New Publication!

After being sick and gross for the past week, it was especially welcome good news that I received today from Literary Orphans. My flash fiction story “Shelf Space”—a story adapted from a moment in my current novel-in-progress The Fire Eaters—has just been accepted for publication!

literary orphans logo

What is Literary Orphans, you ask? What are they trying to create? Well, as they themselves explain:

Some people read to escape. You may even have come here for that. But you won’t leave on any electronic flying carpets. The world we struggle to create on these binary pages is a world that will make you uncomfortable and reflective.

Look for “Shelf Space” in the upcoming issue!





Happy Writing!

Fresh Writers Series, Part V

Fresh and exciting writers are just popping up all over the place right now! For the first time since I began this series, I’d like to dedicate a segment to spotlighting two different writers.

The first writer is a woman I know personally and whose work only impresses me more and more every day: Donna Hall. Her debut essay, “One Lover. Two Lovers. Three Lovers. Four.” with Muses & Visionaries Magazine is a bold and impressive work focused on the joys and challenges of polyamory.

Polyamory, Hall explains, is much more than being a “swinger,” it’s being involved in “‘romantic non-monogamy with the consent of everyone involved. There are almost as many different types of polyamorous relationships as there are people who engage in a poly lifestyle.'”

But Hall’s writing is striking not only because of its subject matter, but because of the naked honesty she offers her readers throughout the essay:

… I confess to feeling slightly jealous, wondering what we old, solidly monogamous, married people were missing. I thought that the fluidity of moving from polyamory to monogamy was enviable.

The entire essay runs a tight 1,663 words in length, but Hall doesn’t let the brevity of the piece fence her in. She tells an intense story of deep love, heartbreak, and resilience, and all while raising up classic, troubling questions for her readers:

How well can we ever actually know our loved ones?

How do we know what we want as opposed to what society tells us we should want?

Could I ever decide to break my spouse’s heart?

Could they ever decide to break mine?

No doubt about it, this is a strong publishing debut and I cannot, cannot wait until her next piece inevitably comes out.


The second writer for this segment is Evan Anderson, author of the flash fiction piece, “The Boy Who Carried Fire,” published with Gone Lawn (a consistently strong literary magazine if you haven’t checked it out before; definitely worth exploring!).

When I first came across Anderson’s work, I was blown away. I read “The Boy Who Carried Fire,” and then I read it again, and then I immediately went hunting for more of Anderson’s work. Unfortunately, his author bio doesn’t provide any information about further publications, so the hunt was frustrating and long. I even went searching for him on Facebook and met a number of patient, good-natured Evan Andersons, but none ended up being the author in question.

So, here’s to eventually finding more of Anderson’s work out there! For now, here’s just a taste of “The Boy Who Carried Fire”:

Clocking in at only 519 words, “The Boy Who Carried Fire” is definitely a masterful work of flash fiction. Flash fiction can be a particularly difficult and unwieldy genre given its difficult and unwieldy list of demands: Be meaningful! Be poetic! Be entertaining! Oh, and keep it brief–super brief! But Anderson meets these demands gracefully in this piece (which very well might be his debut publication!).

Here’s the bio Gone Lawn provides:

Evan is a writer living in a bowl of a city surrounded by swamps and brimming with stories and music.


Congratulations to both Donna Hall and Evan Anderson on your publications!

I definitely expect to be reading more work from the both of you very, very soon. Keep writing!


What is the Fresh Writers Series?

It’s a way for me to spotlight different emerging writers whose work I’ve stumbled across and–for one reason or another–fallen in love with. Check out the previous spotlighted writers here.

30 Flash Fiction Prompts

Here’s to surviving another Valentine’s Day!

Nancy Stohlman

Need a little mid-winter inspiration? Try one of these flash fiction prompts:

1: Write a story in which something transforms into something else.

2: Write a true story that is so ___________(insert adjective here) that no one would believe it’s true. But it is.

3: Find a story you’ve written that isn’t quite working. Chop it down to exactly 100 words. Give it a new title.

4: Write a story that is based in or uses elements of mythology–any mythology from any culture or time period.

5: Bibliomancy–open the dictionary to any random page, place your finger on any random word and poof! That is the title (or part of the title) of your next story.

6: Write a story from the point of view of someone much older than you.

7: Write a story about or featuring a body part. (Heads out of the gutters, people, there are other…

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New Publication!

Quick word of good news! My short story “Chameleons”—a story that includes zero actual chameleons but at least one octopus—has just been accepted for publication with Cold Mountain Review, a terrific magazine that

offers new and innovating ideas about place, sustainability, writing, and art. Come join us as we create the serious mischief of cultural change.

Look for “Chameleons” in the upcoming issue!



Here’s just a quick taste of the story to come…


By K.C. Mead-Brewer

The doctor didn’t have time to be worried for Clara during her labor; it was over before he got there.

“I guess the speed of it makes sense,” David said, looking up at his wife from across the kitchen table. A pile of books sat stacked between them, Human Oddities: Then and Now, Ten American Alien Abductions, The Wild World of Cephalopods— “It says here that octopuses don’t have any bones, so they can squeeze themselves through just about any opening without much trouble.”



Happy Writing!

Fresh Writers Series, Part IV

Last year I started a “Fresh Writers Series” here on Writing Reconsidered in order to spotlight different emerging writers whose work I’ve stumbled across and–for one reason or another–fallen in love with. Last April, I focused on writer and academic (soon to be Dr.) Haylie Swenson. Now, I’d like to throw some attention to Mr. Casey Quinn.

I first encountered Casey Quinn’s work through Post Road Magazine (Issue 28)with his short story, “Grandpap’s Burials.” Here’s a little teaser:

“At noon, Grandpap takes aim and shoots the crow in our garden.

‘Get it, boy, sniff it,’ he says, shooing me with one hand. I burst out the back door into the heat, sprinting towards the trellis on which the grapevines grow.

The crow is four feet, four inches and boy-shaped.”

Quinn’s “Grandpap’s Burials” arrested my attention immediately with its dark, snappy intro. But Quinn kept my attention with consistently sharp prose, smart imagery, and fascinating characters. Throughout the entire story, Quinn exhibits tremendous control and restraint, giving us readers only exactly what we need and not a syllable more.

Clocking in at 963 words, “Grandpap’s Burials” could rightly be considered a work of flash fiction rather than a full short story, but this doesn’t mean it skimps on depth. In my opinion, the best short stories are those that know how to steer a reader onto the proper street, into the proper building, up to the proper floor, into the proper hall, and then leaves them there, standing before a row of doors, some locked, some simply closed, some cracked open, and some flung wide as a scream. Quinn manages just this feat here with “Grandpap’s Burials.”

But perhaps what’s most impressive is that this is Quinn’s first published story. What’s more, Post Road Magazine announced only this past December their nominees for the Pushcart Prize, and Quinn’s debut story made the cut. Congratulations, Quinn!

Here’s the bio Post Road provides:

Casey Quinn is originally from Upstate New York. He has received scholarships from Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, The Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, and Hamilton College. This is his first published story.

Congratulations again, Casey Quinn, both for having such a strong debut publication and for being nominated for the Pushcart Prize!

I definitely expect to be reading more of your work very soon, Quinn. Keep writing!