Cover Photo: This photograph shows a lightning strike coming down from the clouds all the way to purplish mountains in the distance. The colors of the photograph (purples sky, red sand, green brush) are vivid and electric, the desert alive with the promise of rain that has not yet arrived.
Photograph by Mike Lewinski/Unsplash

When Flash Nonfiction Strikes You

After contact, you may feel exposed, raw, tingly. Learn about flash nonfiction forms and what to do if you want to write flash of your own.
Michael Todd Cohen


Brevityspeaks of flash in abstract terms



on TwitterCasey Mulligan Walsh

In the Dream House

The tweet above


in a 2020 Literary Hub article

What to Do When Struck by Flash:

If you answered YES to any of the above, you have been struck by one of the multiple variations of HERMIT CRAB flash.

If you answered YES, you have been struck by an EPISTOLARY flash.

If you answered YES, you have been struck by a LYRIC flash.

do not run

X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine


A Reminiscence of High School Required Reading That Triggered My Search for the Black ProtagonistHAD

Great ExpectationsThe OdysseyGreek TragediesHenry the FourthUpon the Head of the GoatMedeaOut of Many: A History of the American PeopleSons and LoversThe Great GatsbyMrs. DallowayThe TempestParadise LostA History of US: Making Thirteen ColoniesOf Mice and MenThe Things They CarriedWalt Whitman Selected PoemsPride and PrejudiceA History of US: A History of the American PeopleThe Catcher in the RyeA Raisin in the SunTo Kill a MockingbirdOthelloThe Autobiography of Malcolm XDeath of a SalesmanDante’s InfernoTheir Eyes Were Watching GodAs I Lay Dying |

Real life is blessedly full of flashes of experiences.

Michael Todd Cohen’s work appears in Columbia Journal, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, Pithead Chapel, JMWW Journal, and HAD, among others. His writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He lives with his husband and two dogs, by a rusty lighthouse, in Connecticut. You can find him on twitter @mtoddcohen or