Welcome to our new First Readers!

Over the past three months, our newest staff members have been working their way through our new First Reader training program.

The goal of this program was simple: If we want our new readers to be able to help us select stories for publication, then we need to make sure they have the knowledge and confidence to pinpoint what it is that makes a piece of flash fiction work.

Since the beginning of January, we’ve studied story elements and tropes. We’ve discussed the importance of opening lines, examined genre conventions, and debated about the relationship between conflict and tension. We’ve also taken a close look at stereotypes and biases and how they can cause harm and offense in fiction.

Our Quarter 1 Trainees excelled at everything we threw at them, and now, upon the completion of this flash fiction crash course, we’re excited to welcome these amazing readers as full-fledged staff members. We look forward to continuing to work with these amazing readers!

Tom Walsh

I just really “discovered” flash fiction about a year ago by accident. I wrote something for The Dark Mountain Project that an editor said was good flash fiction, and I had to Google the term. I started reading flash and writing it and am now hooked and learning all about rejection. A while ago, I had a career in forestry, then one in newspaper reporting and editing, and now do corporate editing to pay the bills (and with one kid in college and one there soon, there are bills!) FFO has inspired me to try new genres, and I’ve recently submitted my first sci-fi and fantasy stories.

Elle van Hensbergen

Elle van Hensbergen is an author who currently resides in central Texas. Her fiction has appeared in Flashquake, Thaumatrope, and Outshine. She juggles, makes questionable decisions, and generally acts to avoid cooking—which is probably best for everyone, now that we mention it.

Yelena Crane

Yelena Crane juggles being an adjunct professor, a freelance writer, and full-time mom in the storied streets of Philadelphia. She doesn’t actually know how to juggle. With an advanced degree in the sciences, she has followed her passions from mad-scientist to speculative fiction writer. 

Laura Wilson

Laura Wilson is Wisconsin born and raised with a degree in biology and creative writing. Her creative work has appeared in Barstow and GrandNOTA, and The Flipside. She is always looking for new adventures, especially if they involve climbing a bluff to get there. You can find her writing at laurawilsonwriter.wordpress.com.

Melody Cummins

“I’m a full time student studying English Literature with Writing in the UK. I work as a bookseller alongside uni and reading for Flash Fiction Online, so books and reading really are my passion! When I’m not reading, I love to travel, cook, or curl up with a movie and my two cats, Summer and Squiggles.”

Ania Lukashevich

Ania Lukashevich writes from the cape of Sounio in Greece, surrounded by the sea and the hills.  She grew up with stories, from Alice in Wonderland to the Roadside Picnic by brothers Strugatskie. Her house is filled with books, a toddler, a husband and two shepherd dogs. Two of her flash stories have been printed in Greek anthologies. She sometimes blogs about books at anialukashevich.com

Think you might be interested in being a First Reader for Flash Fiction Online? Fill out our application form HERE.