Storytelling through Hermit Crab Flash: Exploring Borrowed Forms

Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Thursday, February 8, 2024
10:35 am to 11:50 am


How can the ordinary forms we use in daily life—receipts, shopping lists, crossword puzzles—be inhabited to create compelling stories? Our panel will focus on how borrowed forms, called hermit crabs as they borrow the “shell” of a familiar text, can open up playful experimentation in our work and surprise by their hidden depth. We will look at stellar examples of both fiction and nonfiction and show how and why they work. We will also share techniques, ideas for forms to borrow, and prompts.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_outline_-1.pdf
Supplemental Document 1: Storytelling_Through_Hermit_Crab_Flash_Avitus_B._Carle_Prompts_.pdf
Supplemental Document 2: Storytelling_through_Hermit_Crab_Flash_Exploring_Borrowed_Forms_Recommended_Reading_1.pdf



Kathy Fish is featured in the newest edition of the Norton Reader. Her fiction has appeared in Washington Square Review, Electric Literature, and is forthcoming in Ploughshares. She's the recipient of a Ragdale Foundation Fellowship, the Copper Nickel Editors' Prize, and has authored five collections.

L. Novak is a writer and PhD candidate who teaches composition at ASU with work in The Rumpus, Atticus Review, Puerto del Sol, Chattahoochee Review, BOMB, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and others. A winner of the Swarthout award, she has won grants from the Academy of American Poets and her chapbook Echolalia is available.

Avitus B. Carle (she/her) lives and writes outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formerly known as K.B. Carle, her flash has been published in a variety of places including Five South, JMWW, The Rumpus, Jellyfish Review, The Offing, and elsewhere. She can be found on Twitter @avitusbcarle.

Ruth Joffre is the author of the story collection Night Beast. She is a graduate of Cornell University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop and now teaches at Hugo House in Seattle.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center