I just got an emailed notice from the University of New Mexico Press of Grant Faulkner's THE ART OF BREVITY, which comes out in February 2023. It sounds great: "THE ART OF BREVITY truly is a unique writing guide—one oriented toward close-reading and brevity as an aesthetic that transcends the page. Grant Faulkner is the executive director of NaNoWriMo and the cofounder of 100 Word Story, and his work has been widely anthologized in flash-fiction collections. But THE ART OF BREVITY is not just an examination of flash-fiction as a form or brevity as a writing tool—it’s a lyrical meditation on compactness as a value in storytelling, scaffolded by deep readings and writing challenges."
Looking for mentions of the book to publicize it on Twitter, I ran across a long-ago thread where Grant was looking for flash to include. I'd forgotten that a writer named Jill Witty (whom I don't know at all and haven't encountered since) recommended my micro "Little Darling" on that thread, saying, "This one by @doylejacq feels like an instant classic, like it has always existed." Which is an amazing compliment.
Grant ended up writing about "Little Darling" in his weekly newsletter: "If you're looking for a textbook example of how a story is enhanced and heightened through omission, I recommend Jacqueline Doyle’s Little Darling. It's also just a classic. It should be on every writer's reading list."
I was excited when he told me he's included "Little Darling" in THE ART OF BREVITY. I feel like I've missed a lot of parties with my micros and flash, which haven't made it into any of the anthologies. I'm honored to be included in this writing guide.
Having trouble lately sifting through recommendations for revision in my writing group (and getting over the somewhat toxic aftereffects of a previous member who really wanted a very different, thesis-driven kind of creative nonfiction from me). And I remember that we had a visitor when I workshopped "Little Darling"—someone with a recent book from Sarabande Press that I loved—and she really disliked "Little Darling," didn't get it at all. It didn't bother me because I felt quite sure of the value of what I'd written. I wish I had that confidence these days.