Contributor, Kevin Fink
A website dedicated to quick reads and a reading series called Quickies, sounds like a perfect match, right?
Quickies creators Mary Hamilton and Lindsay Hunter seem to think so. This Tuesday, March eighth, they’ll use their monthly literary event to showcase “The Fiction At Work Biannual Report,” a collection of flash fiction culled from website, fictionatwork.com. Published through Caroline Picard’s Green Lantern Press, the book, says Picard, represents “a great opportunity to showcase a wide number of authors working within specific word count constraints. This work is intended to be read in those liminal spaces, a companion for those instances when you're on your way [somewhere] but haven't yet arrived.”
The book’s antecedent, Fictionatwork.com was created by writer Tobias Bengelsdorf. “Work is what inspired the website,” says Bengelsdorf. “Offices. Timesheets. Meetings. Memos. Dress Codes. I never want to read fiction more than when I'm not supposed to be reading fiction. But sometimes a full-length story is too long to read at work, so we publish very short stories. That you can read at work.”
“The Biannual Report” too, can be read at work. Compact, almost postcard-size, the collection is perfect for hiding in a desk drawer, even a back pocket. According to Bengelsdorf, contributors like Jac Jemc and Ira S. Murfin were chosen by submitting work published on the website to a panel of judges, at which point, “a group of stories very quickly rose to the top of the pile.”
One of those stories, Kevin Fink’s “Waiting,” though perhaps shorter than other pieces, is nonetheless striking. Fink describes his micro-fiction as “dramatic and almost stream-of-consciousness, a moment in the mind of someone desperate.” A contributor to both fictionatwork.com and Quickies, Fink believes both encourage the same “exciting challenge,” to create work like “Polaroid snapshots.” He credits fictionatwork specifically with focusing his writing. “I like working within constraints. It can be a challenge to fill a three hundred-word story with emotional resonance, but it's such an exciting challenge.” As for Quickies, Fink calls it “a casual, totally non-pretentious environment. Plus, some guy always sells cheese tamales at the bar where Quickies is held, and who doesn't like cheese tamales?”
Come taste the tamales, listen to select contributors read and maybe buy a copy of Green Lantern’s latest release this Tuesday, March 8th, 7:30 p.m. at the Innertown Pub. You can also purchase “The Fiction At Work Biannual Report online.
A freelance writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum, when not writing, supports herself as a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago's Story Studio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She’s kind of looking forward to it actually. Follow Our Town on Facebook and Sarah on Twitter: @SarahTerez