CNF: There Was a Coupon in the Newspaper

by Erin Pringle-Toungate

So after the dinosaurs and oil paintings, we boarded the shiny train that ran to nowhere but outside. I ran past the empty seats and Mom called SLOW DOWN and Grandma hurried after. Then she tripped, small woman, and broke against the concrete, her forehead blooming coffee-stained napkins from Mom’s pockets.

Erin’s first story collection, The Floating Order, is published by Two Ravens Press (2009). “How The Sun Burns Among Hills of Rock & Pebble,” the title story of her next collection, just came out as a chapbook with The Head & The Hand Press (2015). She’s now the fiction editor over at Literati Quarterly. Please visit www.erinpringle.com.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “There Was a Coupon in the Newspaper”?

I had my creative writing students write three-sentence pieces in order to teach them what few words can do. I did the exercise, too, of course. Then, I proceeded to write more and more, and now I’m deep into a larger work composed of three-sentence memoirs.


Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.


Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now open. The reading period for standard submissions closes again December 15, 2023. Submit here.


11/27 • Michael Mark
12/04 • Helen Beer
12/11 • Rachel Rodman
12/18 • Betsy Robinson
12/25 • Trish Hopkinson
12/31 • Kim Chinquee
01/01 • Jill Michelle