SCOTT GARSON

A writer, editor, and educator, Scott Garson grew up in Iowa and spent a number of summers on Lake Okoboji. These days he teaches and coordinates the undergraduate creative writing program at the University of Missouri. 

He’s the founding editor of Wigleaf—an international journal of very short fiction and a four-time Pushcart-Prize awardee. As Editor, he has enjoyed working with debut and emerging writers as well as more established writers, like New York Times bestselling authors Rumaan Alam and Roxane Gay.

Editing Wigleaf also means serving as an unofficial ambassador for flash fiction (defined variously as stories under 1000 or 750 words). In an interview published in the current edition of the Best Microfiction annual, Garson considers developments since the year Wigleaf was launched: “There weren’t as many journals publishing flash in ’08, and there weren’t as many people writing it. Now, it’s like nearly every young writer tries their hand at very short fiction, and this infusion—of diverse talents and perspectives and voices—has done wonders for the form. People can’t ignore flash fiction anymore (see, for example, The New Yorker, which has started publishing it).”

Garson’s own stories and flash fictions have appeared in journals like Electric Literature, The Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, and Threepenny Review. His work has been anthologized in Best Small Fictions, Best Microfiction, and Best of the Web, and has been gathered in two books: American Gymnopédies, a collection of microfictions, and Is That You, John Wayne?—a collection of stories and flash fictions which was taken up for promotion on Barnes&Noble.com in conjunction with the Discover New Writers program.

In his currently non-existent free time, he enjoys picking out books to be read at a later date.

Topic 1: Stories in Miniature: the New Horizon of Flash Fiction, Microfiction and Prose Poetry . When the story of 21st Century fiction gets written, there will likely be a chapter on the very short story, which has taken off in the internet age, with the coming of many new online publications whose editors are looking for work short enough to be read on a laptop or phone. Flash fiction is on the move. What used to be seen, perhaps, as nothing more than a writer’s party trick is now a genre that nearly every new writer explores and publishes in. In this generative workshop, we’ll survey the field and look into how writers get started.

Topic 2: What Is Autofiction?: Blurring the Line Between You and Your Stories The Czech writer Milan Kundera says that he sees his characters as “possible selves.” One way to interpret this: your main character is like you if certain factors of their life were somehow different. As a writer, I’ve always been drawn to this idea. In this generative workshop, we’ll consider how you might open into memory and personal history to write stories of powerful authenticity.

Topic 3: Spinning Fictions: Paths Towards the Writing of Stories How do you write a story? We’ll consider (not without skepticism!) the conventional wisdom, and we’ll take a few novel approaches. This is a generative workshop, so we’ll be leaving with material that can be developed further

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