By Nancy Jensen, Associate Professor, Bluegrass Writers Studio
Every prose writer who has worked up the courage to agree to participate in a public reading has faced the same gleaming ax: the time limit. Poet-envy sets in immediately, because even if readers are limited to a slender five minutes each, every poet in the crowd can read one complete poem—sometimes as many as four complete poems—and still have thirty seconds to spare. But for the non-poets among us, the time-limit always carries the implied message: Abandon all hope, ye Prose Writers, who enter here.
It doesn’t matter, either, if the time limit is more generous. Whether it’s eight minutes, fifteen or twenty-five, as a prose writer, you will never find a single, complete piece that fits perfectly.