“A single word”: An Interview with Guest Reader Qiana Towns

by Shasta Grant See all Guest Readers
story art

What themes do you find yourself frequently writing about?

I write quite a bit about women and the lives of women of color in urban communities. My world is filled with black women being exceptional. Starting businesses. Earning degrees. Uplifting communities. Caring for families. Traveling. My writing captures these experiences so that 500 years from now people will know we were here and doing all kinds of things the history books may not record.

What can make or break a flash story?

Conciseness. Like poetry, a single word or phrase could spell the end for a piece.

What kind of story would you love to find in your queue?

A story about a kick-ass woman doing something I’ve never imagined doing.

A story that can successfully use the image of a rainbow without being…corny, I guess. Or, even if the piece can use the word rainbow without triggering a negative response.

Can you tell us about your work with Flint City Riveters in Flint, Michigan?

The Riveters are a semi-professional women’s football team. I’ve worked as their Community Outreach Manager for a few years and it primarily consists of finding volunteer opportunities for players and staff. I’d joined the team at one time, but my community and life commitments kept me away from practices. I loved the idea of working with the team so much that I asked the owner to give me a job. She did and I’ve been supporting the team ever since.

About the Reader:

Qiana Towns is a lifelong resident of north Flint. She is a graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program at Bowling Green State University and the Master of Arts program at Central Michigan University. Qiana has published in various literary journals including Harvard Review online. Currently, she is mobile unit Administrator for Genesee Health System's water outreach team and an online instructor for Southern New Hampshire University. In addition to her professional and community endeavors, Qiana is mom to two exceptional daughters--Sam and Cass.

About the Interviewer:

Shasta Grant is the author of the chapbook Gather Us Up and Bring Us Home (Split Lip Press, 2017). She was the 2016 SmokeLong Quarterly Kathy Fish Fellow and she won the 2015 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest. Her stories have appeared in Hobart, matchbook, MonkeyBicyclewigleaf, and elsewhere.