Our Nominations for The Best Small Fictions 2018

We at The Tishman Review are pleased to announce our 2018 nominees for The Best Small Fictions anthology. We believe each of these authors deserves the chance to be featured in this year’s anthology, and we’re excited about their chances!

Keep reading to check out their short fiction pieces and to learn more about these talented writers!

(Bonus: Each author graciously provided a piece of writing advice or information about their writing process, so anyone interested in how they write and work should definitely keep reading!)


“Fall, Environmental Politics, and the Retirement of Vin Scully” by Jack C. Buck | TTR 3.4

16105484_10100904616001168_1855705196812639948_nJack C. Buck lives and teaches in Denver, Colorado. He is the author of the flash fiction collection Deer Michigan. He thanks you for reading his work.    

 


What is one piece of advice you would offer to aspiring writers?
Find a friend who cares about your writing, somebody who roots for you. This will help in those times when it feels as if no one else but yourself is reading anything you’ve written. Although we often write for ourselves, it’s nice to know you have readership, even if it is small in number.
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“Creatures of the Antarctic, in Particular the Giant Sea Spider” by Justin Herrmann | TTR 3.3

Herrmann 3Justin Herrmann is the author of the short fiction collection Highway One, Antarctica (MadHat Press 2014). His stories have appeared in journals including River Styx, Mid-American Review, CutBank, and Fourth River. He has an MFA from University of Alaska Anchorage.

What is one piece of advice you would offer to aspiring writers?
Friends, I aspire to write better stories too. It’s hard work, writing. But keep putting time in. I will too. As far as advice I can offer (I believe this comes more from me paying attention as a reader than having skill as a writer): trust your reader. Hold back enough in your story to allow your reader to use her imagination. Trust her to catch the whispers that lurk just below the surface of your story. This will help her connect with your story, help your story work its way into her heart. 
Have a great year, friends. Write something beautiful. I can’t wait to read it. I believe in you. 
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“Francine Francis” by Joshua Jones | TTR 3.2

Josh JonesJoshua Jones lives in Maryland where he works as an animator. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Split Lip Magazine, SmokeLong Quarterly, Fanzine, Necessary FictionJuked, and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter @jnjoneswriter.


What is one piece of advice you would offer to aspiring writers?

While writing is by its nature a solitary endeavor, I’ve found having a writing community to be invaluable. Not only for celebrating successes and commiserating over the inevitable rejection letters, but for reading one another’s early drafts and pushing each of us to refine our craft. I’m grateful to have met (even if only online) some fantastic writers and amazing human beings.

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“What We See” by Denise Howard Long | TTR 3.1

Denise Howard LongDenise Howard Long’s short fiction has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Pithead ChapelThe Evansville ReviewBlue Monday Review, and elsewhere. She has been awarded residencies at Hedgebrook and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. Her flash fiction chapbook Spoil the Child is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Denise lives in Nebraska, with her husband and two sons. You can visit her online at www.denisehlong.com.

What is one piece of advice you would offer to aspiring writers?

One piece of advice I would offer to aspiring writers is to learn what works for you and embrace it. Writing as often as you can is advice that goes without saying, but that can look different for every writer. I used to be really hard on myself because I don’t have a consistent, daily writing routine, which is something I’d convinced myself I needed to be a “real” writer. But all that self-criticism did was wear me down and dampen my spirits. Recognizing what works for me and my life right now gave me the freedom to just embrace it for what it is, even if it’s a slapdash, inconsistent approach sometimes. As long as you keep writing—at whatever pace and rhythm is comfortable and successful for you—you’re a “real” writer (whatever that means).


“Community Service” by Matthew Woodman | TTR 3.3

Matthematthew woodman photow Woodman teaches writing at California State University, Bakersfield and is the founding editor of Rabid Oak. His stories appear in recent issues of OblongThe MothDrunk Monkeys, and Five:2:One, and more of his work can be found by visiting www.matthewwoodman.com or by following him on Twitter @rabidoak1.


What is your writing process like?

My writing process differs with each piece I write. Rarely, a piece will erupt fully-formed, and I manically, maniacally scribble down as much of the vision or idea as I can before it’s gone.  More commonly, I’ll have an idea, begin writing, and then when I have a draft find that those first few paragraphs or lines need to be cut in order to bring the piece into shape; that opening was a means to see the land but wasn’t the land itself.  For “Community Service,” the inspiration was a combination of seeing a work crew cleaning litter from the side of the road, reading about inmate firefighter crews, visiting The Wildlands Conservancy’s Wind Wolves preserve near Bakersfield, and listening to a resilient former student.  The process of writing the story was a bit like that of an accordion: I found myself writing pages, then cutting pages, writing additional pages, then cutting pages.  Earlier drafts included quite a bit of dialogue and further character development, which I later felt distracted from the central theme and character.  As with all my writing, I’m still not sure it’s done.


We wish the best of luck to each of these writers!