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Attachments by Jeff Arch

As a genre fiction publication created by—and for!—Emerson College students and alums, nothing gives us more pleasure than celebrating the literary achievements of our peers. This week at Page Turner Magazine, we’re taking a break from judging submissions to highlight a novel written by one of our college’s distinguished graduates, Academy Award-nominated Jeff Arch.

Usually you hear of people making the leap from page to screen, but Arch has done the reverse—more than 28 years after penning the screenplay for the beloved hit rom-com, Sleepless in Seattle, the Emerson College alum (Class of ’76) published his first novel, Attachments, in May.

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Ingredients for Great Flash Fiction

  • Writing

A hearty beginning, a dash of action, a couple compelling characters, a twist ending, an adherence to brevity… These are just some of the elements that make a flash fiction story pop off the page.

With our latest flash fiction contest underway (submit here!), Page Turner Magazine staff members have been coaxed into revealing their favorite “secret ingredients” that make for delicious, A+ flash fiction.

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PTM Staff Members Get Real About Flash Fiction

At Page Turner Magazine, we’re passionate about genre fiction and good storytelling, which is why we regularly host 500-word flash fiction contests. (Our latest Spring contest is open until February 5th, Mystery themed!) We see flash fiction as a low-stress way to explore writing in all different genres and an excellent way to practice storytelling, editing, and creative writing skills. (And, for the procrastinators among us, it’s always nice to have a deadline and a word count to write to!)

On our contest page, we define flash fiction thusly: 

Flash fiction condenses longer forms of fiction, such as novels and novellas, into a concise but impactful space without losing the beginning-middle-end structure. But to put it simply, we want flash fiction with a premise that hooks us, prose that inspires us, and an ending that punches us in the face.

Sounds simple, right? It is! But, it can also be really intimidating to stare at a blank screen and know you’ve only got 500 words to bring your brilliant story to life.

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The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante

Review by Abigail Lee

Motherhood is a minefield in The Lost Daughter, Elena Ferrante’s 2006 novel originally written in Italian. The book was adapted into a Netflix movie in late 2021, which has brought a new wave of readers to the story. Ferrante has perfected how to explore the friction between the self and social convention, and The Lost Daughter feels like a perfect distillation of the second-wave feminist themes that populate her many works. 

The Lost Daughter is about an educated woman who, originally hailing from the poorer Naples, has ascended to the middle class of northern Italy. Leda is a 47-year-old empty nester who finds that after her two daughters leave home, she suddenly feels an unburdened liberation. She decides to take a summer vacation on the Ionian coast, and all goes well until one day, a rowdy Neapolitan family arrives at the beach. They remind her of her own family: “Every question sounded on their lips like an order barely disguised by a false good humor.” Leda notices a woman who stands out from that group, a beautiful young mother named Nina who plays with her daughter Elena. 

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