by Jim Harrington

jimharrington2

Markets Added

NOTE: We are in the process of verifying all the links on this list. If you notice a market missing, it’s because the site no longer exists.

View the complete markets list here. http://www.everydayfiction.com/flashfictionblog/flash-markets-2/

View the complete resources page here. http://www.everydayfiction.com/flashfictionblog/resources/

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 Jim Harrington began writing fiction in 2007 and has agonized over the form ever since. His stories have appeared in Every Day Fiction, Liquid Imagination, Ink Sweat and Tears,  Near to the Knuckle, Flashes in the Dark, and others. He serves as the Managing Editor for Flash Fiction Chronicles. Jim’s Six Questions For . . . blog provides editors and publishers a place to “tell it like it is.” You can read more of his stories at http://jpharrington.blogspot.com.

 

by Andrew Stancek

Andrew Stancek

In Bratislava in the sixties I used to run down to the banks of the Danube, gather the flattest stones, and then watch them jump, three-four-five hops, across the surface of the water. The river is wide but its flow is fast and its character changes every day. As a teenager I regularly skipped school to breathe in the river and skip stones. I dreamt of adventure, about my path down the river to its mouth, and I made up stories — about even the stones.

Much water has flown since, along the Danube banks. Almost fifty years later I sit at the edge of Lake Erie, skip stones and weave stories.

About three years ago, I sat at the computer, revising an unwieldy tale full of moans, when a hooligan called me by name and said, “Come, let’s do a little slumming. We’ll have a blast.” His name is Mirko and in that first story, rooted by the Danube, which he impatiently shared with me, he is thrown out of home by his mother and handed over to a father only marginally more responsible than he is. Mirko, as teenagers are wont to do, pushes all the buttons. His last words on leaving Mother are, “You’ll bail us out, won’t you, sweet Mami?” Mirko’s attention span is extremely short and so was his story. He came, he told, he departed. His story was flash length and he helped center me in that genre. He and I have now shared with readers about thirty of his misadventures. I’ve discovered other narrators, other tales. But he came, unbidden and insouciant, certain he was fascinating and the brevity was a part of his charm. I immersed myself in reading the masters of the genre and experimenting. I was blessed immediately with encouraging editors. And while I continue to wrestle with long stories and a novel, I return to flash time and again, feeling its demands, rhythms and cadences. While a chapter of a novel, or an eight thousand word story leads me through peaks and valleys of huge disappointments before closure, I find creating a piece of flash liberating.

The flat stones I used to skip across the surface of the Danube have their stories told by Mirko and other narrators from Bratislava. I continue to skip school in order to skip those stones. I am thankful for the chance to tell them, for the visits of Mirko and Muses with other names. One could do worse than be a skipper of stones, a conductor of flash.

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 Andrew Stancek grew up in Bratislava and saw tanks rolling through its streets. He now writes, dreams and entertains Muses in southwestern Ontario. His work has appeared in Tin House online, Every Day Fiction, fwriction, Necessary Fiction and Pure Slush. He’s been a winner in the Flash Fiction Chronicles and Gemini Fiction Magazine contests and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The novel and short story collections are nearing completion.

 

by Aliza Greenblatt

JC Towler

J.C. Towler, the second place winner in our String-of-10 contest, is in the market for a gently used Time-Turner or Transmorgifier. He has been an editor at Every Day Fiction since 2010, but wears more hats than you could possibly be interested in knowing about.

 

Private Lessons
by John Towler

 Orderlies barged through the entrance of triage, dropping their litter on the table with an unceremonious bump.  The wounded soldier reeked of the battlefield, burnt gunpowder and mud.  Her left arm dangled like a pendulum in decline, blood running down fingers traced chaotic patterns on the once white floor.

I performed a rapid assessment of her injuries, as Costas snipped away uniform remnants.

“You safe now…” He paused over her name tag.  “Private Gomez.  Estás seguro.”

He hooked her to a cardiac monitor then brushed a few strands of hair from of her staring, unresponsive eyes.

Dr. Kerns marched in, razor creases and polished shoes rivaling any rear echelon four-star.  A stateside doctor on voluntary rotation, he’d tried to join every branch of the service but kept getting four-f-ed over because of mole-like eyesight.

“Report.”

“Two thoracic GSW’s, through and through. Bilateral pneumothorax.  BP’s dropping.”

Kerns peered down at chest of the dying soldier through Coke-bottle glasses.  His nose crinkled in disdain.

“Those are exit wounds.”

“Apparently.”

“Running from the fight, no doubt.”  He poked at the injuries.  “She’s done. Save the effort for someone deserving.”

“Sir, this soldier has a rhythm.”

He grabbed her chart began writing.

“Injuries incompatible with life,” he said.

Orderlies returning with another wounded soldier interrupted my possibly career-ending reply.  A platoon sergeant followed behind.

“Gomez in here?” he asked.  I nodded.

“Do your best for her,” he said.  He jerked a thumb at the wounded man.  “She was carrying him.”

***

Aliza Greenblatt: Congratulations on placing in the String-of-Ten Contest! Can you tell us a little about how this story evolved? What were some of the challenges of writing a 250 word story?

JC Towler: My brother, Blake, just retired from a military career (24 years in the Navy and Army).  One of his assignments had him flying medevac choppers on a tour in Iraq 2.0 and he’s a real hero.  So the military was on my mind. I work with several women in my primary job (law enforcement) and while things have come a long way, there are still a few social Neanderthals – like Dr. Kerns in the story – who have some reservations about women in “men’s jobs”. It all coalesced into the theme and plot of Private Lessons.

Flash is a challenge because you’ve got to incorporate all those elements common to any sort of creative writing that make a reader want to spend time with your words. A 250 word story is just four times more challenging to write than a 1000 word story.

AG: You’ve been an editor for EDF for several years as well as a dedicated fiction writer. What do you think is the key to writing an effective flash piece?

JCT: Be interesting. Your title must be interesting.  Your opening sentence must be interesting. Your characters must be interesting.  As long as the reader is interested, they’ll stick with your story short of an unexpected natural disaster in their immediate vicinity. But even if their reading is interrupted by a natural disaster, your story should be so interesting that, as soon as they pull themselves from the rubble or find high ground to escape the rising flood waters, they should get back to turning pages.

AG: What I find interesting about this story is there’s a pivotal moment where several characters’ life courses are going to be decided. One is obviously Private Gomez and the others are the doctor and the narrator whose decisions could be career shattering. Being that you didn’t have a lot of time (in terms of word count) to build the story, was it a challenge to find the correct balance of tension and information to bring that moment to life?

JCT: Yes. First draft: 517 words.

The narrator wound up losing the most time in the story, but in some ways the loss became a gain. Less defined (to the point where even the gender is a bit ambiguous) the narrator is more of a shell that the reader fills in with their own personality. It’s like telling a story in the 2nd person without the force-fed “you” point of view. It’d be hard to do with a longer piece, but with flash it worked okay.

AG: There is the theme in this story of the people who seem to have honor and the people who actually do. The doctor should – and appears to have it – but it’s the nameless narrator and the private who make the honorable choices. Do you think the doctor will change from this experience? Will the narrator?

JCT: For the doctor, probably not. There are a certain people in this world whose egos will not allow them to accept personal error or admit to bad judgement and a large percentage of that group are represented by politicians, Fox News Personalities, and surgeons.

I hope the narrator would be more assertive the next time something like this happens, but as a subordinate to the doctor in both military rank and in the operating room hierarchy, it would be tough. Laws protecting whistleblowers are completely inadequate and in reality when somebody is faced with “doing the right thing” the “right thing” takes a back seat to career, family, and reputation.

AG: I’m always curious what drives writers to become writers. Why do you tell stories? What keeps you writing? What type of stories do you prefer to write?

JCT: I’m principally a fantasy and science fiction guy (which is odd in that both times I’ve placed in the String-of-Ten contest, neither piece has been in that genre). Honestly, my writing has taken a back seat to work, family and my second job as a videographer.  I’m very visually and sound-oriented, to the point that when I write I have to remind myself “Don’t forget the other three senses” and video work appeals to me because those are the primary mediums of expression.  (My latest effort is about the rescue and rehabilitation of a hummingbird.  You can watch it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jTyU_P0n4o)

AG: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us.

JCT: Thanks for the questions.

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 Aliza profile-pic-2Aliza T. Greenblatt works in a firmly non-writing field when the sun is up and writes under a desk lamp at night.   Fueled by a sheer love of books and a tyrannical imagination, she writes the stories that appear over her morning coffee and won’t leave her alone until they are put down on paper. She writes, raves, and blogs at http://atgreenblatt.com. and on Twitter @AtGreenblatt.

by Andreé Robinson-Neal 

Andree Robinson-Neal

Did you open the window? If you hadn’t noticed, it is spring. You’ve probably had your head down, hands to the keys (or pad and pen), writing away for your next submission; now is a great time to pause because you may have missed some great information, interviews, and updates from your fellow writers at Flash Fiction Chronicles.

The month started with Sarah Crysl Akhtar‘s tips to banish writer’s block. She covers everything from mythical beasts to birthing babies; don’t worry–every tip relates to writing. Susan Tepper gave us a glimpse into the head of someone who seems like he never had writer’s block in her UNCOV/rd interview with Stephen V. Ramey, who shared about his new collection, “Glass Animals,” among other tidbits.

If you’ve been locked to your desk for too long you may have missed the announcement for the latest “String-of-10″ contest. You will have another chance to enter the next one, but in the meantime, read about the list of winners and Jim Harrington’s Q&A with Gay Degani, the finalist judge. Gay is a prolific writer herself and in March had one of her collections serialized over at Every Day Novels.

Nancy Stohlman gave us a reminder about that manuscript from November (remember NaNoWriMo, 2013?) in her overview of NaNo’s youngest cousin, Flashnano. If you need to do something with all that flash you’ve written over your winter hibernation, Bonnie ZoBell‘s interview with Mike Young from NOÖ Journal and  Magic Helicopter Press might be just the motivation you need to prepare a submission or two. If you need inspiration from some fellow flash fiction writers, check out a list of “why flash” from the mind of  Randall Brown.

Jim Harrington  offered some serious words to writers about conquering self-doubt (hint: self-reflection is quite an elixir!) as well as great tips on ending well (or at least ending at an appropriate place). Aliza Greenblatt interviewed Audrey Kalman, EDF’s Top Author for February, where you can find great pointers on commitment to writing. The month ended with a reprint of a 2009 FFC article on hint fiction; Robert Smartwood shares his thoughts on meeting your reader halfway along with a number of reasons why being a traditionalist is overrated.

As you see, FFC was busy in March and there is always more to come. Sarah, Susan, and others have already gotten started with April; get those windows open, let some light in, and get reading.

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Andreé Robinson-Neal got bit by the writing bug back in the late 1970s while watching Rod Serling and reading Ray Bradbury–both of whom are everyday inspirations; although she has worked in education for more than a quarter-century, she has never been cured of her penchant for speculative fiction. Find some of her flash fiction at starvingartist.com. She writes under the name AR Neal, who will hopefully one day be identified as a famous NaNoWriMo participant.

 

by Christopher Bowen

 “The publisher has sole discretion as to the design and appearance of the book after receiving input from the author.”

 This was the fifth item in the contract I shared with authors as publisher of Burning River’s line of chapbooks. It came from a document given to me by a pro-bono arts lawyer from Toledo. Look closely, in fact, look in the mirror or at your own contract.

My experiences in publishing and working with people making chapbooks was more than just an experiment to me, it was a lesson in how to treat people, and how, definitely, to create something beautiful.

Want, Wound

Every cover and manuscript of a Burning River title (the press is now defunct and functioning only as my personal blog) carried with it more than literary stories and poems, it carried a tapestry of conversations, cooperation, and a story unto itself. There was, of course, the designer. There was the printer, the author, the reader. And then there was the me.

I want to give some advice, with little expectation, that yes, as an author you should try to invest as much control into the design of your book as you did the writing. But also, that this is very much a capable endeavor. You are a capable person.

The pulp…

naturalhabitatcover

All the covers for the titles from the press came on the heels of images the authors not only recommended, but sought. A photograph from an old, major periodical for a cover? No problem. You will find a refreshed image from a 1970′s Economist as the cover to Burning River’s second chapbook, Michelle Reale’s Natural Habitat.

As a librarian and my friend, Michelle sought the original U.K. photographer out, as I was unfamiliar with international copyright and, yes, he granted rights to the original photo.

There were more than a couple books I sent small token payments, as well as copies, to the photographer or the artist. But more importantly than this, you have to understand that if you can or do decide to take a hand in helping design your book, that humans are social creatures. They want to be involved, but also, they want to communicate.

There were times where I digressed. The author digressed. The designer digressed. But in the end, I truly feel (speaking as an author) there is nothing more enjoyable or fulfilling than taking some reins in the production of your working book.

The search…

If you are at a loss of finding an image based on a google search and contacting the creator, there are many services out there that will grant you rights. They literally sell stock photos. Shutter Stock is an example. Another example may be found in an image I used for a small book trailer for Nancy Flynn’s A Coal’s Throw, as I wanted to test the form. It was a government poster of a Pennsylvania miner. Because government work is already in the public domain, Wikimedia Commons had it listed on their site. Pair that with a right to fair use of a soundtrack from the musician Moby, and I was able to put together a small, thirty second trailer for about five bucks through Animoto.

Lastly, and many authors do this, turn to the people you know, the artists and photographers already in your life or already inside you. Just be willing to give ground, if and when the time comes, for the sake of the project.

There were many times I had to take heed of the designer or the author. Even in the dimensions of the books themselves. Even, sometimes, in their price points.

This is some of what I’ve learned as a small press publisher. I’m sure there could’ve been more, and there certainly is, but then I wouldn’t be as satisfied in my new skin as simply an author.

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Bowen

Christopher Bowen is an Ohio author and culinary chef. His recently released personal fiction chapbook, We Were Giants, is available from the publisher, Sunnyoutside Press. He blogs at burningriver.info.

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