Fiction can often be a way of exploring a place in a way that nonfiction can’t. So, for the past six years, we’ve been asking writers to contribute extremely short stories—all under 1,000 words, some as short as 150—set in and around Dallas. That’s pretty much all the restrictions we put on the writers. Everything else generally has been up to them, though we have added an additional prompt in recent years. Last time out, for example, we asked participants to choose from a list of episode titles from the original Dallas series to use as a title (and maybe inspiration) for their story.
This time, we doubled down on the idea of place. I asked the writers to select a location from a list we put together as a staff and then use that location in their stories. I was surprised that some of the more iconic spots didn’t go first, and some weren’t chosen at all. But I wasn’t surprised by the quality of the stories that came back. I never am.
We will be rolling out the stories, which appear in our July issue, each day over the next couple of weeks. We start with Deep Vellum poetry editor Sebastián H. Páramo’s “The Field Trip.” All of the stories will be hosted here, so feel free to bookmark.