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  • Writer's pictureFrances

Author Spotlight: Christopher Allen

Updated: Feb 18, 2018

Flash. It's what's for dinner. And lunch. And bus rides and coffee breaks.

When I first took my editorial position at Contrary Magazine, editor Jeff McMahon had to wean me off of standard Paris Review-length 5,000-word stories. The compression of a story didn't diminish them. He argued that fact, stories could deepen, expand. As I worked through my first issue with him, I saw what he meant. Just as poetry puts pressure on each word to bring meaning to the page, flash gets to the heart of storytelling quickly, and yet, with the same vitality and lingering effect as longer stories.

“I can't say it enough: there’s no time for scene-setting and wheel-spinning in flash.”—Christopher Allen in an interview in SmokeLong Quarterly

Few authors have mastered the form better than SmokeLong Quarterly editor and author Christopher Allen. Chris folds into his stories family dynamics, history, humor, and a shift in lens that is often startling and yet welcome.

I published Chris's story Box of Nazi in Contrary.

His first book, Other Household Toxins is now available from Matter Press.

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