The Story You Need To Tell

15803014After Visiting Friends explores a most terrifying idea: What if all the people around you are just waiting for someone – YOU – to tell the truth?  It’s not easy to accept your fate – that you were meant to live longer than your dad, that he had secrets and that you are the only person that wants to know what really happened. How many times can you ask yourself why me, before you go ahead and write the story you need to tell?

The author, Michael Hainey, has a nagging question that he carried around with him for nearly thirty years. While looking through various obituaries published after his father’s death, he found a few incongruities.  The Sun Times, where Robert Hainey worked as an assistant copy desk chief, made no mention of the place or cause of death.  Chicago Today, though, where Robert’s brother worked, gave a street address where the man had “collapsed and died,” after leaving the home of a friend.  Finally, the Chicago Daily writes that he died, while visiting friends, on the North Side.

At age 18 he asks himself: Friends?  Who are these friends? And why have i never met them? Continue reading The Story You Need To Tell

Books Gone Wild – Adaptations for the Stage

A dramatic reading of a dinner party scene from Rachel Kushner’s “Flamethrowers” took place at 356mission on April 18th, 2013.  

photo from

Eight actors made up the participants of the party, led by the narrator / protagonist, nicknamed Reno, who guided us through the events of the evening.  Because there was not a terrible amount of dialogue in the scene, most of the reading came from the protagonist, who is an outsider in a world of contemporary art enthusiasts.  She’s been brought to the dinner party in a Chelsea loft by her boyfriend Sandro, a well known artist, who has an insider status among the diners. Throughout the party she observes the way that the characters cannot connect with her or to each other and possibly even to themselves. Continue reading Books Gone Wild – Adaptations for the Stage

Flash Fiction and Happy Accidents

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 9.09.56 AMEmily interviewed Litwrap member Christopher DeWan, award-winning creator of short fiction, stageplays, screenplays, and new media, on the subject of flash fiction. Chris has published numerous short stories, in journals recently including Bartleby Snopes, Grey Sparrow Journal, Jersey Devil Press, Necessary Fiction, Niteblade, Rose & Thorn Journal, and wigleaf. His story “The Garden” was nominated for the 2013 Pushcart Prize.

EK: What are some tips for getting started in flash fiction?
CD: I’m one of those writers who has to write every day or I go a little crazy. Continue reading Flash Fiction and Happy Accidents

Calling Brooklyn Poets! (and anyone else willing to cross the bridge)

poetryFrom LitWrap member, and poet, Meghan Dunn.
Need a little more poetry and a few more poets in your life?
If, like me, your answer is yes… email me to become a founding member of a Brooklyn poet’s group.  Ideally, we would meet a few times a month to share poems, share critique, and connect over all things poetry.
Time and place for meetings will be determined by the group, but you can count on it being in Brooklyn!
If you’re interested in a semi-regular, semi-formal poetry meet and critique, please email Meghan Dunn at

Three Reasons You Should Write a Short, Short Story

images-3What is flash fiction? Flash fiction is a complete story, remarkable for its brevity. Lengths might shift. Some outlets call for a teeny 100 words. Others offer the wiggle room of a comfy 1500 words. Regardless, flash fiction needs to tell a story, with plot, narrative, character/s, conflict, and resolution.

You should write a short, short story because: Continue reading Three Reasons You Should Write a Short, Short Story

The Texture of Crime in an Asian Megacity

Manila NoirManila Noir (Akashic Books, 2013). Edited by Jessica Hagedorn, Author of Dogeaters, Dream Jungle, and Toxicology

Starting with Brooklyn Noir (2004), the Akashic Noir series sets gritty crime stories in iconic cities. I was particularly interested in Akashic’s newest, Manila Noir, for very personal reasons. First, I moved to New York from Manila last year, and second, I’m writing a novel that takes place in Manila and that centers on a gritty crime.

So what can I say about Manila? Manila was hard, busy, hot, crowded. People from all walks of life were smashed on top of each other. Skyscrapers on top of slums. Slums burned down to make space for more skyscrapers. I witnessed my first murder there. I used to joke that compared to Manila, New York would be easy. (And it is – subway pushers, and gentleman gropers, and all).  Continue reading The Texture of Crime in an Asian Megacity