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PEN American Center

Guernica/PEN Flash Series

The Guernica/PEN Flash Series is a collaborative effort in which both journals publish the best flash out there. Join the Flash Series mailing list here to receive our weekly manuscripts by email, and stay tuned for news on an upcoming open reading period. 

April 7, 14

Snatch. Slit. Box. Words were too dense now. They sat thick on tongues. You had to figure out the right way to say them or you’d choke. Read More  »

March 24, 14

Yesterday on that same corner, a young man on a motorcycle was hit by a car. I heard it happen: the familiar shriek of tire on asphalt, the crunch of impact. The young man was thrown several feet to the grass beside the road, and he lay there...Read More  »

March 7, 14

The Golden Deer. The city would rise around him like glass, a sparkling labyrinth that he was finally at the center of, like those men who stepped out of black town cars without a glance backward, trusting that every day would find them in a world...Read More  »

February 25, 14

PEN America / Guernica Flash Submissions: 1,000 words or less. Open Submissions from 2/27/14 to 3/16/14 Read More  »

February 21, 14

He sees me staring through the rearview and stops. Every streetlight we pass, his face gets shinier. He unzips his jacket, I notice blood on his shirt. Stabbed, probably. This thug shit ain’t working for him. Read More  »

February 11, 14

All we did was move from our house to a stranger’s house, then one after another. Every so often an army officer yelled at us to keep heading south, so that’s what we did, what everybody did, take a suitcase and walk out of one neighborhood and...Read More  »

January 28, 14

"Listen," he said as he closed the door and threw them into darkness. There must have been a light somewhere, but he didn’t turn it on. Her heart rose to some challenge. She didn’t know what made her trust him, a man who would break into someone’s...Read More  »

January 14, 14

Amal didn’t see when they took her mother away. She closed herself in her mother’s bedroom and smelled the lilac on her mother’s pillow until the sounds of the ambulance and her mother’s helpless screams faded away. Read More  »

December 30, 13

Sometimes you have to stare a hundred times before an image sticks, before you understand half of what’s hidden there, still living, behind the snapshot. Uncle Pedro used to say that, in the mornings when he showed me the streets of São Paulo,...Read More  »

December 17, 13

I have an Arabic language CD but no CD player. I wish my sister Alyssa didn’t have cancer. Today when I was working on my math I had trouble holding my left hand steady. Last Monday I taught a yoga class. It is possible to chew a piece of celery...Read More  »