Flash Fiction: a complete story
in one thousand or fewer words.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Flash Fiction Online story wins First Annual Micro Award!

This is cross-posted from News and Headlines, since it's both news (which goes on News and Headlines) and site-specific (which goes here).

Congratulations to Bruce Holland Rogers for winning the First Annual Micro Award with his story, "Reconstruction Work"!

We published this story in our very first issue, barely making the Micro Award deadline. It has also been noted on cnn.com -- which is, I think, only the second reference to Bruce on CNN (the other being a book review).

Robert Laughlin is the brainpower and administrator behind the Micro Awards. George Keithley and Clark Brown were judges for the first award; the second award will be judged by Stefanie Freele, Benjamin J. Biesek, and Len Fulton. (Remember Stefanie? She wrote the (now Pushcart-nominated) "James Brown is Alive and Doing Laundry in South Lake Tahoe" in our January issue -- the month after Bruce published his award-winning story.)

Congratulations to Bruce, and many thanks to Robert Laughlin and the rest of the Micro Award judges!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Review!

Special thanks to short story reviewer Sam Tomaino (and, of course, editor Gayle Surrette) for a brief review of our brief stories from last month.

The problem with reviewing such short stories is that you can't say too much without giving the whole thing away, and the problem with thanking people for such short reviews is that you can't give a flavor for what they say without quoting most of the review. I'll shut up now so you can read Sam's reviews. (Hint: he seems to have liked them.)

While you're there, you might be interested in the interview with Paolo Bacigalupi. He's paranoid without letting it get him over the edge, which is interesting, and I like this line from his comment about The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement: "I love it. It means more elbow room for me and mine."

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lineup for July

We've solidified the line-up for July, and I couldn't be happier.

We have another story from David Tallerman, who wrote "The Desert Cold" in our March issue -- and I actually like this one better than the first, truth be told. (Don't tell Dave. It would be like playing favorites with his kids.) You can find him on the web at davidtallerman.net.

We have a great little story by Jennifer Tatroe. It's our first publication with her, but she's also been published in The Boston Literary Magazine, Every Day Fiction (and is about to be again), and Flashquake. Her Web site is jennifertatroe.com.

Finally, we are publishing a story by Brenda Kalt, a graduate of the Viable Paradise workshop. She's been published before in Not One of Us.

And of course, we'll have Bruce Holland Rogers's next column in the "Short-short sighted" series.

And maybe more. We'll see what we can pull off. :)

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What is Flash?

I really like this quote from an interview with Vanessa Gebbie over at Smokelong Quarterly:

Great flashes are diamond stuff. Perfect. They don't leave the reader hanging, or assume another role. Strong, resonant stories packed into non-safety matchboxes.

I have a strong emotional pull to the form. It feels very natural. I'm sure they are deeply seated in our psyches, these little stories, told in snatched moments. And it's such a joy to read a really good flash.

It's not a function of word count. It's more to do with the magic of 'scope'. Read a good flash and a whole world envelops you. You CAN'T turn the page and read another.

But I also see flash writing—the process—as a way of freeing up creativity. Of 'defeating the sentinels'. Of allowing the mind free rein to produce what connections, rhythms, voices, colours and textures it wants, with as little interference from the writer as possible... no planning, no 'conscious thought'.


If you don't read Smokelong Quarterly, they're worth a look. It's a very different 'zine from Flash Fiction Online -- much more literary, in particular -- but if you like that sort of thing then you should definitely check them out.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Addition to the March Line-up

Good news! Glenn Lewis Gillette just agreed to let us publish "Downstream from Divorce: a Drama in Three Acts" in March. It's going to be a great issue. For a little more detail, see this blog post.

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What Authors Look Like

I can't be the only writer who has wondered what authors look like, right? Real authors. The ones who have published books. Who get paid money to write. Those ones. I've seen some aspiring writers at local writing groups and the like, but I mean real ones.

Well I took my six year old son to the library in town on Saturday for what I thought was a used book sale. To my surprise we discovered we were at the St. Charles Literature Festival, (can't find a webpage for it, but here's a newspaper thing.) There was a book sale, but not a used one. The books for sale were fancy and new. And as you left the sale room, you entered wonderland, also known as the regular youth services department of the library, festooned with author placards and loads of people milling about (the greeter told us that she had clicked more than 500 times that morning on her hand clicker counter thingy. A technical term if I've ever seen one.)

Some observations about authors, at least this particular group of children's and young adult authors:
- Most wore glasses
- Most men had very little hair, neatly trimmed very short
- Illustrators are awesome. They draw tiny pictures for your kids when signing their books.
- Most were not young. I've reached an age at which I no longer speculate details on any individual, but I'd put the average age of the authors at high 40s, maybe even low 50s.
- Even after 2 hours of signing books (for 500 people!) the authors were gracious and kind to me and my son.
- Caldecott winners look just like regular people. Or at least like regular authors. (If you're dying to know who - there may have been others, but we met the illustrator/author of this book - which is one of our family favorites.)

Neat event, good time. Check to see if your town has a literature fest. Volunteer to work with the youth writers' workshops or do children's storytimes. Mill about to get the writing vibe. People watch. Just do it.

Karen Smith aka KayTi
Semi-retired from technology consulting and educational software design/development while the wee folk are wee. Reading, writing, and blogging in my spare time between carpools and playdates. Flash Fiction Online slush reader. Coupon clipper. Vegetarian eater. Global warming worrier. Lifelong learner.

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