Jen Knox is our feature author


While Jen Knox has a more generous glow to her skin than this little pug, her prose is as endearing. “After the Gazebo” pulls the reader into wrinkle of time in the sweet old wrinkles of the pug’s neckline. She’s that good! She has a gift. And, in step with the stylistic touches Alice Munro’s world-making, Knox pulls the reader into dynamic reflection. The larger questions are in play against the landscape of time’s relentless nature and humanity’s love of each other in spite of it all.

“The Prize at the End of This” delves into the motivation of preservation of life—life experiences with the creation of a bucket list:

The question—what scares you most?—cannot be unasked. I sit to write a sort of bucket list, sure that what scares me most is not to live to the fullest. For the first time since that writing practice so many years before, my words clog. I do not move. Pen cannot leave paper.

If you want to witness a very special writer with a rising voice in the literary world, read Jen Knox’s stories and  the interview. CR Stories Interviews Jen Knox. Here’s a snippet:

NIYA: I am impressed by how you take us through time, aging people and their stories in juxtaposition with the pug in “After the Gazebo.” I felt I knew the pug intimately simply by the first description of his skin. And then I began to see the pug as watcher; a gatekeeper of time and of age. Can you speak to the genesis of this story? It’s excellent and so powerful for our theme this fall.

JEN: I love how you phrased that, a watcher and gatekeeper, because that is exactly how Prince seemed to come to me. He was a device on surface—the one factor that set so many things in motion that could arguably have led to the unnamed couple’s fate—but things are never that simple. A single decision may set others in motion, and this was the guideline of the story, but I wanted to show that perspective allows for what the obvious does not. The beauty and heartbreak in life is often brought on in degrees and in deep feelings that extend beyond belief to transcend our reality. Prince is a survivor, and he is a watcher, yes. He goes through the motions of his role, but something deeper motivates him and that thing may transcend life and death. I suppose that part’s up to the reader.

We are proud to showcase Jen Knox. Please leave comments and visit up in our social media hubs.

Twitter: curlyredstories

Facebook: PAGE

Fall Writers on Change Are Here and Wow!

Whether it’s Chad Patton’s talent for image detail — the breathless turns of emotion in Marian Brooks’ stories or the pure genius of how we are transformed right then and there by the alchemy of language in Rich Larson’s flashes, this showcase is a winner! Grab a hot cup of coffee, cuddle up by the fire and enjoy the fall (pun intended)!

Important Links Below

Curly Red Stories: Writers’ News

Curly Red Writers have been busy pollinating the planet with their talent. Let’s take a look at what a few of our writers have been up to.


Calder’s story, “out back by the rabbit pen” is now published at Switchback Issue 13.

His story, Confessions of a Baptist Janitor” was published with Quiet Lightening.

Calder is now working steadily on a novel. I can’t wait to read it!

Congratulations Calder!



Harmony has new publications at Spork, Hobart, and NAP. And she is the current fiction fellow at Emory University.

“What it’s like to die” at Spork Press

Patterson Thorndike is Dead at Hobart Journal

“FOOTPRINTS at Nap Magazine

Go Harmony!


NORA NADJARIAN (Cyprus, Europe)

NORA NADJARIAN  (Cyprus, Europe)

Exhibition is included inBest European Fiction 2011 (Edited by Aleksandar Hemon). Dalkey Archive Press, 2010

Mother Tongue is included in the anthology Being Human (Edited by Neil Astley). Bloodaxe Books, 2011

Girl, Wolf, Bones – a chapbook of modern day fairy tales: “an alternative trip through the fables and fairy tales of our youth.” Folded Word, 2011

Incredibly impressive Nora!


I’m awe struck by our writers! Growth is good. Growth is amazing!

Curly Red Stories will publish our writers news 2-3 times per year. Thank you.



A Note from Straight Blonde

Okay, so “Straight Blonde” isn’t nearly as catchy or winsome as “Curly Red,” so this is the first and last time you will see me use that nickname in reference to myself. I just had to try it out. Don’t you just have to try out the words sometimes? Type ‘em up, read them on the screen—take your ideas for a little test drive?

That’s one of the great things about flash fiction. Its design lends itself well to experimentation. Which is not to say it’s easy or fluffy, or necessarily even edgy. A quick tour around the stories on Curly Red will show you a range of tone and topics, from heavy to light, sunny days to darkest night.

Here’s the deal: whether you view flash fiction as a creative writing exercise, learning tool, or legitimate literary genre (we do), writing flash will make you work. It will sharpen your writing and editing skills. If you can craft an engaging story—complete with a beginning, middle, and end—in 750 words or less, chances are you’ll be capable of longer forms. And once you’ve got the longer forms down, turning a 10-page short story into flash is an excellent opportunity to practice “killing the darlings,” cutting all but the most essential words, sentences, and paragraphs, while leaving intact the story’s guts. Less can be more.

And, just so we’re clear: flash fiction is not the 21st century-American literary fad you may think it is. With roots in ancient fables and parables—from countries as remote from the West as China and Japan—microfiction is nothing new. (What is microfiction, and how does it differ from short or flash or prose poetry or sudden fictionIs there a difference? We’ll cover these questions in another blog post down the road.) What’s still true of the style is this: it allows you to play with words and ideas, and create a world with very few, strategically selected words. In a very compact space, you can populate this world with characters, color it with conflict, even drawn an arc. And we’re talking hours/days/weeks to make a story take shape, not months or years.

So try it out. Mess around! Sculpt some small but sturdy little tales, and send them in. I am eager to read your work, delighted to serve as editor of stories, and honored to be invited into the worlds you create. (Thanks, Curly Red!)

–Beth Bates, Stories Editor

Call for Submissions – Spring 2012 Showcase

‘PLACE’ as a character of story is such a ‘hot and intriguing’ atmosphere for a reader. Don’t we just love to visit another place in our minds? — budget vacation — lots of imagination possibilities for this next showcase. We are excited to read your work!

I do realize that the image for this post is a Diner. But this diner is so unique, I think it can only exist on a dusty road that exits route 66 somewhere near Flagstaff or a place in Turkey I never knew existed. Something about the color of that sky and the architecture. Who does that?

We aren’t very literal over here in Curly-land.

So have at it. Enjoy. And we can’t wait to read.

Go here for detailed submission guidelines…

Letter from Curly Red

Hello and thank you for stopping by! I’m more than thrilled to offer a platform for our writers that shows off their talent more fully. I’m also excited to be introducing some new activities and changes to the magazine. But first a little history about our publishing hiatus for nearly a year.

Curly Red Stories, originally didn’t intend to be a cyclical magazine. I had focused on design driven prose at Vermont College of Fine Arts and was hooked. I published a few writers in 08′ with the ‘working title’ of Curly Red Stories. However, I was more than a little surprised by the amount of enthusiasm for flash fiction. The word spread quickly. I was getting regular submissions. And people actually liked the title. I went with it and Curly Red Stories took on a life of it’s own, like all stories waiting to happen. However, I began CR Stories on iWeb. iWeb is really not set up for magazine proportions in the long run. In 2010 I maxed out on space. I purchased more. Then I maxed out on the max. So, I was unable to publish any more writers on that platform. All those comments that the writers had more than earned. All that content had to be migrated carefully; responsibly. It was going to take cash and time. CR Stories, then was somber during summer months, so last fall I devised a plan that has now been carried out. I couldn’t have done it without the help of Jess Nunez. She is amazing when it comes to technology. She very carefully migrated all the content and wrote custom code to the tune of my design and creative direction. We are over the moon to share it.


Beth Bates, marketing maven and talented editor has joined CR Stories. I feel very lucky. She’s sharp with the pen. I’m your typical creative director. I will be making the vision of the showcases come true. While Beth is not only a talented writer of flash fiction but her eye for detail and inquiries into the text as well as skills in marketing are a clear route to more success for our magazine.

Featured interviews: We will rotate interviews regularly on the home page and announce them via social media channels as we do.

More Circulation: Both Beth and Niya will be attending conferences in 2012 as well as guest blogging in relevant media/writing/publishing circles and we will be showing off CR Stories writers every chance we get. We are even going in arms with cool business cards. Maybe even fancy hats! In addition, Niya’s newly published illustrated children’s book, recognizes CR Stories inside the pages and on Amazon. We will announce juicy PR placements as we gain them. In the meantime, we are charged up and ready to spread the word.

Micro-publications + Events: The views of this author is that flash fiction expresses itself in many forms throughout our culture. A letter between two people can tell a compelling story. A one page dialogue in a screenplay, one word each character throughout can leave the audience floored with all that is revealed. A painting can be translated into a wonderful story in 300 words. Therefore we will have mini-calls for submissions and add pages and showcases in between the Spring and Fall main publications. The best way to stay in the loop is to subscribe to our newsletter. You’ll never miss an announcement or ‘sweet article’ — Thanks!

These are many of the highlights. And as we grow, we are a work in progress, so stick around… you might be as surprised as we are of what comes!