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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1 from the writing community of the Carrot Ranch. Edited by Charli Mills and Sarah Brentyn, it includes a broad sample of the group’s output of short stories, which are limited to 99 words ‘no more no less’. Participating authors are invited each week to write a 99-word story on a given subject, and some of the results have now been published in this volume, arranged in 12 chapters, each containing ten stories.
The subject matter ranges from ‘write a story about water’ to ‘history near or far’ or ‘a story which includes an angel’. The result is a strangely compelling, very enjoyable experience where these little vignettes transport you quickly from scene to scene in a dizzying array of place, colour, texture and emotion. The book also contains further chapters where authors have been invited to expand their Flash Fiction into slightly longer stories, how Flash Fiction can assist with various writing processes including memoirs, and how the Flash Fiction group was created, along with advice on creating one yourself. A fascinating book packed with bright ideas and worthwhile material. I was greatly entertained by the stories and essays and so taken with the idea that I thought I would give it a go with a 99-word review.
Stories of ninety-nine words, no more, no less, little gems from the Rough Writers of the Carrot Ranch. Like wild flowers in an early morning meadow glistening with dew and I, a butterfly or bee, flitting from bloom to bloom, immersing myself in a kaleidoscope of experiences which pass through my mind like an ever-changing dreamscape. Stories of love and loss, victory and defeat, struggle and gain from the pens of talented authors with backgrounds as diverse as their stories. A brilliant idea that has created an astounding anthology, one that you will return to time and again.