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Sam Slaughter ’09: In a few words

Writer Sam Slaughter ’09 finds beauty in the brevity of words, something that has inspired him to write a flash fiction book.

Sam Slaughter ’09 (Photo: Robert J. Carmody)

Sam Slaughter ’09 has always had a passion for storytelling. As a boy, he hoped to write the next great American novel. But as he got older, he found beauty in the brevity of words.

Armed with that newfound passion, Slaughter recently wrote When You Cross That Line, a collection of five short stories, known as flash fiction, totaling around 4,500 words. The book was published in May after Slaughter won the 2014 Best of There Will Be Words competition in Orlando.

A New Jersey native who now lives in central Florida, Slaughter is inspired by everyday life when writing his short stories. “Most of those come out of thoughts or moments,” he says. Inspiration can sometimes also come from unexpected places. While pursuing his master’s degree in English at Stetson University, Slaughter followed a Twitter account called Florida Man. The account compiles strange occurrences from across the state and inspired many of the stories found in his book. Slaughter’s work was first published in 2009. Since then, he has had more than 40 pieces of fiction and nonfiction published in various magazines and journals.

When You Cross That Line has received recognition from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, of which Slaughter is a member. (He also won Member of the Month for May.) He has plans to release his debut novel, Dogs, in the spring through Double Life Press and his debut short story collection, God in Neon, later this year through Lucky Bastard Press.

Slaughter attributes Elon as a factor in his success as a writer. The writing classes he took sharpened his skills in an environment that encouraged growth. “I enjoyed my time thoroughly at Elon,” the English and anthropology graduate says. “I have experiences now I can draw on.” When he isn’t working on his stories, Slaughter works as a copywriter. He is also active in independent literature, working as a book review editor for Atticus Review, the spirits writer for the magazine The Manual, contributing editor at Entropy and, as of July, the managing editor of Enclave, an online literary community. His latest series for Entropy, titled “Getting Lit,” sees Slaughter interviewing a myriad of writers. After an interview about their new book or story, he creates a custom cocktail as a companion to the literature, something that allows him to also showcase his passion for libations.

Despite having a self-described love-hate relationship with writing, Slaughter has no plans to stop any time soon. “I know it has to be part of my life,” he says. “If I go a day or two without working on my work, I get antsy.” 

To learn more about Slaughter’s projects, visit samslaughterthewriter.com.

By Kyle Lubinsky ’17

Keren Rivas,
8/4/2015 10:55 AM