Solving for X: The Humble Essayist

July 18, 2018 § 1 Comment

humbleWe are quite pleased that Steven Harvey has chosen Pam Durban’s “Solving for X” from the most recent issue of Brevity for his “Paragraph of the Week.” You can read his thoughts on this intriguing, complex essay and Durban’s featured sentence at the Humble Essayist site.

Matador Review Call for Submissions

July 6, 2018 § Leave a comment

From our Friends at The Matador Review:

summer2018coverAlternative art and literature magazine The Matador Review is now accepting submissions for the Fall 2018 publication. We publish poetry, fiction, flash fiction, and creative non-fiction, inviting all unpublished literature written in the English language (and translations that are accompanied by the original text) as well as many forms of visual art. The call for submissions will end August 31, 2018.

When asked by author Angela Yuriko Smith what we’re looking for, Editor-in-Chief JT Lachausse replied:

“We want what you haven’t seen. Allow me to be dramatic: Imagine that every piece of art is represented by a stone. Many stones make up the mountains and buildings, but even more hide beneath the surface. We are so familiar and fond of the overground rocks, but in the caves and oceans-deep, there are stories that tell things wildly. Desperately, furiously, without great laborious sanitizing or editorial puncturing.”

More information on submitting to The Matador Review can be found at our submissions page.



How to Stand Next to a Black Woman and Hold Yourself Back from Touching or Staring at Her Hair

May 18, 2018 § 1 Comment

cyrus_slidIn the new issue of Brevity, Nicole Cyrus offers up an essay posing as a professional resume, revealing some of what it means to be a black woman “who wants to rock her Afro in business settings.”

Here’s a portion:


  • Received positive feedback from colleagues on her brown-bag meetings, despite her refusal to repeat or expand her talk on black hair textures.
  • Recovered from chest pains and stomach cramps after she cropped her hair into a pixie, thanks to a mishap with a flatiron.
  • Taught black women inside and outside the company how to explain dramatic transformations in their appearance—such as haircuts, use of wigs and hair weaves, and, in extreme cases, headscarves—because of bad relaxers or overheated hair styling tools.

Now by all means, go and read the rest.


Aphorisms for a Lonely Planet

May 17, 2018 § 3 Comments

butcher_slidFrom Lance Larsen’s “Aphorisms for a Lonely Planet,” one of 15 fearless flash essays featured in the freakingly fantastic new issue of Brevity.


When his son fell into a well, San Isidro didn’t pray the deed undone, but asked for the water to rise—and the infant floated up into his arms.


Walking down a narrow Cuzco alley, my teenage daughter leans into me, which means she’s cold or tired or a little scared. Maybe all three. And yet, what father doesn’t hoodwink himself into calling this love and snuggling closer?


Have you visited yet?



Fearless Flash in Brevity’s May 2018 Issue

May 16, 2018 § Leave a comment

sanders_slidPlease pay a visit to our 58th issue, featuring fearless flash from Lance Larsen, Pam Durban, Jill Talbot, Amy Wright, Scott Loring Sanders, Joe Oestreich, Kathryn Nuernberger, Bridget Apfeld, Jennifer Sinor, Nicole Cyrus, Allison Gruber, Marcia Aldrich, Phyllis Reilly, Jamila Osman, and Amy Butcher, alongside brilliant artwork by John Gallaher.

In our Craft section, Wendy Staley Colbert looks at how memoirists can manage the ethical problem of writing about others, Gwendolyn Edwards discusses how writers experiment with speculation and imagination while still upholding the reader-writer contract, and Jennifer Gravely reminds us that all essays will ultimately end in white space.

Happy reading.


War & Peace: Flash

April 26, 2018 § 1 Comment

cover-seenPanorama Journal, the international journal focused on travel literature, is accepting submissions for its Summer issue, War & Peace. Panorama is looking for submissions of flash travel lit which is political. Pieces must be between 150 and 300 words after edits, and no longer than 350 words before edits. We invite short works with a story and strong sense of detail and place. Send your work to with the title “War & Peace: Flash”. Submissions are open until 5/17. More information on this call and others here:

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On Spry and Flashy Prose

April 20, 2018 § Leave a comment

spry-banner-trans-ish-49Not about Brevity, but about ‘brevity,’ from Elizabeth Hilts at Spry literary magazine (another flash market to consider during our submissions closure):

This might be a bit obvious, right? I mean, c’mon, “brevity” in a series on flash. Yet the fact of it must be addressed. Concise. Exact. Just the right words and only a very few of them (though that seems to be negotiable); the challenge being to express the breadth and depth of a thing fully within the constraints of brevity, to write beautifully, evocatively, to essay a specific truth without succumbing to wordiness.

Poetry does this. The constraints of form and structure seem designed to inspire precision and, by definition, poetry is concentrated. The formality of the genre creates a sort of elegant sparseness, each word “curated” in the most hipster-ish sense of the word. But flash is not poetry, flash is flash so…what? It seems easier to interrogate what flash is not than it is to define what flash is.

Flash is not merely brief, the whole endeavor is much more complex than that. Flash requires the strict attention to form required of poetry but without the illusory “comfort” of rules concerning syntax and tempo and all the rest.

Read the rest here

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