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Vanessa's feminist experimental novel, The Flat Woman, won FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize. It will published by the University of Alabama Press and FC2 in fall 2024. 


In The Flat Woman, women exclusively are blamed for the climate crisis. Seagulls drop dead from the sky, and the government, instead of taking responsibility, scapegoats a group of female ecoterrorists.

When a girl’s mother is incarcerated for climate crimes, she is forced to raise herself alone. As a young woman, she begins a romance with an environmental activist whose passion makes her question her own role in the world.

By turns hilarious, deadly serious, and completely absurd, The Flat Woman asks who gets the right to call themselves a good person in a world ripe with disaster.

The Flat Woman is certain to appeal to fans of feminist and experimental literature, as well as fans of Margaret Atwood, Renee Gladman, Bhanu Kapil, Maggie Nelson, Kelly Link, and Anne Carson.

You can pre-order the book on Amazon here.


“With deft efficiency, Vanessa Saunders lets a mini-matrix of motifs and characters mirror a society's worth of ecological, political, and personal crisis. A beautifully constructed work of feminist realism.” —Nell Zink, author Avalon

“Richly textured and chillingly poetic, The Flat Woman is filled with pure enthrallment. A mother, a child-like woman, an Elvis impersonator, and an aunt—all caught in an intricate web of seagull terrorism, spattered with ash and feathers—plunges the reader into an intricate and inscrutable collision of forces.”
Vi Khi Nao, author of Swimming with Dead Stars


Select online publications


Excerpt from "The Flat Woman" in the Los Angeles Review

Excerpt from "The Flat Woman" in A Velvet Gian

 “THE MAN IS ON STAGE…” published in Poor Claudia 

“THE MAN AND THE WOMAN ATTEND A…” published in Poor Claudia 

“THE WOMAN IS ANSWERING…” published in Poor Claudia 


“YOU CAME ALL OVER,” published in Sycamore Review

“In the logic” published in Heavy Feather Review 

“Speculative” published in Heavy Feather Review

“You feel” published in Heavy Feather Review

“Are my hands” published in Heavy Feather Review 

“Blame It On A Woman”… published in Heavy Feather Review

"My Fake Mom,​" published in Prelude


“The Case for Hybridity” published by Dallas Writers Workshop

Select print publications


“YOU GOT RAILED,” published in Sycamore Review

“Limos On Fire” published in Tammy


“Are you an environmental activist: a prospective questionnaire,” published in [PANK] 

“Cola Does Not Have A Perennial Relationship With Violence (A Note From Our President)”… published in [PANK]

“Government Advice on Curing a Cola Addiction,” published in [PANK]


“THE GIRL SITS IN…,” published in The Seneca Review

“THAT EVENING, HIDING….” published in The Seneca Review

“THE GIRL IS SEVENTEEN….” published in The Seneca Review

“TWO NIGHTS LATER….” published in The Seneca Review

“THE MAN TEXTS…” published in The Seneca Review

“IN THE BANQUET ROOM…” published in Passages North 

“THE WOMAN GETS HOME BREATHLESS...” published in Passages North

“IN HIGH PLAINS COLA HOTEL…” published in Passages North 

"Excerpt from the Grief Pattern of Birds" published in Western Humanities Review

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