Welcome to MicroFiction RowHouse!

[To contribute to the MfRh GoFundMe campaign, go here.]

For more than a decade, I have been installing my extremely short stories on the walls of private homes and art galleries. By means of a process called photocopy transfer, I print these site-specific stories directly on the walls, as well as on wood panels, canvas, paper, and other materials. 

I’ve long wanted to occupy an entire Baltimore rowhouse with these microfictions (10-50 words), installing stories that tell the history of a fictional family who lived in that home—their lives, hopes, trials, happiness and sorrows.

Recently, I decided to take the matter into my own home, using that familiar and intimate space to create my MicroFiction RowHouse. I will share my home with this fictional family and its spirits, writing dozens of stories and placing them on a variety surfaces in every room. The stories will be of many shapes and sizes to match the space they are printed on, the room they occupy, and tale they tell.

In a bid to fund the MicroFiction RowHouse, I launched a GoFundMe campaign. The campaign is meant to fund the project space, my time, materials, a large series of public events, and honorariums to the many artists who will lend their creativity to the project.

The installation will begin in August 2017, and throughout that month and September, I’ll host literary readings, art and writing workshops, musical performances, and an opening reception, all of which will be free to the public.

Workshops will include Microfiction Writing, led by me, Photocopy Transfer, led by encaustic painter Christine Sajecki, How to Rant: A Workshop, led by writer and performer Dylan Kinnett, and others. Readings will be hosted by poet Jamie Perez and fiction writer Justin Sanders. Musical acts include the psychedelic rock of Duchess and the DeadBirds the poetic harmonies of The Mole Suit Choir, and others.

There will be many incentive gifts to donors of the GoFundMe campaign, including the opportunity to have me custom write you a microfiction that you would then own. You would also receive a video of one of several art luminaries reading the story, including filmmaker, artist, and writer Stephanie Barber and novelist and short story writer Laura van den Berg. For other gifts, visit the GoFundMe page.

To read updates on the project, scroll down for more posts. Thank you for your support!

[To contribute to the MfRh GoFundMe campaign, go here.]

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Time to Thank You Too

It’s been about a week and a half since last I thanked the many people who have helped out the MicroFiction RowHouse project and GoFundMe campaign, so here goes a list of folks who’ve donated time, money, advice and support since then. Again, if I forget to mention someone who has helped, my apologies! Feel free to let me know if I have.

Poet, writer and archivist Megan McShea

Computer information systems expert Maureen Vallette

Poet and musician Erik Wagner

Writer and arts organizer Douglas Mowbray 

Writer/editor/novelist Eric D. Goodman

Writer Paul Beckman

Anonymous

Anonymous

Sign-Up for Workshops at MicroFiction RowHouse

DaltonGhetti
Dalton Ghetti

It’s time to start signing up for workshops for MicroFiction RowHouse! To sign up, just email me and tell me which workshop you are interested in. The workshops will be limited to 7 people, with priority seating given to those people who have donated $50 or more to the GoFundMe campaign. These are going to be great.

August 17, 6:30-8:30 pm: Microfiction Writing Workshop. Joe Young will lead a workshop in writing microfiction, tiny stories of 10 or 25 or 100 words. Get tips on cramming a whole lot of character, setting, conflict, etc, into a really small space. I’ve published a bunch of it, including my book of microficions, Easter Rabbit. Bring a notebook!

September 19, 5–7:30 pm: Photocopy Transfer Workshop. Wintergreen oil can be used to transfer a toner based image or text onto paper, wax, fabric, wood, and some other lucky substrates. Encaustic painter Christine Sajecki will demonstrate and teach several possibilities. We will have some odd photocopies and substrates but feel free to bring what inspires you. Keep in mind that your photocopy will transfer in reverse so make your photocopies in mirror mode (especially important for text transfers. More info on what to bring after signup.

September 30, 3–4:30 pm. How to Rant: A Workshop. Do you love to rant, but want to up your game? Are you clear on the difference between a rant and a complaint? Can you effectively run tangents while ranting? Come to the workshop and have fun with all this and more. Led by Dylan Kinnett.

[To contribute to the MfRh GoFundMe campaign, go here.]

MicroFiction RowHouse Event Schedule

Kittens

[To contribute to the MfRh GoFundMe campaign, go here.]

Putting together the many events scheduled thus far for MicroFiction RowHouse has been pretty painless! Herding cats? Maybe, but the awesome, Victorian kind, the ones that lap milk and play with ribbons.

August Events

August 12: Duchess and the DeadBirds. Come hear a set played by Baltimore’s newest and best psychedelic band.

August 17: Microfiction Writing Workshop. I, Joe Young, will lead a workshop in writing microfiction, tiny stories of 10 or 25 or 100 words. Get tips on cramming a whole lot of character, setting, conflict, etc, into a really small space. I’ve published a bunch of it, including my book of microficions, Easter Rabbit.

August 24: The Mole Suit Choir. The harmonies, the banjo and guitar, the weird poetry of Liz and Rupert, in concert. They recently put out their second album!

September Events

September 9: Opening Reception. Come see the house all decked out in microfiction! They’ll be story and refreshments and people and fun.

September 14. Reading, Hosted by Poet Jamie PerezJamie will host a reading of writers, scheduled and curated by him. Poetry, fiction? Think so.

September 19: Photocopy Transfer Workshop. Learn how to transfer your text and images to a variety of surfaces–paper, wood, walls, even some kinds of stone–with wintergreen oil and a wooden spoon. It’s the way I’m putting the microfictions on my own walls. Led by encaustic painter Christine Sajecki, who has used the technique in her painting for many years.

September 21: Reading, Hosted by Writer Justin Sanders. Justin, famous host and curator of the well-missed Artichoke Haircut readings series, will host writers of his choosing.

September 30. How to Rant: A Workshop. Do you love to rant, but want to up your game? Are you clear on the difference between a rant and a complaint? Can you effectively run tangents while ranting? Dylan Kinnett, well-known and loved Rantperson, will teach you this fun stuff and more.

***

Note that workshops will be limited to 7 people, and also that these 7 spots will be held in priority for people who donate $50 or more to the MicroFiction RowHouse GoFundMe campaign. Info on how to sign up for workshops and specific times coming very soon!

[To contribute to the MfRh GoFundMe campaign, go here.]

It’s Time to Thank You

Although the MicroFiction RowHouse project and funding campaign is only about 4 days old, it’s already received a tremendous amount of support. I so very appreciate and thank everyone who’s given me that support!

Below is a list of people who have thus far lent their time, talents, donations, and/or enthusiasm and words of encouragement. Note that the list is far from exhaustive. So many people have shared my GoFundMe page, many of whom I’m not aware of doing so, and so many others have done their important part to encourage and advise me. My apologies if I left anyone out! Feel free to let me know if I have.

Flash fiction writer and workshop leader Kathy Fish

Musician Ryan Snyder

Poet Barrett Warner

Beat boxer and arts organizer Shodekeh Talifero

Filmmaker, artist, and author Stephanie Barber

Writer Justin Sanders

Band The Mole Suit Choir

Writer Bev Jackson

Writer and publisher Christopher James

Writer Robin Slick

Writer and teacher Elise Levine

Band Duchess and the DeadBirds

Writer and professor Laura Ellen Scott

Writer and publisher Ellen Parker

Poet and publisher Dylan Kinnett

Novelist Laura van den Berg

Director of User Experience Margaret Gebauer

Poet Jamie Perez

Writer and publisher Lesley Weston

Artist Kini Collins

Poet Andrew Klein

Writer and curator Heather Rounds

Writer and publisher Mike Young

Teacher Amy Sampson

Writer and publisher Adam Robinson

Artist Christine Sajecki

Poet, publisher, and teacher Amy McDaniel

Counselor Libby Holmes-Snyder

Architect Thagne Schreyer

Anonymous

[To contribute to the MfRh GoFundMe campaign, go here.]

Making PDF Chapbooks

[To contribute to the MfRh GoFundMe campaign, go here.]

For a number of years, I was interested in writing and designing digital chapbooks, and during that time I made about a dozen of them.

I used InDesign to lay out the chapbooks, and, if you can get access to the program, it’s quick to learn and you can make chapbooks and other documents in short order. Once made, the chapbooks are easy to export as PDFs that you can share on websites and blogs.

After spending a week at an artist retreat on Ossabaw Island, off the coast of Savannah, I made my chapbook, The Guides to Ossabaw. I wrote the microfictions and designed the inside of the chapbook while on the train back from Savannah to Baltimore.

Untitled 5

When I got home, I made the cover utilizing the photocopy transfer method, using a photograph of Ossabaw and adding the title and author text in InDesign and then printing the document at Kinko’s.

What the cover demonstrates is the beautiful imperfection of the photocopy transfer technique. Depending on the paper or other surface transferred to, how much pressure is applied while making a transfer, and the amount of wintergreen oil used, the resulting transfer can be bolder or fainter in certain areas, and letters or words can appear as cracked or incomplete.

TheGuidesToOssabaw_Page_01

As a friend once said of one of my microfiction wall transfers, “It looks like the wall was run through a copy machine.” It’s a great description, and I like it a lot, though I would only amend it to say that it looks like it was run through a very old copy machine, one that adds loveliness in its defects.

As a thank you gift for a donation of $10 to MicroFiction RowHouse, I’ll email you 3 of my PDF Chapbooks. Thanks!

[To contribute to the MfRh GoFundMe campaign, go here.]