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Meet our Contributors
Brent C. Smith

Music and Poetry, flash fiction, Issue 31, June 1, 2015

The Stars We Reach, flash fiction, Issue 35, June 1, 2016

The Secrets of Tea, flash fiction, Issue 42, March 2018

Brent Smith lives in Portland, Maine where he develops software while dreaming of haunted lobster traps and black bear zombies. His fiction has appeared at Daily Science Fiction, Alex Shvartsman's Unidentified Funny Objects 4 anthology, and Cast of Wonders. He's a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and can be found online at

Get to know Brent...

Birthday? 5/17/65

When did you start writing? I'd dabbled with writing in high school, and took every English elective a computer engineering major could take in college, but I never took writing seriously until about 2010. About that time, I read Storyteller by Kate Wilhelm about the early years of the Clarion writers workshop. That caught my interest, so I did some research on Clarion, and in the process found the Odyssey Writing Workshop, which seemed more to my style. At that point, I had written a grand total of one speculative story--a retelling of Hansel and Gretel--so I sent it off on a lark never expecting to be accepted to such a prestigious workshop. But miracles happened, I was accepted, and attended in the summer of 2012. It was there that I learned how much I didn't know, and what being serious about writing even meant, and I've been working at it ever since.

When and what and where did you first get published? Assuming that stories pinned to the refrigerator by my Mom don't count, I was first published (and my second, and fourth, and fifth stories as well) at Daily Science Fiction. The first of those stories, "Have You Seen My Girl?" arrived in my head pretty much fully formed, and I wrote it in less than an hour. After that, I thought they would all be like that, but it turns out that's a pretty rare happening. You can find all four of those stories on their site (

What themes do you like to write about? Theme is rarely what gets a story started for me, but a common element that emerges in many of my stories is the loss of innocence. Also many of my stories (which probably explains why I seem to do better with flash) involve intimate looks at just one or two characters.

What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? I fell in love with fantasy and science fiction reading Zelazny, Moorcock, Donaldson, LeGuin, Eddings, King--but those were the stories that I grew up on, that became part of me, but not necessarily who I try to emulate as an adult writer. I guess these days, because I focus primarily on short stories, my writing tends to be most influenced by short story writers such as Kij Johnson, and my all-time favorite, Flannery O'Connor. Lately I've become interested in experimenting with portal stories--moving between our world and a fantasy world--a type of story that I've always loved.

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