Jonathan Blum’s fiction writing workshop

Jonathan Blum’s fiction writing workshop starts September 27 and runs for six weeks. Just 10 students!

In this class, your will workshop short stories or novel excerpts of up to 20 pages, with the goal of helping you identify and build on the strengths of your  work. Among the questions the group will consider:

• In what ways does this fiction engage and move us?
• Does the fiction have a recognizable structure that serves the writer’s artistic aims?
• Do the events that make up the plot connect to create meaning?
• Do we have a strong sense of who the characters are?
• Is setting used effectively?
• Does the language capture our imagination?
• What is the story really about?

For complete details, email instructor Jonathan Blum.

jonathan-blumBlum is the author of Last Word (Rescue Press), a novella, which has been featured on The Huffington Post and KCRW’s Bookworm as well as named one of the best books of 2013 by Iowa Public Radio. Blum is a graduate of UCLA and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His short stories have appeared in Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, New York Stories, Northwest Review, Playboy, and elsewhere. He has taught fiction writing at the University of Iowa, Drew University, and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. He is the recipient of a Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award and a grant from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation.


Micro fiction: The Great Shake by MaryJane (MJ) Thornburg

It started with a quiet rumble and escalated into a mega quake. When the dust cleared, the entire department was gone. Years of work forgotten. The dust of a corporate layoff. The end forced a new beginning. Letting Go became a mantra, Letting God became a directive. Soon the ashes stimulated new growth. Creative energies were flowing. And suddenly, it was clear that what happened was required to shift direction toward a new path of living. A divine intervention of sorts. Change is never comfortable, but in the end a shake-up does a body good.

• • • • •

thornburgMaryJane (MJ) Thornburg is a Rose City Sisters reader who decided to take up the challenge of writing a 100-word story. She says she has more stories in the works.


Micro fiction: Cheating Weathervane by Eric Schweitz

Left holding the diaper bag at the park, my head shakes. New girlfriend’s frown reflects in your windshield. Streaks run down my face like those muddy tire tracks you’re leaving behind. Smiling in my arms, our baby giggles. Hush now, my love, everything will be okay.

Straight like an arrow to the source of all your problems, gamemaster kept score, assigned blame. I’m sorry. It’s my fault. Perhaps my muddled mind clears, watching your gaslights flicker.

Right at the beginning I knew. Love at first sight, two as one, kissing passionately. I love you. You might have even meant it.

• • • • •

Eric Schweitz is a writer and blogger. Comments are welcome.


Micro fiction: The Water Curse by Kim Dixon Perez

Elinor screamed as her treasured magnifying glass dropped in the water.

Rumor was: this shallow puddle never evaporated. If you touched even a drop – you were cursed. Back in ’06, Jimmy Flanders dared, and boy did he regret it. Or he would regret it, if he were still capable of clarity.

But Elinor had explorer blood. Couldn’t help it. If she could study the water, she’d know its depths. Using tongs, she slowly retrieved her magnifier. The tongs slipped. The glass dropped. Water splashed. Cursed.

Now Elinor’s brain can only consume memes dispensing self-righteous half-truths. Incapable of seeing anything whole.

• • • • •

Kim Dixon Perez ghostwrites for executives and entrepreneurs by day, and lets her word-goblins loose at night for some fun toggling between short fiction and APA-style academic nonfiction in pursuit of a master’s in environmental management. Find her at