The Story Behind the Story: “Wolf or Deer”

This past summer, I returned to my childhood summer camp to teach creative writing after having been away from the place for more than twenty years. The setting, that inimitable blend of new and old, was rife with inspiration. For the entire month I was there (with my own two kids in tow) I knew I wanted to write some kind of camp story – I knew it would be short, I just didn’t know what it would look like. Then, I came home. Life resumed. I threw myself into trying to write a novel, which involved resisting a natural impulse to compress everything into as few words as possible, to leave room for what’s left unsaid, and to become more comfortable with the mess of sustaining multiple narrative threads over time. Which is to say, I haven’t been letting myself write many stories. But one day I finally cheated on the novel, and Wolf or Deer emerged. There is something deeply gratifying and playful about flash fiction, like figuring out a puzzle. To build an entire world and tell a full story in a 1000 words may seem restrictive, but I find the limits of that framework to be incredibly freeing. You get in, you get out. You call it a day.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
New Fiction Featured Fiction Most Popular Interviews (all) Novel Flash
Sort by

“Wolf or Deer”

When it rained, we played Would You Rather on the cabin floor. It was a game of tough choices. Would you
2015-06-02 06:46:00


“Fugue of the Sunbathers”

A little girl of maybe four or five. You can tell by her Spongebob one-piece bathing suit, her sassy mouth, her
2019-07-01 23:30:57


“Running for Avocados and Writing from Bears”

Chad Lutz Alice Walker Graduate Workshop October 17,
2019-02-03 11:01:30


“Poison Snail Fight”

When I was a kid of seven, we lived in a place infested with soft shell snails. It was common knowledge those little
2019-02-01 07:50:07


“64 Colors”

I had 64 of you before I could even count to 20. Offerings from my mother. Waxy and earthy columns of color
2018-09-26 09:41:14


“Opening Night”

1996 The parents had been fighting, but the daughter had a play that night and as always with their
2016-12-26 08:31:47


Interview with Paul Griner

Once upon a time, I took a creative writing class
2016-12-22 13:47:01


Interview with Sherrie Flick, author of Whiskey, etc.

  Sherrie Flick’s new colle
2016-10-05 08:48:11



Momma’s Face Momma’s got pink eyes, always wet and dribbling like the leaky sink. Drip. Virginia tau
2016-04-07 06:20:47


Novel Flash: Bring Up the Bodies

His children are falling from the sky. He watches from horseback, acres of England stretching behind him; they
2016-02-08 08:45:23


About Sara Lippmann

Sara Lippmann is the author of the story collection, Doll Palace. A 2012 NYFA Fiction Fellow, her work has appeared in The Good Men Project, Wigleaf, Slice magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, Joyland and elsewhere. Currently, she cohosts the Sunday Salon, a longstanding reading series in New York's East Village. For more, visit