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Ben East - Flash Nonfiction Funny survey responses

Fiction or Nonfiction?

Fiction. I’m not precious, but I do need latitude.

Is it harder to write funny or sad?

I work for government. It’s impossible to be funny, and easy to be sad.

Long form or short form?

Know your audience.

Poetry or prose?

Flash Nonfiction Funny includes about a dozen lists. Are lists poetry or prose? And where do you stand on the word ‘listicle?’

Boxers or kickboxers?

Yes. To punch and kick people who say ‘listicle.’

Piece that you read and said Wish I’d thought of that?

‘Nipples’ caught my eye in Flash Nonfiction Funny. I also lingered over ‘Before We Break for Lunch, Let Me Repeat Everything Already Said at This Meeting at Least Twice,’ because every flash anthology should have a piece using 17 words in the title. Also, the piece captures a similar spirit as ‘Transition Brief,’ about people who talk like robots at meetings. But really, again, my eyes were drawn to ‘Nipples.’

Cloned or frozen?


Book you read and reread?

One Fish, Two Fish. Until the kids turned four. Then never again.

When writing is going well…

…don’t get cocky.

Desert Island Book?

When I asked my wife this question, she gave me a funny look. So, independent of her counsel, I settled on The Hobbit. For companionship.

B.A. East’s first novel, Two Pumps for the Body Man, did for American diplomacy in the War on Terror what Catch-22 did for military logic in the Second World War: the enemy can’t kill us if our institutions kill us first. His second novel, Patchworks, examines American government and gun culture in a similar light. Diplomatic and other assignments have taken him to Mexico, Ghana, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Paraguay, and Malawi. He lives in Virginia with his wife and sons, publishing book reviews and black humor at


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