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For Moses Fisher, Putting Ideas Into Words A Natural, Evolving, And Satisfying Indulgence

Story By:
Paul Miller | Director of Strategic Communications and Community Relations
Moses Fisher '25
Moses Fisher ’25 is Keene State’s Eder Creative Writing Scholarship winner for 2024-2025, and now a published writer for his flash fiction story titled "No Way But This."

The easy explanation is that Moses Fisher’s passion and aptitude for writing is a DNA thing.

And that isn’t wrong.

After all, the Keene State rising senior is the son of parents who are journalists by profession and the grandson and great-grandson of novelists who wrote for television and movies.

But to leave it at that would be an incomplete characterization, since Moses, Keene State’s Eder Creative Writing Scholarship winner for 2024-2025, is now a published writer. His flash fiction story, “No Way But This,” was accepted by the online literary journal Smoky Quartz and published on June 18.

Self-contained stories with stringent word counts, traditionally no more than 1,000 and as few as six, comprise flash fiction. Titles are not part of the word count.

“‘No Way But This’ takes place in a quiet moment, when the main character is doing something routine, but in the process, she convinces herself of something that may or may not be happening,” said Dr. Kirsti Sandy, Moses’s professor for the course and one of his writing mentors. “The maturity of Moses’ perspective is striking. …We did different versions of the story — one longer version and one shorter, to show how a briefer version can make a piece better.”

No Way But This

    “You’ve been away.”

    “I’ve been away.”

    She was folding his laundry on the bed. His t-shirt was tucked beneath her chin. It was clean and smelled like lilacs. She loved the way his shirts smelled after the wash. She loved folding his shirts and laying them in neat piles.

    He unlaced his boots, sitting on the edge of the bed, facing away from her. He smelled like someone else’s sheets, he smelled like the gasoline spilled on his sleeve, he smelled like his clothes had been neatly folded, tucked beneath someone else’s bed, while she had been left to rot.  

A Keene High graduate from Marlborough, N.H., Moses aims to earn three degrees — secondary education, English literature, and creative writing — from Keene State. He is an avid reader, enjoys fishing and old samurai movies, and spends time in the outdoors. He is vice president of Bricolage, Keene State’s student literary journal.

Dr. Sandy said she believes Moses is the first Keene State Eder recipient published before beginning their Eder – or senior – year. “He will be a great mentor for our writing students who may feel that publication is out of their reach.”

This summer Moses is interning at the Keene Housing Authority, in charge of running the youth gardening program. “I’m planting a garden with groups of kids who live in Keene Housing properties and doing crafts with them while we take care of the garden together,” Moses said.

“When I first started at Keene State, I was a double major, in theatre and creative writing. I began working at MoCo Arts, a local children’s theater, and quickly realized that my passion was for teaching young people.”

Being surrounded by books growing up fueled a love for reading and writing.

“I read anything I can get my hands on, which I think is incredibly important as a writer,” he said. “Looking back, though, Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy influenced my writing style. I tend to write with dry humor from books like that. I’ve been reading work by Michael Chabon, Graham Greene, and Cormac McCarthy; I particularly loved No Country for Old Men, and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. I like Chabon’s idea that genre fiction can have literary merit. I’m drawn to reading and writing work driven by plot, which is how I hope to make my mark as a writer.”

His great-grandfather, Steve Fisher, was nominated for an Oscar for one of his screenplays, and his parents Damien and Simcha Fisher write and edit for a living.

“To be honest,” he said. “I didn’t start writing much until a couple of years ago. I had writer’s block for the longest time because I was holding myself to a very high standard. I couldn’t get the first draft down on paper. My classes with Dr. Brinda Charry solved that issue: I had to write for a grade, so I wrote quickly and badly. But writing badly is an important first step I needed to take to begin writing well.”

“My biggest discovery at Keene State is that it’s entirely possible to have a career as a writer. It is difficult but possible. I am grateful to Dr. Charry and Dr. Sandy for introducing me to different authors and pathways to becoming a writer and showing me how to begin developing my career even while I am still in college.

“I get a lot of satisfaction from writing. … I also find that writing is a humbling process: as I said before you have to write a bad draft before you can write something worthwhile. That idea helps me overcome my ego in a lot of ways. It’s very humbling to have to suck at something over and over again.”

Doris L. and Donald Eder endow the scholarship to provide financial assistance and recognition to English or writing majors who have organized their studies around a passion for writing. Doris was the dean of program development and graduate studies at Keene State; Don was a high school and community college teacher.

Moses called the honor inspiring.

“The scholarship means more time to focus on my schoolwork and writing. It also means recognition for something I’ve been working on for years, which is extremely gratifying. When I found out I felt spurred on with my writing. Writing tends to be a lonely task, and to get recognition for it feels extremely validating. It doesn’t feel quite real still.”

Meanwhile, he’s working on a Middle-Grade novel. It’s far from complete, but for Moses, it’s the perfect summer indulgence.

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