An award-winning screenwriter and fiction writer, Donna Laemmlen’s stories appear in Tin House Flash Fridays, Fourteen Hills, SmokeLong Quarterly, Popshot, Penduline, and Slice magazine, among others, as well as the anthologies Flash 101: Surviving the Fiction Apocalypse and Burning Love and Bleeding Hearts, She’s also a past winner of the Able Muse Write Prize for Fiction and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She earned her MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco.

Donna lives in San Francisco, where she taught storytelling, script analysis, and screenwriting for several years in the School of Writing for Film, Television, and Digital Media at AAU. She previously worked as a story analyst for American Zoetrope and Zoetrope: All Story, as well as producer for two PBS series, “Great Leaders” and “Great Entrepreneurs.” Her scripts have been recognized in several competitions, including the Nicholl Fellowships, Austin Film Festival, Scriptapalooza, Page International, and Screencraft, as well as winner of the International Family Film Festival in LA and the Urban Action Showcase Screenwriting Award in NYC.


Donna Laemmlen’s story, “Confluence,” begins with a simple first line: “It was always about the water.” And true to the line, what happens next is very much about the water. But the simplicity in that line masks a richness in Laemmlen’s style. She builds vivid, sometimes breathtaking images, with sensory details that make the river and the world around it come alive. This is the first story I’ve read that invites me to perceive the world through the eyes of a salmon. I published ‘Confluence’ in Fourteen Hills because I believe in stories that move me to see the world with fresh eyes. To read ‘Confluence’ is to experience a form of modern myth-making.

-Ari Moskowitz, Editor-In-Chief, Fourteen Hills

We were thrilled to publish Donna Laemmlen’s Flash fiction “Kardia” on Tin House’s blog, THE OPEN BAR. Laemmlen is an exciting emerging voice–alive and vibrating with energy. In just a few words, Laemmlen transports her readers and delivers an unforgettable story. She’s a writer we are excited to follow.

—Masie Cochran, Editor, The Open Bar at Tin House

The brevity and specificity of Donna Laemmlen’s “Twining” is achingly and hauntingly apt. Like a gifted sculptress, she pares the work down to its beating heart.

—Ethel Rohan, author of The Weight of Him

In Donna Laemmlen’s ‘Crown of Iguanas,’  the image of the iguanas unfolds with the logic of a good dream, creating an ending that is both surprising and relevant.

—Thaisa Frank, author of Heidegger’s Glasses

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