No Extra Words

the flash fiction podcast

Writing Spaces for Episode 78 with a thanks to our sponsor

Writing Spaces has a sponsor for Episode 78! Former No Extra Words contributor (Episode 23) Matt Keefer and the Ravings of a Mad Music Man blog is our sponsor. Check out Matt’s blog on our episode release day, March 31, to hear his Writing Spaces essay.

Jen McConnell’s story was featured on Episode 54 alongside another Writing Spaces contributor Edith Gallagher Boyd. Your weird piece of No Extra Words trivia for the day: Episode 54 is our most listened to episode of all time. I could really relate to Jen’s discussion of her writing space.


Marina Frances Mularz’s tearjerking story appeared all the way back on Episode 20. She tells us about this space, laptop cords and all.


Happy listening,



Meet Episode 78 Contributor Drew Lovell


Drew Lovell is a writer who has written everything from short-horror, dark-comedy, fairytales and children’s books. He is also an established songwriter, having toured places such as Paris, Portugal and Chicago and releasing 2 solo albums. His 1st novel, The Depressed Life Coach was published in 2016. You can find it here:

Happy listening,


Meet Episode 78 Contributor Ron Riekki

Ron Riekki’s books include U.P.: a novel (Sewanee Writers Series and Great Michigan Read nominated), The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (2014 Michigan Notable Book from the Library of Michigan and finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award/Grand Prize shortlist, Midwest Book Award, Foreword Book of the Year, and Next Generation Indie Book Award), Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (2016 IPPY/Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal Great Lakes—Best Regional Fiction and Next Generation Indie Book Award—Short Story finalist), and And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 (Michigan State University Press, 2017).

Episode 77: Kiss it All Better

Copy of FLASH

It really can all change in “One Moment.” By Amanda Staples, copyright 2016, used with permission. Visit Amanda’s website.

If only all fairy tales ended like “The Frog Prince.” By Clive Collins, copyright 2014, used with permission. Read Clive’s bio.

Back for Episode 77: Writing Spaces, featuring No Extra Words contributors. Pat Obermeier was with us back on Episode 36. Click here to see her writing space. Joan MacIntosh was featured on Episode 57. Click here to see her writing space.

Happy listening,



Meet Episode 77 Contributor Clive Collins

Clive Headshot Summer

Born in Leicester, England, Clive Collins has spent the greater part of his life working as a teacher in Ireland, Sierra Leone and Japan. He is the author of the novels The Foreign Husband (Marion Boyars) and Sachiko’s Wedding (Marion Boyars/Penguin Books). Misunderstandings (Marion Boyars), a collection of short stories, was joint-winner of the Macmillan Silver PEN Award in 1994. A short-listed finalist in the 2009 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, his more recent work has appeared online and in journals such as Penny, Cecile’s Writers, and at Carried Away and Other Stories is to be published by Red Bird Chapbooks in 2017.

Happy listening,


Writing Spaces for Episode 77 featuring Pat and Joan

We didn’t do this last episode, but it’s back! No Extra Words contributors tell us where they write.

Joan MacIntosh’s short story “Inspiration,” was featured on Episode 57 last September. Doesn’t her space look cozy?


Pat Obermeier shared a story back on Episode 36, over a year ago now. You’re going to love hearing her describe this space.


Tune in on Friday and here them share PLUS all-new short fiction! Happy listening,


Meet Episode 77 Contributor Amanda Staples

energy photo

Amanda lives in Bristol and has had various short stories published. She won 3rd place in the Grimsby University International Literary Competition, was published in the anthology by Hammond House, and had a story commissioned by Fantasia in the USA. She has previously been placed in a novel writing competition and is currently long listed for the National Novel Writing Competition (Jan. 2017.) Amanda has a one-act play going in to production later this year. In 2016, Amanda self-published a cook book titled Eating for Energy based on her experience of managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by diet. She has a novel out with agents and hopes to turn her passion into a career.

Happy listening,


March is #trypod Month!

Followers of this website know that I like throwing the occasional blog post into the podcast mix and it’s been a long time since I’ve done that. I also have some topics in mind that I want to talk about, but today is not that day. Today is a toddler yelling in the background a pile of audio to edit kind of a day. I am so excited about all the stuff coming up on the show…great contributors, awesome segments, and some cool new stuff. But it doesn’t lend itself to a lot of blogging time.

Instead, I’m here to talk #trypod month. This is an initiative put together by a bunch of the big podcast hosts to reach the 80%. As in the 80% of people who don’t listen to podcasts. The best way to reach them is through the 20%, that is you out there who do listen to podcasts. You are the best ambassadors to tell your friends and your community why they should listen and show them how to do it. You know it’s free an easy…they don’t.

To inspire you, I’m doing my roundup of the 5 podcasts I’m talking about this month. These are the ones I’ll be sharing with my peeps, and in the interest of staying away from self-promotion, they are not my shows. (Although, of course, you’re welcome to share those, too.)

The History Chicks. Days when these ladies release a new episode are my favorite days. The History Chicks is historical girl talk. Every episode they pick a woman in history, everyone from Queen Nzinga to Marie Antoinette to Hattie McDaniel (first African-American to win an Oscar.) The two hosts research the women separately (their research is excellent,) and then come together to tell the story. They’ve been doing it for years and their back catalog is phenomenal.

How to Be a Girl. This is one of my favorite parenting podcasts. It’s on break right now so it’s a great time to get caught up. Independent producer Marlo Mack tells you what it’s like to single parent her transgender daughter. What I love about this is that she’s not perfect, she’s a mom like any of us just trying to figure out how in the world to navigate this. She is on a journey and you get to go with her and you’ll be surprised how ordinary her parenting journey is. How to Be a Girl is part of a podcast collective called The Heard, be sure to also check out First Day Back.

XX Will Travel. In my 20s, I was a traveler. I worked in summer camps across the U.S., spent six months in New Zealand, and spent most of those years having a quasi-nomadic existence where I would work like a grown-up for awhile and take off. When I discovered this show I thought it would be more nostalgia for me than anything else…obviously life is much different now…but these ladies do an awesome job of speaking to a traveler wherever you are on the journey. Whether you are about to take that big round-the-word trip or you just need to plan your next girls’ weekend or road trip, these ladies will help you get there, and I love the women solo traveler angle they bring to it.

Art Curious. I slept through art history in college (the room was warm,) but I do love good storytelling and that’s what Art Curious is. The host tells the stories behind great artists and works of art, and like all good storytelling it’s a little history, a little mystery, and a little ridiculous. You don’t have to be someone who spends every weekend in a museum to appreciate this show.

German Genealogy Girl. I wasn’t going to recommend any brand-new shows…I’ve been burned by that before and she’s literally one episode in. But I am also one-quarter German, love genealogy, and have struggled with the research on this part of my family so I’m super excited that this exists and want to give her a boost.

Five shows that are subscribed to in my phone. And all hosted by women, who get neither the press nor the respect in this space. What are you listening to? What are you sharing? Tell us, and use the hashtag #trypod in social media all month long.

Happy sharing!


Episode 76: You Don’t Believe in the Morning

Copy of FLASH

No matter how far you run away, you never escape who you are and what your past is.

After not being able to slow down a friend who is struggling, those left behind must deal with the fact that there was “Nothing They Could Do.” By Kim Farleigh, copyright 2016, used with permission. Read Kim’s bio.

New segment today! You Be the Producer, with No Extra Words contributor Arden Wren Sawyer. Arden wrote “Caffeine, Cancer, Coco, Candida,” copyright 2016 and used with permission, with a special secondary character. Read Arden’s bio.

It’s not always your choice, sometimes it’s “Policy.” But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t haunt you. By Timothy Boudreau, copyright 2016, used with permission. Read Timothy’s bio.

Happy listening,


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