Flash Fiction Class—Keep It Brief Starts Soon!

I only teach this class ONCE a year, and it starts on Monday. Stuck at home? Bored? Scared to go outside? Want to work on your craft? This is the class for you. Flash fiction is like in cooking when you reduce a sauce—all of the flavor, none of the waste. Sign up now!

TESTIMONIALS

“My experience in Richard’s week/long workshop was one hundred percent worth it. Before taking this class, I felt ill-equipped to write those sweet 1,500-5,000 word stories, but that has all changed. Richard teaches a concise method for crafting and developing stories in this word range, and his insight is well worth the tuition price.” —Chris S.

“This class was a week-long shotgun blast to the face of ultimate fiction crafting. He walks you through a story idea, from a bare-bones concept to polished, submittable story. His attention to the discussion boards and our own invidual needs was top notch. This class elevated my chops to a new level. You can’t beat this combination of low-cost and superior instruction.” —Doug B.

“Richard is a tireless and dedicated teacher. Regardless of class size, every lesson feels like a one-on-one meeting with an expert on craft. Every time I’ve worked with him, I’ve moved my writing up a level.” —Sarah R.

“Richard has a keen eye for the little details that make a story work as well as for the bigger picture that brings together the plot. His professional demeanor and kind manner make working with him a real pleasure. He catches the things that most writers miss, and that’s a real gift.” —Bryan H.

“I have contracted Richard to edit several short stories, and have found that his ability as an editor is a direct reflection of his resume as a writer—impressive to say the very least. I have found his editing to be of tremendous value, and would recommend his services to any emerging writer.” —Nicholas M.

“Go ahead and write the best damn story you can. Edit tirelessly for weeks on end. Have your writer friends critique it and their writer friends, too. Then go back and write that perfect final draft. But I bet that even after all that, give it to Richard Thomas and he’ll still find redundancies, misplaced modifiers, dangling participles, plot holes—you name it. What I’m saying is if you want to sharpen that latest draft, Richard is your man.” —Ryan S.

Punchnel’s Hard Boiled-Down Noir Fiction Contest – I’m a winner!

Steven Woods, for “Billy.”

Nik Korpon for “Gold Teeth.”

Alex Mattingly for “Marbles.”

Mimi Brooks for “Out Like A Lion.”

Richard Thomas for “Jimmy Five Ways.”

My story “Jimmy Five Ways” was one of the winners at Punchnel’s fiction contest. My good friend Nik Korpon was also a winner! All five of the stories and winners will have their work up live next week. So keep an eye out.

“Daybreak” is up live at Stepaway Magazine, Issue Two

My story “Daybreak” is up live at Stepaway Magazine.

Some very kind words from editor Darren Richard Carlaw: “Thomas skilfully disturbs our perceptions of the walk, transforming it into a devastating act of catharsis, a manner of slipping from the emotional trappings of the urban carapace.”

My guest post about Black Tickets by Jayne Anne Phillips is now live at the Emerging Writers Network for Short Story Month.

I was recently introduced to Black Tickets by Jayne Anne Phillips by my professor, Dale Ray Phillips (no relation) at Murray State University. I’m getting my MFA down there and he thought the story “Home” might help me with one of my stories for my thesis. I wasn’t expecting this work to resonate with me the way it did. It blew me away. She reminds me a lot of Mary Gaitskill, as well as more contemporary voices like Lindsay Hunter, xTx, Ethel Rohan, Tina May Hall, and Jac Jemc. And that’s a good thing.

Head on over to the Emerging Writers Network to read my thoughts on this collection that was published in 1979 and has fallen off the radar a bit in recent years. Put it back on, people, this is some stunning work.

Review of Normally Special by xTx is now live up at The Nervous Breakdown

My review of Normally Special by xTx is now live at The Nervous Breakdown.

This is the debut collection from Tiny Hardcore Press and Roxane Gay. INTENSE stuff. How intense? Well, I lead off the review with this quote:

“It is difficult to masturbate about your father, but not impossible, as it turns out.”

This collection, wow, it does not pull any punches. I really loved it, and have been meaning to read more work by the elusive xTx, and this collection certainly has me down as a lifetime fan now. Whatever she’s dishing out, I’ll take a serving, second helping even. Come prepared, do not flinch, and do not look away. xTx is in that community of powerful female voices that I now keep an eye out for, and continue to devour, alongside Amelia Gray, Lindsay Hunter, Mary Miller, Holly Goddard Jones, Tina May Hall, Amber Sparks, and many others. Hop to it.

Pela Via flashes the literary world

One of my favorite female voices, Pela Via, is somebody who is unafraid of tension, loss, sexuality, love, and the deranged mind of a femme fatale, is writing a bunch of flash stories, 31 before her birthday. She’s on #9 right now, and these are classic Pela, so much fun to read, always surprising, always entertaining, twisted and dark, emotional and thoughtful. Head over now.