Contact Patty Somlo.

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Inspiration from Life — As a former journalist, I get inspiration for many of my short stories from real life. While some fiction writers are most concerned with the immediate family, I am more interested in the global. With wars, immigrants, terrorists, drugs, pollution and diseases daily crossing borders, along with culture, especially through social media, our connections with people throughout the world have a profound impact on our lives. I believe that fiction should address these concerns, not in a didactic way but through the beauty of surprising and provocative plots, poetic language, as well as humor and deeply felt emotion.


I Value Diversity — Diversity is something I value in my life and in the fiction I write. I grew up in a military family with kids from different races and ethnic groups. I have also lived outside the United States. In the U.S., I have lived in some of the most racially and ethnically diverse places in the world — the island of Oahu, Hawaii; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco, California. My short stories reflect my life and include characters of various races, religions and from different parts of the world.


Magical Elements — Many of my stories have elements of the magical. This is because I am drawn to write about the seemingly unsolvable problems we face in today’s world. Writing fiction that posits alternative ways of looking at the world is my attempt to contribute to a more hopeful planet. Three of my short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize — “Bird Women,” “The Day the Wind Stopped Blowing,” and “Rain Shadow.” One story, “A Matter of Time,” was nominated for storySouth’s Million Writers Award.


Please click on the Short Stories tab to read some of my stories.





My essay, “If We Took a Deep Breath,” was selected as a Notable Essay of 2013 for Best American Essays 2014. I received a Pushcart Prize nomination for my creative nonfiction piece, “Starting to Breathe.” This piece was included in the anthology, Solace in So Many Words, which won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Anthology.


Please click on the Essays tab to read some of my creative nonfiction.


Click here to read my blog — Tools and Support for the Writing Life.