Flash Fiction Newsletter
- Hi all:
I'm not a whiz at flash fiction but some of you might be interested in this
monthly newsletter. --Carole
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Topics in this digest:
1. Flash Fiction Flash Newsletter (May 2003 Issue 27)
From: "Pam Casto" <p.casto@...>
FLASH FICTION FLASH:
The Newsletter for Flash Literature Writers
Issue 27 : May 2003
Editor: Pamelyn Casto p.casto@...
Newsletter devoted to markets, contests, publishing news
for short-short literature 2,000 words or less
(including short-short stories, prose poetry, creative
nonfiction, haibun, flash memoirs, flash plays)
I need more subscribers! Please help me get them by giving the information
on subscribing to your writer friends. Or feel free to place my subscribe
information in other newsletters/ announce lists/ writing workshops (where
appropriate). New subscribers are always wanted and welcome. To subscribe,
send a completely blank email to FlashFictionFlash-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Please do spread the word about the newsletter wherever you can.
* Online Suddenly Flash Fiction Course
(taught by Pamelyn Casto)
* Flash Literature Publishing News
* Quotes About Short-Short Fiction
* COLUMN: The Insider Flash: Tips for Market Submissions
By Thomas H. Brennan
* COLUMN: Featured Online Market: flashquake
By Trix Niernberger
* Articles On Flash Fiction Writing
* Flash Literature Markets
* Flash Literature Contests
* Online (Free) Flash Literature Workshops Info
* How To Change Your Newsletter Subscription Email Address
* How to Send Your Flash Fiction/ Flash Literature News
SUDDENLY FLASH FICTION ONLINE COURSES
Note from Pam Casto: As most of you know, I teach an online four-week,
action-packed course on writing flash fiction. Watch this space for
information about the next online course I will be teaching. I'm taking a
short break and in a couple of months I'll offer the course again. More
about the where/ when of my next online course will be in the next
newsletter. Stay tuned! It's a popular course and usually fills quickly.
More next newsletter.
FLASH LITERATURE PUBLISHING NEWS
(If I've missed running your news, I apologize for my oversight. Let me
know and I'll run it for you in the next newsletter.)
JERRY SCHATZ publishing news: A shortened reprint of Jerry Schatz's
Interview with Michael A. Arnzen, "On Writing Flash Fiction," appeared in
The Communicator, the hard-copy newsletter of Seton Hill University,
Greensburg, Pennsylvania, March 10 - March 16 issue. A full reprint of the
same interview is currently featured in Gorelets, Michael Arnzen's writer's
web site. http://www.gorelets.com/. The article was originally published in
this newsletter, Flash Fiction Flash, March issue.
TERRY BURNS had a short story in the collection entitled: "Straight From the
Heart, stories of love and friendship" from Coastal Villages Press.
DIANE TURNSHEK sold three pieces of short fiction (under 150 words each):
"Sheep," "21-Bubblegum Salute," and "Decoupage" to The-Phone-Book at
PAMELYN CASTO has two pieces published in the Spring issue of Agrippina. One
is titled "Aporia" and the other is titled "My Papa's Waltz." However, the
second piece was accidentally published with the wrong title. It should
have been "On Roethke's 'My Papa's Waltz': An Interpretational Cento." The
editor of Agrippina has graciously agreed to re-print the piece with the
correct title (because the correct title is of utmost importance to me
personally) and it will reappear in the Summer issue (with the correct
PAMELYN CASTO's feature-length article, "Flashes on the Meridian: Dazzled by
Flash Fiction," was re-published at Whim's Place last month. The article is
now in Archives #5 http://www.whimsplace.com/archive_5.htm (See contest from
Whim's Place below.)
DEBRA PURDY KONG's recent publishing successes:
* "Two For One" (500 words) in www.orchardpressmysteries.com (Jan. 2003)
* "Two Resolutions"(1,500 words) in T-Zero Xpandizine: (Feb. 2003) URL is
* "Justice Calling" (100 words) in Futures (Spring 2003) (a print
* "True Colors" (1,000 words) in Crimestalker Casebook (Spring 2003) (a
JACK GOODSTEIN's story, "Deconstructing Mandelbaum," was published in Flash
Fiction Eclectica http://www.eclectica.org April-May 2003 v7n2
PAUL ALAN FAHEY's short, Taking Hope for a Ride, will be published in the
Christmas, 2003 issue of Story One www.storyone.org
PAUL ALAN FAHEY's novel synopsis and first chapter of "Make Believe" won an
Honorable Mention in the Hopeful Novelist Contest-2003.
PAUL ALAN FAHEY's 100- word short, "Free Association on the Orient Express"
was published on April 10 in Flashshot
PAUL ALAN FAHEY's 55-word The Make-Up Artist was accepted for publication in
an upcoming issue of Wanton Words www.wantonwords.com
MARY MATSUMOTO's "Letter at the Bottom of the Drawer" and "Battle of the
Bowls" are published at Coffee Press Journal, April Issue
MARY MATSUMOTO's "Driver's Lessons" is published in the April issue of
MARY MATSUMOTO's "Mental Ward" is published in the April issue of Fuzzy Net
GWENDOLYN JOYCE MINTZ's micro-fiction, Four Extremely Short Stories, was
accepted for the Summer 2003 issue of Summerset Review
CAROL PAPENHAUSEN's short-short, "Princess With The Golden Locks," is
published at Net Author's E2K (click on E2K under fiction)
ANTONIA HARRISON's short-short, Bethuel's Daughter, will appear in the
premier issue of Wild Strawberries (a print publication) in May 2003.
ANTONIA HARRISON's short-short, Fishing in the Lake of Immortality, will
appear in an upcoming issue of Song of the Siren. www.song-of-the-siren.com
PHYLIS WARADY is the proud recipient of The 2003 Ray Bradbury Creative
Writing Contest Award for her short story, A Neat and Tidy Crime. In
addition to a check, she received a certificate signed by Ray Bradbury.
Something she treasures since he's an awesome storyteller.
ALLEN MCGILL's story, Reconnecting, is presently posted in Writer's Hood
humor section www.writershood.com
ALLEN MCGILL's story, New Year's Baby, will be published in a future issue
of 13 Stories (print publication). www.thirteenstories.com
ALLEN MCGILL's story, Just Killing Time, is now on line on the Naked
Humorist's site www.nakedhumorists.com
ALLEN MCGILL's story, Perfect Planning, has been accepted for a "soon"
publication in Mysterical www.bizland.com
ALLEN MCGILL's story, Then, Again..., will be forthcoming in the soon-due
April issue of 13 Stories (print publication) www.thirteenstories.com
ALLEN MCGILL's story, Undetermined Time, is scheduled for publication in the
Dec. issue of Insolent Rudder. www.insolentrudder.com
ALLEN MCGILL's story, Cookie Cutter Houses, is scheduled for the upcoming
issue of Cenotaph www.cenotaph.com
ALLEN MCGILL's story, Yucatan, is scheduled for a near-future issue of
Literary Potpourri. www.litpot.com
ALLEN MCGILL's memoir, Benevolent Brainwasher, will be published in the
May/June issue of Mocha Memoirs. www.mochamoirs.com
ALLEN MCGILL's story, Broadcast, will be in a future issue of Pindledyboz.
ALLEN MCGILL's story, One Good Turn, will be in the May issue of Writer's
Hood fantasy section www.writershood.com
ALLEN MCGILL's flash play, Golden Years, has been accepted for the next
issue of Green Tricycle in the REST category competition
ALLEN MCGILL's creative non-fiction, Single Son, has been accepted for
Writer's Hood's May issue in the Non-Fiction section www.writershood.com
ALLEN MCGILL' story That'll Show 'Em has just been published in the
April/May print and online edition of Journal Of The Blue Planet
MARGARET B. DAVIDSON's, "Make Another Appointment," got honorable mention in
Peeks & Valley's flash fiction competition. www.peeksandvalleys.com.
MARGARET B. DAVIDSON's story, "Intimate Strangers," was accepted for the
April edition of THE PALACE OF REASON. www.palaceofreason.com.
MARGARET B. DAVIDSON's story, "Painting Tuscany," was awarded third place in
the Ray Bradbury creative writing contest run by Waukegan Public Library in
MARGARET B. DAVIDSON's story, Not Merely a Conversation Piece, has been
accepted by Flashshot. http://flashshot.tripod.com/guidelines.htm.
MARGARET B. DAVIDSON's creative nonfiction piece, Saving Skylah, has been
accepted for the May edition of Mocha Memoirs. www.mochamemoirs.com.
TRIX NIERNBERGER's personal essay, Allergies, was published in the April 3
edition of F5, http://www.f5wichita.com/.
TRIX NIERNBERGER's personal essay, Assessed Situation, was published in the
April 10 edition of F5, http://www.f5wichita.com/.
TRIX NIERNBERGER's personal essay, Haiku Wichita, was published in the April
17 edition of F5, http://www.f5wichita.com/.
TRIX NIERNBERGER's personal essay, Thank you, Anita Hill, was published in
the April 24 edition of F5, http://www.f5wichita.com/.
MARCIA MASCOLINI's Greet the Press was published in Rock Springs Review,
Spring, 2003. (Print journal).
MARCIA MASCOLINI's Good Afternoon, Miss Garcia, was published in
Dreamscape's April issue www.hackwriters.com
MARCIA MASCOLINI's Hocus Pocus was accepted for Front Street Review's June
MARCIA MASCOLINI's Letter to Concerned Citizens was accepted for Freedom
Chronicle's May/June issue www.freedomchronicles.com
MARCIA MASCOLINI's Gina and Stanley Were Lovers will appear in the Prejudice
MARCIA MASCOLINI's Uncommon Criminals was one of the runners-up in the
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (print) contest.
UTAHNA FAITH's flash piece Little Red Coat has been accepted for the next
issue of Exquisite Corpse: a Journal of Letters and Life
UTAHNA FAITH's flash fiction story Soldata's Mirage will appear in the April
issue of Newtopia Magazine http://www.newtopiamagazine.net/
UTAHNA FAITH's prose poem Girls at Party has been accepted for publication
in the print journal Kumquat Meringue
UTAHNA FAITH is also the editor of Wild Strawberries. The inaugural issue of
Wild Strawberries: a journal of flash fiction and prose poetry will be
available in late May http://wildstrawberries.org/index.html
TAMMY HARRIS' publishing news: The Houston Chronicle, "Among Friends" column
will be publishing "A Moving Experience," by Tammy Harris in late April or
early May 2003. "Among Friends" is a 100% freelance column published each
Sunday in The Houston Chronicle newspaper in the Lifestyle section. They
prefer 1000 word personal essays and pay $50.00. Another perk is they run
the author's picture and a brief line or two about the author below it.
*Note: Since it is a newspaper the title will be changed by the editor.
The editor is Diane Cowen.
DARIN LeBRUN's creative nonfiction essay, "Where to Begin," is in the May
issue of Inkburns he May or June issue of Inkburns at
BARBARA JACKSHA's flash memoir story "Midnight Breathing" has been accepted
for the May issue of "Mocha Memoirs." www.mochamemiors.com
SANDRA MERZ's flash memoir, Reveille, was accepted for publication by
'Canadian Stories' magazine, a print publication.
TAD WOJNICKI reports that his yet untitled book-length collection of haibun
(collection of travel prose and haiku) has been accepted for publication by
FootHills Publishing, Inc. for a likely July 15, 2003 release. Click here:
(TAD WOJNICKI has also been invited to lead an Erotic Haiku Workshop by the
Poetry Tag Group, which is a lively online community with poetry events
scheduled day in and day out! PoetryTagGroup)
JOANNE MORCOM's haiku, "winter night," won fourth place in the April 2003
tinywords haiku contest, winning her two haiku chapbooks. Her winning haiku
is now permanently archived at http://tinywords.com/haiku/2003/04/29
QUOTES ABOUT SHORT-SHORT FICTION
"The novel is, spatially, like an estate; the very short story is like an
efficiency on the twenty-third floor. As it happens, more people these days
live in efficiencies than on estates. The result may be that we will start
to see a shift in the imperial self of the traditional novel to the *we* and
the *they* of communal stories....it is as if we ourselves are living in
tighter psychic spaces." (Charles Baxter)
"These stories are not tricks, or trills on a flute; rather they are very
short stage presentations or musical pieces that play to the full range of
human sensibilities--some evoke mood while others provoke the intellect,
some introduce us to people we're interested to meet, while others tell us
of unusual but understandable phenomena in this world, and some of them do
several or all of these things, the things good fiction of any length does."
(James Thomas, editor of Flash Fiction)
THE INSIDER FLASH: TIPS FOR MARKET SUBMISSION
By Thomas H. Brennan
( thomasbrennan@... )
The Insider Flash: Tips for Market Submission
By Thomas H. Brennan
For the last three months, I have discussed the length of shorter
fiction and the conclusion is simply that there is very little
agreement, as far as editors are concerned, about the length of shorter
fiction. This reality is of concern to writers who submit shorter
fiction to literary magazines. Suppose, for example, a writer submits a
story of about 1000 words to Christa Watters at the Potomac Review
(PR). She states that she "prefers pieces in the 400-words and under
range." Perhaps, by stating its length, the editors are more inclined
to reject the story, not because the story isn't worthwhile, but because
its length violates some criteria the editors have for the magazine.
If the same story is submitted to Steve Hirsch at Heaven Bone (HB), it
might have more chance of acceptance since he states his preference for
length is "200 to 2500 words."
This fact about the length of submissions is just a corollary to the
rule that "writers should read the magazine before submitting."
Another problem writers have in submitting shorter fiction is that the
terminology of shorter fiction is not consistent. Many years ago, in a
more tranquil literary time, there was the novel, the novella, and the
short story. Irving Howe in the introduction to Short Shorts: An
Anthology of the Shortest Stories states that an "ordinary" short story
is "between three and eight thousand words.." Howe also uses the
expression "short shorts," but the most examples in this anthology
published in 1982 run over 1500 words. Today, over twenty years later,
that expression, at least for most editors, is a story that is certainly
less than 1000 words and perhaps less than 500 words.
So, to be very blunt about it, here are the lengths preferences of some
editors for shorter fiction, and what you should do and don't do.
Michael Blackwell of the Missing Fez (MF) wants a length of "150 to 500
words." Larry Linder of Tickled by Thunder (TT) wants a maximum of 2000
words but there is "no minimum." Thus, you may send a 1000 word story
to Larry but not to Michael.
Richard Henry of Unbound (UB) wants a length between "75 and 200 words"
while Pat Britt of Pangolin Papers (PP) will accept everything from "200
to 7,000 words." So the same 1000 words story might be sent to Pat but
not to Henry.
Try to remember, as many editors have indicated and Mark Mallet of PRISM
International (PI) repeats, "The shorter the piece, the tighter the
writing has to be." Be aware that some editors, like Jénice Bastien of
Sanskrit (SK), will instantly reject if the story is "over (the) word
Item 2--Genre and Style
Another problem about shorter fiction is to discern the tastes of
editors. While they might be more flexible about length, they seem to
be quite certain about their literary preferences. UB wants
experimental. PI wants "strong characters" while Hope Arnott of Other
Voices (OV) thinks "character sketches often end up seeming a bit flakey
(sic)." Then there is the editor at the Wisconsin Review (WR) who
maintains that "experimental or truly original character sketches most
easily catch our eyes." MF prefers "experimental work" but also says
that "character sketches can also work for us."
MF steers clear of "plot driven stories" because "they tend to be
contrived and predictable" yet PR prefers "well plotted fiction with a
Item 3--Writers' Mistakes
While editors are informational about the length of shorter fiction and
their inclinations, they get a bit more edgy about what they dislike and
what causes instant rejections. PR rejects stories concerning
"self-indulgent whining disguised as 'art.'" UB rejects "narcissism."
HB rejects stories with "camp, hackneyed ideas." As mentioned in
previous columns clichés, either descriptions or expressions are
rejected immediately. PI repeats this advice, stating that "any clichés
are an immediate turnoff."
Do you write from experience? Do you write "what you know?" Perhaps
your childhood was less than happy or your spouse is abusive or someone
has cancer. PR rejects stories where the writer thinks "a difficult
childhood is automatically interesting when recounted as fiction." WR
rejects "sad cancer stories and abusive husbands that get it in the
end." The editor says stories like these "are so boring because I read
a few every week." In summary UB says that "memoir and other personal
reflections don't fair well with us."
So what do the editors want? What story will make them say WOW?
Michael Manley of Rain Crow (RC) asks, "Is this something we would like
to read again? Is this something we would give to someone else to
read?" MF wants the "unconventional or otherwise abnormal." WR doesn't
"want to be shocked, I want to be intrigued." TT wants the story "to
suspend my reality to believe your fiction."
Item 4--Web Site Information
Please note that some site addresses given in Writer's Digest Novel and
Short Story Writers Market are not correct as of this writing.
Heaven Bone No Web Site
Missing Fez www.missingfez.com (incorrect web address)
Other Voices www.othervoicesmagazine.org
Pangolin Papers www.olympus.net/community/trtlbluf (incorrect web address)
Potomac Review www.montgomerycollege.edu
PRISM International http://prism.afrts.ubc.ca
Rain Crow http://rain-crow-com (incorrect web address)
Sanskrit www.uncc.edu/life/sanskrit (site has not been updated)
Tickled by Thunder www.home.istar.ca/~thunder
Wisconsin Review No Web Site
FEATURED ONLINE MARKET: flashquake
By Trix Niernberger
Debi Orton, Publisher
"We look for original stories about the subtler conflicts in life, about
people you pass on the street but have never thought about."
"Stories -- even character sketches -- need to be complete, need to contain
conflict, need a compelling narrative drive, and need to have resolution."
"Avoid the obvious. We must get half a dozen stories about the homeless
each quarter, and an equal number about women in situations of domestic
a.. submit multiple pieces in a category.
b.. resubmit work that's already been rejected in that reading period.
c.. misuse words or phrases.
d.. use an abrupt ending if it doesn't fit the pace of the story.
"We're open to almost any genre, as long as it's done artfully. Looking
back on what we've published so far, we've accepted some experimental, some
magical realism, but mostly literary. I think that can be attributed to the
fact that we see little flash horror, science fiction or mystery that's
really done well. Two genres that we tend to shy away from are romance and
work with a religious slant. Almost anything else can succeed with us if
it's written well and tells an original, complete story."
"The competition is stiff. Each of our editors probably says "yes" to twice
as many pieces each quarter as we can publish. Our finalists tend to be
works that have won at least four of our editors over."
Payments ranging from $5 - $25, decided by editors' ranking of the work plus
a CD version of the issue.
ARTICLES ON FLASH FICTION WRITING
Online article by Pamelyn Casto in Riding the Meridian. "Flashes on the
Meridian: Dazzled by Flash Fiction"
To learn more about writing flash fiction, the articles below were
co-written by Pamelyn Casto and Geoff Fuller for various Writer's Digest
Pamelyn Casto and Geoff Fuller. "How To Write Short-Short Stories."
Writers' Digest. Feb. 2001 issue
Pamelyn Casto and Geoff Fuller. "Put The Flash Into Fiction." Guide To
Writing Fiction Today (A Writer's Digest Yearbook Publication). Winter 2002
Pamelyn Casto and Geoff Fuller. "Simple Complexity." Start Writing Now!
Your Introduction to the Writing Life (A Writer's Digest Publication).
Jan. 2002 http://www.writersdigest.com/store/magdisplay.asp?id=WRDSWN01
Pamelyn Casto and Geoff Fuller. "4 Simple Steps to Short Fiction That
Shines." Writer's Digest. October 2002 issue
Pamelyn Casto and Geoff Fuller. "Give Your Tales a Twist." (a
feature-length article on writing twist endings). Writer's Digest Yearbook:
Guide To Writing Fiction Today, December 2002 issue
FLASH LITERATURE MARKETS
Attention Subscribers: If you know of a *paying* flash literature market,
including publications that pay copy or subscription, please send me the
information for the newsletter. I'd especially like a few more markets for
haibun, flash plays, flash memoirs each month.
(Disclaimer: Mention of a market/ contest in the newsletter is not
necessarily an endorsement. Check all details for yourself. Always.)
Consider stories as short as 100 words. Pay starts at 3 cents per word.
Publishes science fiction and fantasy short stories (shorter than 2000
words). Pay is 1 center per word (Canadian) and two copies of the magazine.
ORCHARD PRESS ONLINE MYSTERY MAGAZINE
Pays $25 for each short story and $10 for each short-short story. You must
query first. They don't
accept unqueried stories and no longer accept previously published material.
The inaugural issue of Wild Strawberries: a journal of flash fiction and
prose poetry will be available in late May
FLASH LITERATURE CONTESTS
(Some of the contests below I've run before but I'm running them again since
they're still open. I've added some news contest as well.)
NET AUTHOR'S ANNUAL FLASH FICTION CONTEST 2003
http://www.netauthor.org/e2k/ NO FEE CONTEST
See complete guidelines for all details on the contest:
http://www.netauthor.org/e2k (and follow the link for "Submission Guide").
(snips from the info they sent me):
Regardless of whether flash fiction is your area of specialty, your secret
passion, or you've never even tried your hand at the genre, now is the time
to polish it up and send it in. We're accepting submissions through June 15;
winners will be published in the July, August, September, and October issues
of Net Author's *E2K*.
The contest begins April 15, 2002 and runs through June 15, 2003.
1st Prize: $100
2nd Prize: $50
3rd and 4th Prizes: $25
* Stories must be 1,000 words or less.
* One entry per person.
* Every entry must have a title.
* Entry must have a word count.
* Entry must include a short, third-person bio.
* Entry must include the necessary contact information: writer's name,
postal address, and email address.
* You'll find the link for the submission form on the index page of the
April and May issues of *E2K*. <http://netauthor.org/e2k>
* Deadline: June 15, 2003
Winners will be announced in the July 15, 2003 issue of *E2K*.
Not sure what flash fiction is all about? You may want to check out Pamelyn
Casto's excellent article in the January 2002 issue of *E2K*: Flash Fiction:
The Short-Short To Ultra-Short Story
WHIM'S PLACE --
CHANGING OF THE SEASONS FLASH FICTION WRITING CONTEST
Full guidelines at: http://www.whimsplace.com/Contest/Contest.asp
* Flash fiction entries must be 500 words or less.
Any piece going over the limit will be disqualified.
* Entries accepted only through the online submission form.
* Entry fee: $5.00
* Any topic, any genre.
* Deadline: June 21, 2003
First Place $250
Second Place $200
Third Place $100
8 Honorable Mentions $50 each.
(See web site for all details.)
MID-AMERICAN REVIEW 2003 Fineline Competition
(for Prose Poems, Short Shorts, and Anything In Between)
First Prize: $500 plus publication (plus engraved contest commemorative
Entry Fee: $5.00 (or $10.00 for three entries)
Deadline: June 1, 2003.
Word Limit: 500 words.
Spring 2003 Fifty-Fifty Fiction Awards for Excellence in Firebox Fiction
First place gets $250.00 (and maybe more, depending on entries).
Guidelines at: http://www.nighttrainmagazine.com/50.html
Reading period: March 1, 2003 - June 30, 2003
Reading Fee $5
Story length: 1000 words or less
For complete details, please visit the main competition page and the
Fifty-Fifty Fiction Award page.
THE GREAT BLUE BEACON's Twelfth Short-Short Story Contest
(They're also running a poetry contest. To be sure you're not disqualified
from the competition, you MUST read and follow the contest guidelines (which
were too long to run in the newsletter). To get the complete guidelines,
contact editor Andy J. Byers at ajircc@... Meantime, here's a bit
about the contest (but you need to see and follow the complete guidelines):
* No more than five entries per person. Prizes: $50, $25, $10.
* Reading fee: $5 per entry ($4 for Great Blue Beacon subscribers).
* Maximum length, 1000 words.
* Deadline: postmark by June 20, 2003
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