Kathryn Kulpa was a winner of the Vella Chapbook Contest for her flash chapbook Girls on Film (Paper Nautilus) and has had work selected for inclusion in Best Microfiction 2020 and 2021 (Pelekinesis Press).  Her flash fiction is published or forthcoming in Flash Frog, 100 Word Story, Monkeybicycle, Smokelong Quarterly, and Wigleaf, and she serves as chief flash editor for Cleaver Magazine. Kathryn has been a visiting writer at Wheaton College and has led writing workshops at the University of Rhode Island, Stonecoast Writers Conference at the University of Southern Maine, Writefest in Houston, Texas, and at public libraries throughout Rhode Island.


AN INTERVIEW WITH KATHRYN KULPA, AUTHOR OF COOKING TIPS FOR THE DEMON-HAUNTED by Jessica Klimesh

AN INTERVIEW WITH KATHRYN KULPA, AUTHOR OF COOKING TIPS FOR THE DEMON-HAUNTED by Jessica Klimesh
Jessica Klimesh
An Interview with Kathryn Kulpa, author of COOKING TIPS FOR THE DEMON-HAUNTED I recently had the delightful opportunity to interview Kathryn Kulpa about her latest chapbook Cooking Tips for the Demon-Haunted, winner of the 2022 New Rivers Press Chapbook Contest. Kathryn is an editor and workshop instructor at Cleaver, and I’ve had the good fortune to be a student in a couple of her workshops. So I was especially excited to chat with her and learn more about her process, her ideas, and how she so successfully took 14 captivating yet discrete stories and made them fit so effortlessly and perfectly together. The stories in Cooking Tips for the Demon-Haunted are full of a spectral kind of splendor, displacing the reader with a mix of the familiar and unfamiliar, as in this opening to “Sororal”: Sister Sister always takes the front and makes me ride in the back. Sister with her doll that’s a ghost of her, ghost of me, held tight in her hand like she’s never going to let us go, my gaze fixed eternally on the back of her head, O Sister Sister her bunny rabbit ears her bunny rabbit nose. Why is she me if ...

FALL 2023 WORKSHOPS

FALL 2023 WORKSHOPS
FALL 2023 WORKSHOPS
Fall 2023 workshops have concluded. Check the workshop page for current and future offerings.
Find community and grow your craft in our online workshops. We host both synchronous and asynchronous courses using Zoom and Canvas, an easily accessible, private online platform. Whether you’re a new writer or a well-published pro, you’ll find motivation, structure, constructive criticism, and a dedicated cohort. This fall we offer four four-week workshops: Bringing It All Back Home: the Flash Collection & Flash Novella, Oct 1-29, taught by Senior Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa; How to Write Compelling Book Reviews, Oct 4 to Oct 25, taught by essayist and book critic Ilana Masad, The Shameless Self-Promotion Workgroup, Oct 21 to Nov 11, taught by marketing communications consultant Jen Mathy; and Thriller, Mystery, Horror, Oct 22 to Nov 12, taught by novelist Jennifer Fawcett. Registration is limited to 12 students per workshop. View current faculty. Click to expand course descriptions   Bringing It All Back Home: the Flash Collection & Flash Novella, Oct 1-29, Kathryn Kulpa Instructor: Kathryn Kulpa Dates: Oct 1 - Oct 29 Cost: $300 Open to writers of: Flash Fiction, Flash Nonfiction, Hybrid Forms, Memoir, Flash novella, Flash Collection. NOTE: This workshop will focus ...

A CONVERSATION WITH NANCY LUDMERER, AUTHOR OF COLLATERAL DAMAGE: 48 STORIES by Kathryn Kulpa

A CONVERSATION WITH NANCY LUDMERER, AUTHOR OF COLLATERAL DAMAGE: 48 STORIES by Kathryn Kulpa
FLASH-WRITERS: TRUST YOUR READER: a conversation with Nancy Ludmerer, author of Collateral Damage: 48 Stories (Snake Nation Press, 2022) by Kathryn Kulpa I had the pleasure of interviewing Nancy Ludmerer, a student in one of my Cleaver flash fiction workshops, about her full-length flash collection Collateral Damage: 48 Stories, published by Snake Nation Press. Nancy’s work, both fiction and nonfiction, has been widely published in journals, and she moves effortlessly from brief, lyrical microfiction to longer, more complex stories that push the boundaries of flash fiction. A master of compression, she can unfold a lifetime in a paragraph, as she does in this piece from the collection, originally published in Night Train: Bar Mitzvah When Benjy started to choke on a piece of celery stuffed with scallion cream cheese, I turned from the buffet table and asked, are you okay, and when he shook his head, I said raise your arms but he kept choking, so I slapped him on the back of his fancy new suit, and then two words clicked in my head Heimlich maneuver so I punched my fist into his stomach even though this was the wrong way to do it, but I couldn’t think, couldn’t ...

MICRO MENTORING: Flash Fiction Masterclass, taught by Kathryn Kulpa, October 1 – October 30, 2022

MICRO MENTORING: Flash Fiction Masterclass, taught by Kathryn Kulpa, October 1 – October 30, 2022
MICRO MENTORING Flash Fiction Masterclass Taught by Cleaver Senior Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa 4 weeks Saturday, October 1 - Sunday, October 30; asynchronous with 4 group Zoom sessions, plus an optional one-on-one Zoom consult with each student. $300 Class limit: 6 This class is intended for writers with experience in flash fiction. Questions: [email protected] This class is intended for writers with experience in flash fiction. You are invited to begin the class with work you would like to complete and revise, but we will also offer group exercises to generate new work, accountability, and feedback. Previous students are welcome! Kathryn Kulpa was a winner of the Vella Chapbook Contest for her flash chapbook Girls on Film (Paper Nautilus) and has had work selected for inclusion in Best Microfiction 2020 and 2021 (Pelekinesis Press).  Her flash fiction is published or forthcoming in Flash Frog, 100 Word Story, Monkeybicycle, Smokelong Quarterly, and Wigleaf, and she serves as chief flash editor for Cleaver Magazine. Kathryn has been a visiting writer at Wheaton College and has led writing workshops at the University of Rhode Island, Stonecoast Writers Conference at the University of Southern Maine, Writefest in Houston, Texas, and at public libraries throughout ...

MICRO MENTORING: Flash Fiction Masterclass, taught by Kathryn Kulpa, July 8 — August 6, 2022

MICRO MENTORING: Flash Fiction Masterclass, taught by Kathryn Kulpa, July 8 — August 6, 2022
MICRO MENTORING Flash Fiction Masterclass Taught by Cleaver Senior Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa 4 weeks Friday, July 8—Saturday, August 6; ZOOM meetings on Sunday, July 10; Sunday, July 17; Sunday, July 24; and Sunday, July 31. $300 Class limit: 6 This class is intended for writers with experience in flash fiction. Questions: [email protected] SOLD OUT This class is intended for writers with experience in flash fiction. You are invited to begin the class with work you would like to complete and revise, but we will also offer group exercises to generate new work, accountability, and feedback. Previous students are welcome! Kathryn Kulpa was a winner of the Vella Chapbook Contest for her flash chapbook Girls on Film (Paper Nautilus) and has had work selected for inclusion in Best Microfiction 2020 and 2021 (Pelekinesis Press).  Her flash fiction is published or forthcoming in Flash Frog, 100 Word Story, Monkeybicycle, Smokelong Quarterly, and Wigleaf, and she serves as chief flash editor for Cleaver Magazine. Kathryn has been a visiting writer at Wheaton College and has led writing workshops at the University of Rhode Island, Stonecoast Writers Conference at the University of Southern Maine, Writefest in Houston, Texas, and at public libraries throughout ...

MICRO MENTORING: Flash Fiction Masterclass, taught by Kathryn Kulpa, Sunday, May 1—Saturday, May 28

MICRO MENTORING: Flash Fiction Masterclass, taught by Kathryn Kulpa, Sunday, May 1—Saturday, May 28
MICRO MENTORING Flash Fiction Masterclass Taught by Cleaver Senior Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa 4 weeks Sunday, May 1—Saturday, May 28 Asynchronous, with weekly (optional) Zoom meetings on Thursday evenings or Sunday afternoons. $300 Class limit: 6 This class is intended for writers with experience in flash fiction. Questions: [email protected] SOLD OUT! This workshop, for experienced flash fiction writers, is limited to six students and will feature a combination of generative writing prompts and in-depth discussion of works in progress. In addition to the optional twice-weekly Zoom meetings, students may also, if desired, schedule a one-on-one Zoom consultation with the instructor. Kathryn Kulpa was a winner of the Vella Chapbook Contest for her flash chapbook Girls on Film (Paper Nautilus) and has had work selected for inclusion in Best Microfiction 2020 and 2021 (Pelekinesis Press).  Her flash fiction is published or forthcoming in Flash Frog, 100 Word Story, Monkeybicycle, Smokelong Quarterly, and Wigleaf, and she serves as chief flash editor for Cleaver Magazine. Kathryn has been a visiting writer at Wheaton College and has led writing workshops at the University of Rhode Island, Stonecoast Writers Conference at the University of Southern Maine, Writefest in Houston, Texas, and at public libraries throughout ...

WRITE, REVISE, PUBLISH! Flash & Microfiction Practice taught by Kathryn Kulpa, Feb 20—March 27 2022

WRITE, REVISE, PUBLISH! Flash & Microfiction Practice taught by Kathryn Kulpa, Feb 20—March 27 2022
WRITE, REVISE, PUBLISH! Flash & Microfiction Practice Taught by Cleaver Senior Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa 5 weeks February 20—March 27 Asynchronous, with weekly (optional) Zoom meetings on Sunday evenings $200 Class limit: 12 Questions: [email protected] SOLD OUT Do you tend to procrastinate? Do you often do your best work under pressure? Do you sometimes start stories but never get around to finishing or revising them? Do you find the whole process of submitting work for publication stressful or depressing? This five-week workshop is designed for busy writers who want to put writing time and accountability into their schedule with a combination of online prompts, real-time writing sessions, constructive revision suggestions, submission tips, and a group of writing buddies willing to take the submission plunge with you. We will focus on short flash (up to 500 words) and microfiction (up to 400 words). The first two weeks, we will work on generating new stories; in the third week, we’ll focus on revision; and by the fourth week, everyone will commit to submitting three stories for publication (as your classmates cheer you on). Kathryn Kulpa, THE ART OF FLASH; AFTERBURN; FLASH BOOTCAMP; WRITE, REVISE, PUBLISH!, (flash fiction and nonfiction) was a winner of ...

FIVE AND A HALF QUESTIONS FOR MICHELLE ROSS ON HER NEW COLLECTION SHAPESHIFTING—Interview by Kathryn Kulpa

FIVE AND A HALF QUESTIONS FOR MICHELLE ROSS ON HER NEW COLLECTION SHAPESHIFTING—Interview by Kathryn Kulpa
Five and a Half Questions for Michelle Ross on SHAPESHIFTING from Stillhouse Press Interview by Kathryn Kulpa Michelle Ross has published short fiction in Cleaver (“Lessons,” Issue 13; “My Husband is Always Losing Things,” Issue 23; “Night Vision,” with Kim Magowan, Issue 34). She spoke to us recently about her new short story collection Shapeshifting. Kathryn Kulpa: This is such a strong collection! One thing I really like about Shapeshifting is the diversity of points of view, style, and even genre. There are short, flash-like pieces, longer stories, realistic and often funny pieces like “After Pangaea,” with the parents sleeping in cars to keep their place in line to sign their kids up for kindergarten, and darker, more disturbing stories like “Keeper Four” and “A Mouth is a House for Teeth.” Did you worry that the stories might be too divergent, or that publishers might want a more uniform voice? Michelle Ross: Thank you so much, Kathryn, and thanks for talking with me about the book! I can’t say I worried about the range of the stories in that regard. Many years ago, I accepted (and have since embraced) that I’m a writer who needs to work in a variety ...

WRITE, REVISE, PUBLISH! Flash & Microfiction Practice, Taught by Cleaver Senior Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa, October 24 to November 21. [SOLD OUT]

WRITE, REVISE, PUBLISH! Flash & Microfiction Practice,  Taught by Cleaver Senior Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa, October 24 to November 21. [SOLD OUT]
WRITE, REVISE, PUBLISH! Flash & Microfiction Practice Taught by Cleaver Senior Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa 4 weeks: Sunday, Oct. 24 to Sunday, Nov. 21 Mostly asynchronous with one weekly Zoom meeting: Sunday, October 24 - Intro; 11 am Thursday, November 4, 6:30 pm Sunday, Nov. 7, 11 am Thursday, Nov. 18, 6:30 pm $200 Class limit: 12 Questions: [email protected] SOLD OUT Do you tend to procrastinate? Do you often do your best work under pressure? Do you sometimes start stories but never get around to finishing or revising them? Do you find the whole process of submitting work for publication stressful or depressing? This four-week workshop is designed for busy writers who want to put writing time and accountability into their schedule with a combination of online prompts, real-time writing sessions, constructive revision suggestions, submission tips, and a group of writing buddies willing to take the submission plunge with you. We will focus on short flash (up to 500 words) and microfiction (up to 400 words). The first two weeks, we will work on generating new stories; in the third week, we’ll focus on revision; and by the fourth week, everyone will commit to submitting three stories for publication (as your ...

FLASH BOOTCAMP, taught by Kathryn Kulpa, Four Weekend Sessions in June-July, 2021

FLASH BOOTCAMP, taught by Kathryn Kulpa, Four Weekend Sessions in June-July, 2021
FLASH BOOTCAMP 4 Summer Weekend Bootcamps Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa June 4 - 6 June 18 - 20 July 9 - 11 July 23 - 25 Saturday and Sunday Zoom sessions 2-4 pm ET $150 for one session; $275 for two sessions; $375 for three Sessions; $425 for all four sessions. *Get focused!* *Get motivated!* *Get writing!* This generative mini-workshop is designed for busy writers who need to carve out some writing time to generate new work, and who crave deadlines and accountability to stay motivated. This class combines writing prompt "homework" you do on your own with group writing and discussion sessions. In just three days (Friday through Sunday), you will have six new micro-stories ready to revise! Format: Combines asynchronous (writing prompts you do on your own time Friday and Saturday) with two, 2-hour Zoom sessions on Saturday and Sunday. Focus:  Flash pieces 500 words and under. The exercises and feedback were excellent. I also appreciated the Zoom classes which helped me connect with other writers and discuss work. The workshop was incredibly helpful. Kathryn's critiques, prompts, and synchronous sessions were marvelous. The community of writers that formed was strong and committed. Plus, three ...

AFTERBURN: Flash Revision, taught by Kathryn Kulpa | April 4-April 25 2021 [SOLD OUT]

AFTERBURN: Flash Revision, taught by Kathryn Kulpa | April 4-April 25 2021 [SOLD OUT]
AFTERBURN A Workshop in the Art of Flash Revision Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa 3 weeks April 4-April 25 $175 Class limit: 12 Questions: [email protected] Flash fiction may be born in a lightning flash of inspiration, but crafting works of perfect brevity requires time and patience: sometimes cutting, sometimes adding, and sometimes starting all over again. In very short stories, every word must work, and revision is as much a part of writing flash as it is of writing longer prose. In this hands-on workshop, we'll practice the art of revision. Flash fiction writer and editor Kathryn Kulpa will share first drafts, revisions, and published versions of her own work and that of other flash and short fiction writers. Students will learn different revision strategies and how to apply them to their own work. We will create new flash together and work on taking it through several revisions, and students will also have the chance to bring existing stories to the workshop to revise with a goal of publication. I loved having the ability to work on the material at my own pace, at my own time. I met several writers who I will continue to stay in ...

THE ART OF FLASH, taught by Kathryn Kulpa | Feb. 25-March 28, 2021 [SOLD OUT]

THE ART OF FLASH, taught by Kathryn Kulpa | Feb. 25-March 28, 2021 [SOLD OUT]
THE ART OF FLASH A Workshop in Fiction and Nonfiction Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa Feb. 25-March 28 5 weeks $200 Class limit: 12 Questions: [email protected]  Flash is a genre defined by brevity: vivid emotions and images compressed into a compact form. We most often see flash fiction, but flash can also encompass prose poetry, micro memoir, lyric essays, and hybrid works. In this class, we will take a close look at different styles and forms of flash fiction, as well as flash nonfiction, hybrid, and experimental works. Each week, we will read and discuss one or more example-works and generate new work from prompts. Students will share their work for peer and instructor feedback, then will choose one story to revise for the final class. This workshop has weekly deadlines and assignments to help motivate you to write, but the work can be done at your own pace and on your own time—there are no required meetings (although we may have an optional Zoom pop-up or two and bonus prompts for those who are interested). We welcome both new and experienced writers looking for motivation, structure, and constructive criticism. Kathryn Kulpa was a winner of the Vella ...

THE ART OF FLASH, Workshop in Fiction and Nonfiction, taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa | January 3 to February 7, 2021 SOLD OUT

Neon Lightning Bolt
THE ART OF FLASH A Workshop in Fiction and Nonfiction Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa 5 weeks SOLD OUT Class limit: 12 Questions: [email protected]  Flash is a genre defined by brevity: vivid emotions and images compressed into a compact form. We most often see flash fiction, but flash can also encompass prose poetry, micro memoir, lyric essays, and hybrid works. In this class, we will take a close look at different styles and forms of flash fiction, as well as flash nonfiction, hybrid, and experimental works. Each week, we will read and discuss one or more example-works and generate new work from prompts. Students will share their work for peer and instructor feedback, then will choose one story to revise for the final class. This workshop has weekly deadlines and assignments to help motivate you to write, but the work can be done at your own pace and on your own time—there are no required meetings (although we may have an optional Zoom pop-up or two and bonus prompts for those who are interested). We welcome both new and experienced writers looking for motivation, structure, and constructive criticism. Kathryn Kulpa was a winner of the Vella Chapbook ...

AFTERBURN A Workshop on the Art of Flash Revision Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa | November 15 to December 12, 2020

AFTERBURN A Workshop on the Art of Flash Revision Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa | November 15 to December 12, 2020
AFTERBURN A Workshop on the Art of Flash Revision Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa 3 weeks November 15 to December 12, 2020 $175 Class limit: 12 Questions: [email protected] Flash fiction may be born in a lightning flash of inspiration, but crafting works of perfect brevity requires time and patience: sometimes cutting, sometimes adding, and sometimes starting all over again. In very short stories, every word must work, and revision is as much a part of writing flash as it is of writing longer prose. In this hands-on workshop, we'll practice the art of revision. Flash fiction writer and editor Kathryn Kulpa will share first drafts, revisions, and published versions of her own work and that of other flash and short fiction writers. Students will learn different revision strategies and how to apply them to their own work. We will create new flash together and work on taking it through several revisions, and students will also have the chance to bring existing stories to the workshop to revise with a goal of publication. Kathryn Kulpa was a winner of the Vella Chapbook Contest for her flash chapbook Girls on Film (Paper Nautilus) and has had work selected for inclusion ...

THE ART OF FLASH, Workshop in Fiction and Nonfiction, taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa | October 3-November 7, 2020 [SOLD OUT]

Neon Lightning Bolt
THE ART OF FLASH A Workshop in Fiction and Nonfiction Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa 5 weeks October 3–November 7 $175 Early Bird before September 3, 2020 $200 Regular Class limit: 12 Questions: [email protected]  [Sold Out] Flash is a genre defined by brevity: vivid emotions and images compressed into a compact form. We most often see flash fiction, but flash can also encompass prose poetry, micro memoir, lyric essays, and hybrid works. In this class, we will take a close look at different styles and forms of flash fiction, as well as flash nonfiction, hybrid, and experimental works. Each week, we will read and discuss one or more example-works and generate new work from prompts. Students will share their work for peer and instructor feedback, then will choose one story to revise for the final class. This workshop has weekly deadlines and assignments to help motivate you to write, but the work can be done at your own pace and on your own time—there are no required meetings (although we may have an optional Zoom pop-up or two and bonus prompts for those who are interested). We welcome both new and experienced writers looking for motivation, structure, and ...

AFTERBURN A Workshop the Art of Flash Revision Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa | August 3 to August 22, 2020 [SOLD OUT]

AFTERBURN A Workshop the Art of Flash Revision Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa | August 3 to August 22, 2020 [SOLD OUT]
AFTERBURN A Workshop in the Art of Flash Revision Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa 3 weeks August 3 to August 22 $125 early bird / $150 regular Class limit: 12 Questions: [email protected] SOLD OUT Flash fiction may be born in a lightning flash of inspiration, but crafting works of perfect brevity requires time and patience: sometimes cutting, sometimes adding, and sometimes starting all over again. In very short stories, every word must work, and revision is as much a part of writing flash as it is of writing longer prose. In this hands-on workshop, we'll practice the art of revision. Flash fiction writer and editor Kathryn Kulpa will share first drafts, revisions, and published versions of her own work and that of other flash and short fiction writers. Students will learn different revision strategies and how to apply them to their own work. We will create new flash together and work on taking it through several revisions, and students will also have the chance to bring existing stories to the workshop to revise with a goal of publication. Kathryn Kulpa was a winner of the Vella Chapbook Contest for her flash chapbook Girls on Film (Paper Nautilus) and has ...

THE ART OF FLASH, Workshop in Fiction and Nonfiction, taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa | May 9 — June 6, 2020 and June 20 — July 25, 2020 [both sections sold out]

Neon Lightning Bolt
THE ART OF FLASH A Workshop in Fiction and Nonfiction Taught by Cleaver Flash Editor Kathryn Kulpa Both sessions of Kathryn Kulpa's The Art of Flash are sold out—new classes by Kathryn will be announced shortly! Session 2: 5 weeks June 20 — July 25, 2020 $125 early bird / $150 regular Class limit: 12 Questions: [email protected] [sold out] Session 1: 5 weeks May 9 — June 6, 2020 $125 early bird / $150 regular Class limit: 12 Questions: [email protected] [sold out] Flash is a genre defined by brevity: vivid emotions and images compressed into a compact form. We most often see flash fiction, but flash can also encompass prose poetry, micro memoir, lyric essays, and hybrid works. In this class, we will take a close look at different styles and forms of flash fiction, as well as flash nonfiction, hybrid, and experimental works. Each week, we will read and discuss one or more example works and generate new work from prompts. Students will share their work for peer and instructor feedback, then will choose one story to revise for the final class. This workshop has weekly deadlines and assignments to help motivate you to write, but the work can ...

A CONVERSATION WITH MELISSA SARNO, AUTHOR OF JUST UNDER THE CLOUDS

A CONVERSATION WITH MELISSA SARNO, AUTHOR OF JUST UNDER THE CLOUDS
A Conversation with Melissa Sarno author of JUST UNDER THE CLOUDS published by Knopf Books for Young Readers Interview by Kathryn Kulpa Melissa Sarno reviews children’s and young adult books for Cleaver and has just published her debut middle-grade novel, Just Under the Clouds (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2018). It tells the story of Cora, a middle-school girl trying to find a place to belong. Cora’s father always made her feel safe, but now that he has died, she and her mom and her sister Adare have been moving from place to place, trying to find a stable and secure home they can afford. Cora is also dealing with bullying at school and is sometimes challenged by looking after her sister, who has learning differences. But her life holds some good things, too, like a free-spirited new friend and her father’s tree journal, where he kept notes about the plants he took care of. Cora has kept his book and uses it as a way to record her own observations and feelings as she looks for her own true home in the world. While many children experience homelessness, it’s a subject that is seldom explored in contemporary children’s fiction, ...

NINETY-NINE STORIES OF GOD by Joy Williams reviewed by Kathryn Kulpa

NINETY-NINE STORIES OF GOD by Joy Williams reviewed by Kathryn Kulpa
NINETY-NINE STORIES OF GOD by Joy Williams Tin House Books, 151 pages reviewed by Kathryn Kulpa Joy Williams is an author whose work I sought out because once, in a review, someone compared me to her, and since I hadn’t heard of her before, it seemed like a good idea to read her. It was a happy discovery. Still, she was not an author I associated with flash fiction. Her dense, full short stories seemed more like novels writ small. Things change. In Ninety-Nine Stories of God, Williams has pared away all but the essentials. These very short prose pieces are novels written in miniature, pocket epics and cryptic parables etched on the head of a pin. Most are not more than two pages, some are a single paragraph, and a few are just one or two sentences: simple, even stark, yet weighted. The sixty-first story, “Museum,” for example, is one rueful sentence: “We were not interested the way we thought we would be interested.” Williams’s small stories, like the best flash, keep most of the iceberg under the water, leaving us with as many questions as answers. Each story ends, rather than begins, with a title, which often serves ...

A CONVERSATION WITH KATHRYN KULPA, author of Girls on Film

A CONVERSATION WITH KATHRYN KULPA, author of Girls on Film
An Interview by Michelle Fost
A CONVERSATION WITH KATHRYN KULPA, AUTHOR OF GIRLS ON FILM (
Paper Nautilus Press, 2015 Vella Chapbook Winner) I had the chance to catch up with fellow Cleaver editor Kathryn Kulpa about her chapbook, Girls on Film. It is just out from Paper Nautilus and was a winner of the press’s Vella Chapbook Contest. An intriguing part of the prize is that the writer receives a hundred copies of the beautifully designed chapbook to distribute as she likes. Kathryn will be selling signed copies through her Etsy shop, BookishGirlGoods, and she’ll also have them available at readings, writing workshops, and other events. Paper Nautilus will also have the book on sale. For more about the Vella Chapbook contest and Paper Nautilus Press, have a look at the press’s website.—M.F. MF: Congratulations on winning Paper Nautilus’s Vella Chapbook Contest, and the publication of Girls on Film. I wondered if you might talk a little about the process of writing the chapbook. KK: All the pieces in the chapbook were already written, and most of them had been published by the time I put it together, so it was more a process of selecting and matching complementary stories to create a ...

A HOUSE MADE OF STARS by Tawnysha Greene reviewed by Kathryn Kulpa

A HOUSE MADE OF STARS by Tawnysha Greene reviewed by Kathryn Kulpa
A HOUSE MADE OF STARS by Tawnysha Greene Burlesque Press, 189 pages, 2015. reviewed by Kathryn Kulpa In the very first scene of A House Made of Stars, Tawnysha Greene’s debut novel, the ten-year-old narrator and her sister are awakened by their mother, who spirits them to a darkened bathroom where all three sit in the bathtub, towels piled over them, while the house shakes with thuds so loud even the narrator’s deaf sister can feel their vibrations. Their mother tells them it’s a game. She tells them they’re practicing for earthquakes. But even at ten, the narrator knows it’s not nature’s rage they need to fear. It’s their father’s. Greene’s voice in this novel is pitch perfect, an eerie and convincing combination of innocence and prescience. The hard-of-hearing narrator is homeschooled and isolated; her mother believes public schools will not teach “Godly things.” Yet her understanding of their family dynamic and her father’s mental illness are intuitive and profound. Without adult labels or filters, we see his depression, his paranoia, his moments of happy, expansive mania that can change in an instant to brutal  outbursts, and the scars he carries from his own violent childhood. We see her mother’s ...

THE BOOK OF LANEY by Myfanwy Collins reviewed by Kathryn Kulpa

THE BOOK OF LANEY by Myfanwy Collins reviewed by Kathryn Kulpa
THE BOOK OF LANEY by Myfanwy Collins Lacewing Books, 200 pages reviewed by Kathryn Kulpa When terrible acts of violence occur—as they do all too often in America—our thoughts naturally turn to the victims and their families. But what about the families of those who commit violent crimes? What if someone you grew up with was a school shooter, a terrorist, a mass murderer? That’s the reality fifteen-year-old Laney is living. Her brother West and his friend Mark, two high school outcasts, boarded a school bus armed with machetes, knives, guns, and homemade bombs. Six people died; twelve were wounded. Mark blew himself up, but West made his way home to kill his mother, and he would have killed Laney, too, if police hadn’t stopped him. Left with the wreckage her brother left behind, Laney feels completely alone, unwanted, even hated. Her father died when she was young, and her mother’s boyfriend is only interested in leaving the state as soon as possible. Strangers phone the house with death threats. This is her only identity now: the killer’s sister. The Book of Laney is a young adult novel about facing the worst things the world can hand out and learning ...

YVONNE IN THE EYE OF DOG by Kathryn Kulpa

YVONNE IN THE EYE OF DOG by Kathryn Kulpa
Kathryn Kulpa
YVONNE IN THE EYE OF DOG If God looked for Yvonne would he find her? If God looked down, past stars and satellites, through storm clouds thick and grey as dryer lint, would he see Yvonne in a stolen van, Yvonne in a darkened shopping plaza with Ma’s Diner and A-1 Hardware, Crafts Basket and Pets Plus? Yvonne is down on options, down on her luck. Listening to the sighs and snores of her dog asleep in the back seat, the beat of rain on the roof. Her world the smell of wet dog. Her face in the mirror, hair wild, curling in the damp. Everything about her seems high-contrast, vampirish. Face white, except for that bruise her cover-up won’t cover. Tired eyes. White eyeliner is the trick for that, Teena had taught her. No white eyeliner in Yvonne’s make-up bag. No black, either. Almost out of tricks. She pats more cover-up on her eyelids, feels the oils in the makeup separate. Always something red and raw to show through. Yvonne likes to think that in this whole world not one person knows where she is right now. A parking lot, a strip mall, two hours out of Little ...

LOCAVORE by Kathryn Kulpa

LOCAVORE by Kathryn Kulpa
Kathryn Kulpa
LOCAVORE The streets smell like fried dough and there’s the carnival sound of an outdoor mic, a tinny crackle that makes him think of Little League games and awards day at summer camp. It sounds like the end of summer. The locals are celebrating something, the patron saint of clam cakes. They’re selling raffle tickets, but he’s not buying chances. The sky is dark blue, but he’s not watching the sky. The café door is open, inviting him to a darker world of scratched wooden floors and mismatched tables and hard metal chairs: the world of Latte Girl, whose sweet smile is only for the locals, whose cups she graces with sailboats and dragonflies and long-eared dogs, while his foam never holds more than an indifferent swirl. There’s a line—there’s always a line—but he doesn’t mind. He likes to watch her tamp and pull; he likes that everything is done by hand on one old espresso machine; he likes that they are her hands, small and plump, still childish, with chipped black polish on her short fingernails. As often as he tries to touch those hands, she pulls back. Leaves the change on the counter, slides the coffee card across ...