Carrot, has been my mentor for a few years now. We’re both former […]


  8. […] all came about because a close friend listened to my ideas. Charli Mills, lead buckaroo at Carrot, has been my mentor for a few years now. We’re both former […]


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