Twelve Days of Giving Reason One: Guest Reader Kayla Rae Candrilli
NANO Fiction: What first drew you to NANO Fiction?
Kayla Rae Candrilli: NANO Fiction was one of the first journals I became acquainted with. During my time at Penn State, the English building needed renovation. This translated into me (with permission) raiding the journals room and doubling the size of my library in just a few days. The NANO Fictions were exciting finds. I remember 4.1 and 4.2 specifically—the artwork was beautiful and they were so small they felt manageable, digestible compared to my newly acquired Glimmer Trains and Kenyon Reviews.
NANO was also the first place I ever submitted my own work. I didn’t quite make the cut then, but I like to think things have panned out nicely.
NF: Who are the writers (flash fiction or otherwise) that you most admire?
KRC: This sounds basic, but I think Roxane Gay deserves the hype she’s received. Ayiti is such a moving collection of short stories, some long pieces, some flash. It feels urgent. I don’t know if I can find a higher compliment to pay.
NF: If you had nothing to do with reading/writing, what would you be doing?
KRC: Miming. I have an obsession with street performance, but specifically miming. When I am stressed or overwhelmed, I go on YouTube and watch crumby iPhone recordings of mimes. It’s a funny quirk I suppose.
At some point, I really do want to go to mime school. I spend too much time yammering and I want to find a wordless way to communicate.
NF: What kind of submissions are you looking for?
KRC: I look for a complete narrative, but a nuanced narrative, one that masters the art of subtext rather than explicit explication. And my personal aesthetic is one that appreciates when pieces masquerade as realism and then introduce a thin layer of surrealism—the ethereal fog machine (if you will).
I also notice pieces that know what information is critical, what characters need names and what characters don’t, what settings need description and what settings should fall, quite literally, into the background.
NF: And lastly, because we are in our 12 days of giving (to NANO Fiction), why should readers consider donating, or subscribing to NANO?
KRC: Besides being beautiful (I’m speaking to our cover artists), NANO Fiction is such an accessible publication. The pieces are manageable in size (as is our promise) and in that way they become morsels, snacks, something to pick up and put down. I don’t feel like I have that permission with other journals. It’s dedication to the flash form that makes it unique, that makes it worth subscribing, and (perhaps?!) donating.