No Extra Words

the flash fiction podcast


Show Notes

Episode 88: Seeing the Divine

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What do you see when you look into the eye of humanity?

A chance encounter with a stranger on a train makes a woman wonder who is friend and who is stranger in “The Good Samaritan.” By Mary J. Breen, copyright 2011, used with permission. Read Mary’s bio.

First round of a new segment! “I’m a Meme Writer” features “After I Finished my Salad…” by Kris Baker Dersch, copyright 2017.

Rental of a place sight unseen leads to “The Lonely Key.” By Joan MacIntosh, copyright 2016, used with permission. Read Joan’s bio.

Happy listening,


Special Episode #15: An Important Call for Submissions

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Click on the photo for an audio version of this call.

No Extra Words is looking for women writers to create pieces about women’s health and choice for an upcoming special episode.

This is a topic that has been extensively covered in all sorts of media, but one of the things literature does very well is get at those in between places. While we are happy to ready any and all fiction, nonfiction, and poetry on this topic, we would love to hear stories where things aren’t so straightforward, stories that explore all the nuances, stories that reflect how having and making choices impacts women at all phases in their lives and how the changing culture and political scene impacts how these personal stories play out in the real world. Truth is a hard thing to get at and sometimes gets crowded out of political debate, so we’re going to look for it through the lens of art.

You are welcome to be anonymous, use a pseuenym, or use your own name, whatever you prefer. We absolutely will not edit your story in any way without your consent.

Abortion stories are welcome, but this topic is larger than it is sometimes made out to be. Choice and women’s health includes the choices women make at all phases in their lives, around birth control, feminine care, fertility issues, aging, etc. We will use the broadest definition of a women’s right to choose in considering submissions.

I want to speak for just a moment about why I am opening this call for women writers only. We appreciate all of the guys out there and I’m sure many of you could write or maybe even have written, marvelous literature on this issue. But there is a tendency in this culture, for people who have been marginalized to not be able to tell their own truth or speak their own words. I sincerely hope you’ll understand, and I encourage male writers and listeners and any writer to whom this call doesn’t appeal to respond to our general call for submissions on our website or our Instagram Drabble Challenge, which is currently ongoing.

All our general submission rules are going to apply to this call. Please paste your entire piece into the body of an email, no attachments, send to and put Choice in your subject line. As I said, we are happy to read fiction, nonfiction, or poetry and we are going to have to adhere to a 1500 word maximum word count for this. We will also accept audio submissions, so if you prefer you can send your piece as a 7 minute or less .mp3 file. Writers who submit written pieces that are accepted will also be given the opportunity to record their own audio if they choose. Submissions deadline for this call is Friday, October 20. We will respond to all submissions and anticipate making selections by the end of November and releasing the episode in January.

I need to note that we are a non-paying market. I wish I had the ability to compensate all our writers for use of their material, but we do not. If accepted, we will credit and publicize you and you will maintain ownership of your own work.

If you have any questions or feedback, please email and I would love to chat with you.

Happy writing,


Featured post

Episode 87: Crack the World Open

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The world is always on the verge of exploding and reinventing itself.

“A Town Built on Salt” is on a shaky foundation indeed. By Windy Lynn Harris, copyright 2014, used with permission. This piece was originally published in Crack the Spine in April 2015, issue 147. Visit Windy’s website.

Hanako’s world is very small and carefully observed, but observers miss things in “Hanako Learns to Count.” By Sean Patrick Whiteley, copyright 2016, used with permission. Read Sean’s bio.

Today’s Writing Spaces features longtime friend of the show and repeat contributor Dr. Jeffrey Toney. He was originally featured on Episode 49 and was part of Episode 82‘s drabble spectacular. Click here to see his writing space.

There are the things you see about a person, and things you don’t, especially when that person is “Watermelon.” By Lisa Ko, copyright 2015, used with permission. Read Lisa’s bio.

Happy listening,


Episode 86: Those Seams Will Never Break

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There are the ties that bind and those we run from.

Jim Szabo’s six word story is the beginning of (a beautiful?) marriage. Copyright 2014, used with permission. Read Jim’s bio or find him on the Second Hand Stories Podcast.

Five-time No Extra Words contributor Tina Tocco ponders whether you really can go home in “That Boy’s a Catch.” Copyright 2016, used with permission. Read Tina’s bio.

Writing Spaces for Episode 86 features Dallas Woodburn, who first appeared with us back on Episode 28. Click here to see her writing space. We are also featuring Sheila Good, whose story was featured on Episode 35. Click here to see her writing space.

Sometimes escape takes you away from something. Sometimes it takes you towards something. “Moira Actually” is by Adam Kluger and voiced by Bill Tush. Copyright 2016, used with permission.

People aren’t perfect, but there’s perfection in the imperfection, like when your girlfriend gets “Sweaty.” By T.E. Cowell, copyright 2017, used with permission. Read T.E.’s bio.

Happy listening,


Episode 85: Poignancy

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What do you do when time away is simultaneously long enough to sink your teeth into and yet not nearly long enough? “Walk a Pavement Once.” By Eivind Nerberg, copyright 2007, used with permission. Originally published in 2008 in the anthology Nano2ales, edited by Ziv Navoth (Franc Roddam’s Ziji Publishing, UK.) Read Eivind’s bio.

It’s funny how every familiar place eventually becomes a “Ghost Town.” By Jessica Psenski, copyright 2017, used with permission. Originally published over on her lovely blog. Read Jessica’s bio.

For today’s segment, a grand experiment: Found Literature. This is an anonymous piece and there is no good way to locate its author so as I said on the show it lives in a murky area of U.S. copyright law. I am choosing to take the risk and bring it to you, trying to operate on good faith. Story really is everywhere, and if anyone knows where the author(s) of this piece might be, I hope you’ll reach out.

As a Pacific Northwest native, I am a sucker for excellent visual descriptions of this amazing part of the world, such as those found in “Red of 10,000 Years.” By Dave Barrett, copyright 2015, used with permission. This piece is an excerpt of his novel Gone Alaska and the excerpt was originally published in the Summer 2015 issue of The Vignette Review. Read Dave’s bio.

Happy listening,


Special Episode #14: Feature the Podcaster: my conversation with Jim Szabo of Second Hand Stories


Click on the picture to hear the episode!

I loved my chat with Jim Szabo, host of the Second Hand Stories podcast. We chatted about the inspiration for our shows, how we deal with submissions and what our pet peeves are, how much we love our writers, our recording spaces, and so much more. Here’s some links to the things we talked about.

And the two recommendations Kris gives to podcaster wannabes are:

Happy listening,


Episode 84: Life After Death

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Not what you think. This is what happens to the living that the dead don’t have to deal with.

“The Adequate News Report” gives us just the facts, and just the end. As in all good microfiction, you get to come up with the beginning. By Dan Seiters, copyright 2016, used with permission. Read Dan’s bio.

Paul and Emma have had “A Death in the Family,” and someone has to decide how they tell. By Amanda Staples, copyright 2017, used with permission. Read Amanda’s bio.

No new announcements on today’s episode, but definitely think about contributing your 100 word story to our Instagram challenge and check out how you can support the show. Supporters also get a behind the scenes look at how I used Google to create poems like the one featured on today’s episode “What Happens After Death?”

Dealing with Grandma’s death is one thing. Getting Grandma to her final resting place is something different in “The Ministry.” By Niles M. Reddick, copyright 2014, used with permission. Visit Niles’s website.

Happy listening,


Episode 83: Losing Sleep

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Up late wondering if they know what they are doing to memories of “My Last Husband.” By Mary J. Breen, copyright 2013, used with permission. “My Last Husband” first appeared in The Waterhouse Review in January 2013. Read Mary’s bio.

Today’s episode features a silly campfire story by Kris Baker Dersch. The three guardians of this podcast are Submissions, Promotion, who would like to introduce you to the wilds of Instagram and YouTube, and Support.

Writing spaces for Episode 83 features Steven Mayoff, who was previously with us on Episode 47 and Episode 56. Click here to see his writing space.

Our second Writing Spaces contributor is Rachel Lyon, whose work can be heard on Episode 46. Click here to see her writing space. You can also see detailed photos of the balloon, the lion, the angel, and the novel-in-progress featured in her piece.

It’s always hard to explain a dream. “I Had Children in a Dream” is by Stacy Stepanovich, copyright 2016, used with permission. Read Stacy’s bio.

The Google poem featured in this episode is by Kris Baker Dersch and is the launch of our fundraising campaign on Patreon. You can view the video of the Google poetry writing technique by becoming a Patreon sponsor to the show. The poem is called “Lost Sleep” and is inspired by the stories of this episode.

We’ve all had that middle of the night feeling like it’s “Three in the Morning and You Don’t Smoke Anymore.” By Peter J. Stavros, copyright 2016, used with permission. Visit Peter’s website.

Happy listening,


Episode 82: Drabbles, a Podcastiversary, and Katharine Grubb of the 10 Minute Novelists

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It’s our two year podcastiversary! This jam-packed episode honors the short form of the drabble, a story of exactly 100 words.

All 12 of today’s stories were part of the Apples to Apples Drabble contest put on by Katharine Grubb at the 10 Minute Novelists blog. Katharine herself stops by on this episode to talk writing, the contest, and the 10 Minute Novelists facebook group. We are grateful to Katharine and the 10 Minute Novelists for being part of this special episode. Read Katharine’s bio. Read the bios of today’s contributors here, here, and here.

All of the stories featured on this episode are copyright 2017. All are used with permission and remain the intellectual property of their creators.

The blog post I spoke about in my interview with Katharine is on the Blonde Write More blog.

Happy listening,



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