We all know the drill: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action. This is the formula for basic stories and a successful plot line, proven to be effective and hard to stray from as a writer. And yet, in attempting a climactic moment, writers often get stuck in the mires of melodrama, falling prey to contrivances … Continue reading What Bathos Can Do for Your Short Fiction
Walking back up the stairs towards her apartment door, she held her head high, determined to enter her new home feeling confident and prepared. Yet, once the door shut behind her with a bang, a noise much different than the one her door at home made, the breath rushed out of her and so did … Continue reading Short Story: Move-In Day
One day at the docks, a mermaid kissed a boy. Here’s what happened: the boy was fishing there with his family’s pole. He was at the far end of the docks, the rich end, where fish gobbled up rich-people treats that got tossed from the more ornate vessels. He was thinking of ways humans could … Continue reading Short Story: Mermaid
The first time River Valentina Hernandez watched The Wizard of Oz, she didn’t understand Dorothy’s desperate desire to return to Kansas. The madness of a land over the rainbow had to be better than the sepia existence of the farm. This came to mind as River walked out of the downstairs bathroom with her head … Continue reading Short Story: Broken Vases
Like most college students—and like all who wear lens-less glasses—I entered freshmen year entirely assured I was uniquely well-read. My first year taught me three important things (in addition to imparting on me the wisdom that lens-less glasses picked me out as uniquely unlikeable): First, my taste in books was not unique (however at the … Continue reading How to Pretend to Have Read Books Without Really Trying
When summer with her hot sun does shine, A band who have Fallen to drugs and wine, Five addicts go seek a helping hand To rid them of their shameful brand. Of America they to Rancho Mirage go, For the salvation that rehab does bestow. The Betty Ford Clinic, our destination, A simple van driver … Continue reading Parody: Canterbury Tales – A Modern Retelling
College writers are desperate creatures, yearning for attention and audience. Hungry for praise, popularity, and even infamy, we all seek that fix—the sweet glory of publication—to validate those hours upon days upon weeks spent with head bent in humble supplication to whatever god may grace us from within the void of the blank, white page. … Continue reading Essay: Are you there, “The New Yorker”? It’s me, every hopeful college writer.
“Mom. I’m okay. Really,” I swung my backpack over my shoulder and closed the car door. The cold, morning mist clung to my pale skin. I could see my breath come out of my mouth. My mother’s face looked sad and tired through the car window. “Okay, honey. Remember, when you come home, I’m still … Continue reading Short Story: The Beginning of the End
Sci-Fi. An abbreviation that has the power to invoke utter joy or disgust given the beholder of the topic. I personally used to be one of the blind that discredited this genre as gimmicky and meritless. Though I appreciated the concepts and imagination, I never considered anything even faintly classified as science fiction to be … Continue reading Essay: Sci-Fi and the Trick to World Building in Creative Fiction
The staff of the Berkeley Fiction Review is pleased to announce the winners of our 19th Annual Sudden Fiction Contest! Their work is featured in the current issue of the Berkeley Fiction Review. Visit our Current Issue page to see a glimpse of Issue 35, or visit our Order page to purchase your own copy today! First Place: … Continue reading Issue 35 and Sudden Fiction Contest Winners!