The Lighthouse Writers Top-Secret Blog

All the latest news, ideas, and opinions from Denver's Independent Literary Center:

A Glass, A Class, A Free Flash Pass

I promise, if you read to the end, this will all make sense…

1.  A Glass

This Saturday, January 12, the latest winner of the Stories On Stage/Lighthouse Writers Page to Stage Contest will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience by hearing her short story read to a live audience by a professional actor (see info here). I know how great this will be for her, because I have had this precise unique experience–I won this contest in 2010 (and I’m still getting mileage out of it!).

How is this experience different than say, reading at The Draft or getting accepted for publication in a literary journal? Well, for one thing, you aren’t nearly as nervous because you aren’t the one standing up there in front of the audience, reading your own work in your especially unprofessional way (once again, speaking from personal experience). It doesn’t matter if your hands shake or your voice cracks, you’re sitting in the darkened theater along with the rest of the audience.

And it’s the audience which makes this so special. If you read your own work, it’s really hard to pay attention to the audience. If you get published in a magazine, you don’t know who reads your work or what their reaction is. But when your work is read (performed!) by someone else, you get to pay attention to the audience response–and it’s wonderful! The SOS audience is comprised of people who love stories, and to watch people listen intently to your story is a great gift for any writer.

So I’d like to encourage you all to come share this special day with Kelley Shirk by being a member of the audience. It meant so much to me that people I knew from Lighthouse were there to experience it with me. And I felt so honored when people I didn’t know from Lighthouse still came anyway, to celebrate with our community as a whole.


If you do go, apparently there is some football game that afternoon which might make getting through Denver a little harder than usual–please account for that in your travel plans.

The glass? Stop by El Noa Noa (across the street from Su Teatro) before the evening performance and let’s raise a toast to Kelley’s win!

2.  A Class

Ever heard of something called “Flash Fiction?” No, it’s not fiction that’s flashy (although it can be!), but it’s fiction that’s told in a “flash.” In other words, it’s short. Very short. A story with a beginning, a middle, and an end, in less than 1000 words. Or 500 words. Or 25 words. The kind of story where every word needs to matter.

If you’re curious about learning how to write this type of condensed narrative, Lighthouse instructor Shane Oshetski is teaching a 4 week class called “Flash Fiction: It All Happened So Fast.” Here’s the info here. There are spots still available, and the class starts–Today! Think Fast, and sign up quick.

(Little known fact: Shane plays a mean game of poker. And don’t you think he looks good in a fedora? Wait, did I just think that or actually write it?)

Shane & John

Shane Oshetski and John Brehm

3.  A Free Flash Pass

Okay, from Stories on Stage to Flash Fiction–pretty random, right? But I promised it would all make sense, and here it is. Last year, Stories on Stage collaborated with The Buntport Theater Company to present an all Flash Fiction program. They got such a good response, they’re doing it again–and having a Flash Fiction Contest to determine who gets read! Anyone who reads this is invited to submit.

Here are the deets.

Deadline:  Friday, February 8 at 5 p.m.

Word Limit:  As few as 2 words, no more than 550 words. No limit on the number of stories you may submit.

Formatting: Use 14 pt Arial Font, line spacing at 1.5 lines, and indent your paragraphs.

Submit: Please send all stories to

Performance Date: Saturday, March 2, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at Su Teatro Cultural & Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, Denver CO.

Prize: All winners will receive 2 free tickets to Very, VERY Short Stories: The Sequel. There is no monetary compensation, but the tickets can be used at either the 1:30 or the 7:30 performances.

The Fine Print: By submitting your story, you allow Stories on Stage and Buntport Theater Company the right to read it on March 2, 2013 for two performances of Very, VERY Short Stories: The Sequel. Stories on Stage will not retain any rights after the show.

Anthony Powell, the artistic director at Stories on Stage, told me that last year’s program had 31 stories! That’s a lot of slots to fill, so take a chance and submit by February 8th–you might win and get a Free Pass to the Flash Fiction program! Don’t you want to know what it feels like to listen to a professional actor read your work, and to be surrounded by a warm and enthusiastic audience? It’s better than being published in the New Yorker!

(not that I know what that’s like…)

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” –William Shakespeare

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This entry was posted on January 8, 2013 by in Cool Events, Memories, Parties, The Scoop, Writing.

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