Archive for April, 2012

Lucinda Kempeby Lucinda Kempe

Writing comes naturally to me—I have been a diarist since age thirteen—writing succinctly has not. About a decade ago, I wrote a 160,000-word draft of a memoir that consisted of a dense, expositional narrative juxtaposed against over-long passages of dialogue. I abandoned it. What I had written only a masochist with a machete could or would slog through.

Honestly, I did not know how to write differently. However, by focusing on the short form, the conventions of writing flash, I have become a better writer of the long and have refined my skills to shape memoir moments into “story.”

About three years ago, I received an invitation to the Flash Factory, an office at Zoetrope.com, an online writers’ site. I had no idea what flash fiction was, but I jumped into the weekly prompts. I had a lot to learn and unlearn. My first flashes were arc-less non-stories, or moments/ mini scenes. Scenes I could do. I have a theatrical background. Literally and figuratively. What I did not know was how to write a compressed piece of prose with an arc where something happens, that something is resolved, and changes.

Flash taught me how to hone dramatic moments. In Something About Your Mother below—a “memoir flash” based on a true event—I compressed a long scene into a dramatic moment where a cruel child tells a terrible lie to another child, leaving in only the most relevant words, details, and dialogue. In memoir, the writer uses fictional devices to create “story” based on personal memory versus pure fictionalization. Ditto “memoir flash.” What could have been a fifteen-hundred-word chapter is now less than five hundred words.

In the story, I introduce the protagonist Lucinda playing a game. Immediately, the antagonist, Cam, arrives and interrupts her play with a lie. This happens within a few short sentences. Upset about the lie, Lucinda runs home to her grandmother and the two of them go onto Chestnut Street to learn if the lie is true. When Mama rides up on her bike, the effect of the lie on Lucinda and Mamoo allows the reader to see the three familial relationships and reveals a universal truth about the cruelty of children.

Did the actual event happen in such a compressed period? Of course not. Things like dinner, baths and or phone calls interrupt real time events. However, what flash has taught me is that fewer words said well are better than many words meandering around with no end in sight.

I have become a better writer of memoir because of the skills I’ve learned from writing flash fiction: to strive to make every word count. I even do a bit of fiction on the side, which is great. It gives me a break from myself!

The 440-word flash below originated from a prompt—to write something about your mother.

Something about Your Mother

Busting ass backwards out of the Lime’s driveway, I laughed.  “See if you can catch me.” I raced to the corner of Chestnut and Second.

“Hey, Lucinda!”

I looked at the short, blond-headed girl two years older than my twelve who blocked my escape path with her expensive French bike.

“Hi, Camille.”

Her eyes scanned my Tomboy-scraped and bruised knees. I scratched my arm irritated by a sting and stared at my neighbor, Cam Mercy. Her younger brother Phinizy was my friend. Phin, I liked.

“Lucindah,” she said, playing with the pronunciation. “Or do you prefer Kemp-e?”

“Whatever.”

“Ya’ll have funny names.”

With a mother named Jay, a brother named Phinizy, and an uncle named Walker, well, what could I say? Bait her? No. I waited.

“There’s something I have to tell you about your mother,” she said, smiling in a way that didn’t look happy. “She’s been in an accident…on her bike. A car hit her. I think she’s dead.”

I looked at her bright white sneakers.

“Did you hear what I said?”

I heard loud. I flew around the corner, pushed open my front gate, and tore up the three front steps. Pounding on the door, I screamed.  “Mamoo, Mamoo!”

My grandmother opened the door.

“Mama? Where’s Mama, Mamoo?”

Mamoo looked startled.

“Camille Mercy said Mama was killed by a car.”

Mamoo’s eyes got big as raccoons. She grabbed the top of her sweater with her little hummingbird-sized hands. “What? No. She went to Zara’s….” She walked past me, down the steps, past the gate and out onto Chestnut Street. I followed behind her.

“To Zara’s for cigs, on her bike,” she muttered, turning to me, her face ashen as an elderly gnome. I came and stood beside her and together we looked towards Jackson Avenue. I could see Cam, in her yard cattycorner from our house, watching us.

Mama, I thought, no, no. Mama who took me to the bars. Mama who brought strange men home. Mama who told me daddy was crazy. Mama who I hated to love. Mama who I loved to hate, please don’t go. I squeezed Mamoo’s hand so hard she gasped.

We stood staring down the street when a figure on a three-speed Raleigh appeared in the distance. A figure wearing Bermuda shorts and a Greek captain’s hat rode up and stopped the bike right in front of Mamoo and me.

“Poots! Mother! Why how delightful to have a welcoming committee!”

I smiled bigger than I had in years. I looked across the street into the Mercy’s yard. Cam had dissolved into a puff of smoke, her bike tossed on its side.

 [The Dirty Debutantes’ Daughter]

My journey from long-winded expositional narrator to flasher reminds me of the A.A. Milne story, In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle, where Pooh and Piglet get lost taking the long way around a short bush.

One further plus I discovered. Flashing in public is an addictive habit that is actually good for you.

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Lucinda Kempe is a writer and memoirist.  Flash Fiction Chronicles, Fictionaut, MudJob, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and The Short Humour Site have published Lucinda’s flash. Upcoming work will be at Metazen and Referential Magazine. Lucinda loves flashing and lives to do more of it publicly.

 

 

 

 

by Jim Harrington

Market Added

  • The Quotable (1,000, quarterly) issues center on a theme and a quote

Editor Interview Added

  • Leodegraunce ($, 200, weekly) publishes literary fiction

View complete markets listing.

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Jim Harrington discovered flash fiction in 2007, and he’s read, written, studied, and agonized over the form since. His Six Questions For. . . blog provides editors and publishers a place to “tell it like it is.” He’s also the Markets Editor for Flash Fiction Chronicles’ Flash Markets Page. You can read his stories on his blog. He can be contacted at jpharrin [at] gmail [dot] com.

Rumjhum Biswas by Rumjhum Biswas

Jonathan Pinnock runs a software development company, and lives with his wife, two children, several cats and a 1961 Ami Continental jukebox. That’s the half of him. The other half, the one that makes up the whole Jonathan writes fiction and poetry, and runs a blog for writers called Jonathan Pinnock’s Write Stuff . Proxima Books published his novel Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens, the first book in their stable. Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens is a humorous retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and has been widely hailed as “much funnier than the origina” and “the most fun you can have with a bonnet on” by Beat Magazine.  Read more praise for Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens.  Jonathan has written for BBC Radio 4 and has had his short stories and poetry published in many places. Fifteen of his stories have been long listed/shortlisted/commended and nine have won prizes in the last three years. Jonathan is the judge for this year’s short story competition at the New Writer Prose and Poetry Competition .

Here are links to some of Jonathan Pinnosk’s published stories: “Canine Mathematics “(Smokebox), “Feast” (52 Stitches), “‘Ello ‘Ello What’s All This Ear Then (Gloom Cupboard), “Hidden Shallows (Every Day Fiction), “Advice re Elephants (Metazen),  and “Special Relativity” (Eclectica).

Rumjhum Biswas: In your interview in Between the Lines you said, “I’m one of those people who’s always wanted to be a writer
but who’s always lacked the necessary drive to actually make it happen.”  So when and how did the desire change into action? When did you start taking your writing seriously?

Jonathan Pinnock

Jonathan Pinnock: I can pinpoint the exact date: April 26th, 2007, when I received the e-mail to tell me I’d been shortlisted in the University of  Hertfordshire’s Creative Writing Award for my story “Convalescence.” That was the first sign I’d ever had that I could hold my own in open competition (there were over 500 entrants from 36 different countries). The next nudge came a few weeks later, when I found out I’d won third prize. 

RB: Do you still write for your children?

JP: Well, they’re no longer children! So not so much these days, which is a shame. One day I’d quite like to write for some grandchildren, but I’m in no hurry.

RB: You’ve mentioned (in Between the Lines) that Dan Brown was a major influence when you wrote Mrs Darcy. How?

JP: Ha. I might just have been a bit mischievous and contrarian there, although there was a serious point in that one thing that Dan Brown is VERY good at is constantly dangling cliffhangers in front of the reader to make them read on. So I tried to do that when I was serializing Mrs Darcy in order to keep my readers coming back to find out what happened next. At the end of last year I announced a new project to re-read   The Da Vinci Code now that (in theory, at least) I know bit more about writing. Unfortunately, I haven’t had time yet to get started on it.

RB: What do you enjoy writing most, short stories, flash or novels?

JP: All of them! It depends how the mood takes me – in fact, I’ll throw in a fourth category: creative non-fiction, which is what I’m doing right now. I think each discipline feeds into the other. For example, writing flash is wonderful for tightening up your prose style – as indeed is poetry.

RB:  Can you tell us about your first flash fiction experience? Both, the one you read and the one you wrote?

JP: Both happened at the same time, in late 2007. I’d never come across the term before, but I was taking part in an event for charity where you had to write something new every hour based on e-mailed prompts and the very first flashes I wrote came out of that. Also, we had to critique each others’ work, so I also had to read everyone else’s flashes. It was quite a learning experience, both from the point of view of opening my eyes up to a new form and almost immediately having my attempts at that form subjected to fierce critique!

RB: Who are your favourite flash fiction writers?

JP: Gosh. So hard to pick favourites. Well … David Gaffney, Tania Hershman, Vanessa Gebbie and Nik Perring for starters. There are probably loads more!

RB: What do you look for in a great piece of flash?

JP: Someone once told me that the most important thing about a poem was that every word had to earn its place, and I think the same principle applies to flash. It doesn’t need to make perfect sense but it needs to make me think. Or laugh. Or cry. Ideally all three, although that doesn’t happen very often.

RB: What are the things that you as a judge believe would make a flash fiction competition entry stand out? Many flash pieces are perfectly good for publishing but don’t make the cut in a contest? Any advice for contestants?

JP: It would have to grab me from the first sentence and not let me go until the end. There’s no scope for flab. Also, it doesn’t have to be a twist or a punchline, but the ending has to deliver something. Sorry if that sounds a bit enigmatic. A good ending is very tricky to define, but you know it when you see it.

RB: What are things that you don’t like in some of the flash fiction that you’ve read or are reading? What kind of flash puts you off?

JP: I try to read without prejudice, and the thing about flash is that you can play with different styles of writing and different subjects without asking the reader to get involved in something they don’t care for. You can also break rules and get away with it. So provided the writing is lively enough, I’ll read anything. However, you asked about things I don’t like, didn’t you! I guess the thing that annoys me most is when the writer takes too long to get going, over-explains or doesn’t know when to stop. All of which boil down to flabby writing.

RB: Do you have a favourite genre in flash?

JP: I do like a bit of magic realism, although it can get very self-indulgent if handled by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. However, as with everything else that I read, I’m not over-obsessed with the concept of genre. I never understand people who say that they won’t read a book about such and such a subject because it doesn’t interest them, because a good writer can take any subject and make it interesting. For years I shied away from reading “Fever Pitch” despite being a fan of Nick Hornby because it was about football, but it turned out instead to be a book about male obsession and consequently absolutely fascinating.

RB: Can you take us through a writing day in your life?

JP: That’s a very tricky question. Sometimes I do in fact spend a day writing, but more often than not I don’t actually do much until the evening, and my writing day actually runs from around 9PM through to the early hours of the morning. Right now because of the somewhat odd nature of my WIP, I’m dividing my time between listening to music, scouring the internet, badgering people for interviews and then writing up the results.

RB: What things disrupt your writing? Do your cats sit a lot on your keyboard?

JP: Fortunately, the cats know not to disturb me. Things that do distract me include real-life work (because I have to feed my family somehow), lack of confidence in what I’m doing and of course the internet. And I can’t even switch the internet off at the moment, because (see above) the research for the current WIP requires me to spend hours surfing. I’m also going through a phase of throwing out a lot of stuff, which means that my office looks as if a small, highly-localized tornado has struck it, and I keep finding interesting stuff lying around in unexpected places. Once everything sorted out again I hope to achieve an atmosphere of zen-like calm.

RB: Do you write when you’re holidaying with your family? And if so, any reactions from your family?

JP: I try to avoid it. It doesn’t go down well. However, going on holiday often involves extended periods of travelling from one place to another, which is excellent time for thinking about writing. I often come back bursting with ideas, one or two of which are even sometimes worth pursuing.

RB: What pearls of wisdom would you share with someone who knows he or she is a writer but hasn’t started to write yet?

JP: Get writing! Try all sorts of different things, especially ones you’ve never tried before – even poetry. Join a writers’ group – ideally real life, but online ones are good, too. Be brave enough to submit your work for critique. Learn how to critique others. Send your work out. Learn to deal with rejection. Share your successes. Oh, and read lots.

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Rumjhum Biswas is a writer based in Chennai. Her fiction and poetry have been published all over the world. She has won a couple of prizes and accolades for poetry and fiction, including having one of her stories among Story South’s top ten stories of 2007, being long listed for the Bridport in poetry in 2006, shortlisted for Aesthetica’s Creative Works in 2011 and recently the first prize in the Anam Cara Writer’s Retreat Competition.

by Gay Degani

My favorite part of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers is his theory that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert.  I feel validation for one of my long-held beliefs: writing–good writing–is all about the seat of the pants in the seat of the chair. Mrs. Hawkins, my creative writing teacher in high school, insisted this simple act was the golden ticket to quality. I believed her then; I believe her now.   I just didn’t manage to do it for a long, long time.

Ron Carlson’s book, Ron Carlson Writes a Story, offers another piece of the puzzle: how process, the act of “ just doing,” eventually leads to product. Carlson shows us what he means by letting us sit on his shoulder as he puts together his story. He maintains that working through a story one sentence at a time, putting down what you know about the story rather than worrying about what you don’t, is a viable path.

When a friend shared with me that she’s decided the best way for her to work is to sit down and “let it  happen,”  it resonated. This is exactly what Carlson does. He says “process” is the key, finding your own way to get words on the page.   Here’s the way I do it.

1. I type or hand write everything I know about the idea that’s been growing in my head.  

I do whatever part of “getting it down” feels right as a first step, whether it’s a full-to-the-end draft, notes, outline, or brainstorm. This varies with the trigger, the dawning of an concept in my brain, what it is: a title, a plot, a character, an incident, a theme.

2. Whatever I end up with, plot, free-writing, or notes, I work from there.

If it’s mostly a plot, I make an informal outline, filling in the blanks, the who-what-when-where-how-why of each scene in the outline. I remind myself that scenes, scene-sequences, chapters, parts, the whole story, should have answers to first five questions somewhere in the text. I try to identify the possible theme, the “why,” but often I have no idea.If, instead of coming up with a loose sequence of events resembling an outline, I’ve sat down, told myself to “go,” and put together a draft based on what pops into my head, I search for what my subconscious is telling me, look for possible scenes-segments-acts, and ask myself what scenes have I missed, what might be the theme given what I have typed out in front of me, what the spine might be etc. I also consider the order I’ve placed these scenes in. Does it make sense?

If I’ve come up with notes and brainstorming, and this is my most common way of proceeding, I write a quick draft. Sometimes I do a little research about the “where” or the “what” before I write that first draft, but often I just go.

3. If the story’s got something compelling about it, all the above converges, in the first, second, or third draft, I find myself with a decent working draft. Then it’s time for me to do some kind of analysis. These are the things I look at:

Character
Are characters clear, defined, and have their own problems and attitudes? Are they in opposition with each other? Do they fulfill a purpose in the story? What is each one’s purpose?

Plot
Does the sequence of events set up an inevitable, yet unexpected ending? Are there set-ups and pay-offs throughout the story? Are the transitions from scene to scene clear? Does the plot support the emerging theme in the best way it can?

Time and place
Is the setting defined or purposefully undefined? Can the reader SEE what’s going on, like it’s up on the big screen? How do time and place contribute to theme?

Theme
Does this story have the ability to resonate with the reader on both a personal and universal level? Is it compelling? Have all the other elements been put into service to enhance and clarify the theme?

Language
Have all the clichés and borrowed images been purged to the best of my ability? Do the sentences act as real sentences? (Tell the reader something specific) Have I said things twice that don’t need to be said? Have I pared away all useless language? Changed most of the general words like “it” to meaningful, concrete nouns that clarify and enhance?

4. I rewrite.

At this point, I look for intelligent, kind, but honest readers to find flaws and re-enforce the story’s strong qualities. I want them to tell me what works and what doesn’t work.

I let the comments of others guide me in decisions, but I’ve learned to trust the little voice in my head. My purpose often trumps someone else’s take on the story.

I read the story aloud, have a friend proof-read it, and proofread it myself.

7. I submit it to, hopefully, the right markets.

8. Then I start a new story.

Whether I’ve become one of Malcolm’s experts is highly debatable, but this I can say for sure: 20+ years of writing practice has enriched my life beyond measure. Striving to be good at something is its own reward.

As an experiment, I am currently writing a story online at my Words in Place Blog.  I started last week, making myself get the seat of my sweatpants into the seat of my chair every day.  Check out my progress beginning with May 27th “Dare Ya!”

Here’s the line up from first draft from one of my writing prompts posted above on EDF’s Flash Fiction blog under “Writing Prompt.”

Dare Ya!

Dare Ya Two!

Second Day, Third Fly-Thru

Second Day, Fourth Look

Third Day, Is this ever going to turn into anything?

Third Day, Another run-What does the structure look like?

About the old guy coming through the door

So I today I’ve got to keep going… I’m working toward my 10,000 hours and don’t have a minute to lose.  Check over there later if you aren’t bored to tears!

This article was originally published by Flash Fiction Chronicles on June 1, 2009.

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Gay Degani has published on-line and in print including four The Best of Every Day Fiction editions and her own collection, Pomegranate Stories. She is the founder-editor of EDF’s Flash Fiction Chronicles, a staff editor at Smokelong Quarterly, and blogs at Words in Place  where a list of her online and print fiction can be found. Her story, “Something about L.A,” won the 11th Annual Glass Woman Prize.


 

by Bernardo Bolt Gregori

The Winner of the newly instituted Patricia McFarland Prize is JP Reese for her story, “The Cost.”  The criteria for the prize was to write a strong story effectively incorporating all ten prompt words and using the theme of a Marcus Tullius Cicero quotation, “Freedom is a possession of inestimable value. ”

“The Cost,” written by author JP Reese won this honor.  This year, String-of-10 FOUR, in addition to the original contest, honored fellow author Patricia McFarland who recently passed away, by creating the Patricia McFarland Memorial Prize. The prize celebrates the spirit of Patricia McFarland who founded a group of writers interested in improving their writing by entering contests.

In Patricia’s “Tiggers Den” office at  Zoetrope Virtual Studiosstories were workshopped to send to contests such as Writer’s Digest Show us Your ShortsWOW! Women on Writing ContestWriters’ Journal Annual SF/Fantasyand Esquire’s 78 Word Short Short Fiction Contest.  Tiggers Den member, Robin Meister, earned a trip to New York for her 78-word story in the Esquire throw-down. Patricia’s own story “The Steps,” took first place in Pressboard Shanty’s Halloween Contest. She was a warm enthusiastic woman who encouraged writers to give their best, to work hard, and to have fun doing it.  Thank you, Patrcia, for your legacy.

Now for:

The Cost

fiction by JP Reese

A
black bear claims these woods. Slovenly and drunk, his paws swipe unthinking at his cubs, a rictus of a smile flashes teeth mossy with scum.  On Friday nights, he knocks them about the mazzards as bitter ribbons of whiskey fumes flow from his open maw.  The cubs know better than to walk inside his shadow, and they’ve learned to avoid his eyes and conversations about politics, mothers, or wages.  Almost big enough to light out, they will never be grown. They stand at the edge of their lives and cast stones at the future, but gravity pulls them down before they can fly.  Their lean skins hang over bones like clownish coats, and they play pranks on other cubs that often result in injury.  Their mother rides the rodeo circuit, tangling with half-crazy cowboys for twenty dollars a throw while an old pipe organ plays jarring, tired tunes for the rowdy crowds.  Even in chains, her teeth shaved down to useless nubs and her claws removed, she never, ever wants to go home.

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Interview with JP Reese

by Bernardo Bolt Gregori

 

I had the pleasure in talking to JP Reese about the String-of-10 FOUR  Patricia McFarland Memorial Prize, and the art and office of writing  .JP Reese is a poet, who, in addition to writing poems and stories–some of which you can find at Entropy: A Measure of Uncertainty– is also a poetry editor for THIS Literary Magazine and Associate Poetry Editor for Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. Her poetry chapbook  Final Note will be available from Naked Mannekin Press in spring 2012.

Flash Fiction Chronicles: How did you organize your writing process for the String-of-10? Did you keep thinking about the prompt words until some ideas popped out? Did you include the prompt words afterwards, adapting some paths in the story? Did the prompt words, out of the blue, fit into the story by magic? How did you do it?

JPReese: I had written most of this short piece weeks before the contest.  After I read about the contest on a Writers’ site at Facebook, I adapted the piece to contain the contest’s words. Most of them did seem to fit  perfectly, and they even deepened the story for me.

FFC:  How did a bear and his cubs sneak into your inspiration?

JPR: I have a friend who lives in northern New Jersey at the edge of a forest preserve who told me she has to battle black bears on a regular basis.  I was thinking of her and the idea just popped out.  I also have two sons who had some trouble getting grown and an ex with whiskey eyes from whom I escaped many years ago.

FFC:  How many times did you revise this piece, if any? What did you focus on while revising it? Grammar? Style? Length? Other?

JPR: As a poet, prose writer, and professor of composition, I believe strongly that writing IS revising.  I probably played with this piece at least ten times before I even thought of adding the prompt words for the contest, and then I added as needed so the words would strengthen the piece.  Luckily, all the words fit perfectly.

FFC:  How do the guidelines influence your thoughts when you are writing a piece to enter a contest?

JPR: I rarely enter contests, so it’s difficult for me to speak to that.  I suspect it would not completely determine what I sent,  but clearly, guidelines would influence my syntactical and length choices.  If I didn’t feel my work could meet the contest’s requirements, I wouldn’t enter it.

FFC: Was there a moment while you were writing this piece that you felt tempted to ignore both the guidelines and prompt   words and send a story anyway? Why?

JPR: No.  Sorry, I know that’s not too sexy, but no.  I believe if editors ask for specifics for a contest, they should get them,  or why bother sending work?

FFC: How did you know about String-of-10?

JPR: Facebook.  Gay Degani posted a call in a group to which I belong.

FFC: Did you expect to win the Patricia McFarland Memorial Prize? Why?

JPR: No, I didn’t.  Why?  Because I have always considered myself a poet first and a prose writer second.  I liked my piece–it felt poetic to me, but I wasn’t at all sure the editors would like it as much as I did.  When I received the e-mail informing me I had won, I was at first incredulous and then absolutely delighted.  I knew my piece was good, but didn’t realize it would go that far.  As a poet, I was happy just to make the semi-final cut.

Even the title, “The Cost” was obscure to the point that I was sure no one else but me would understand or associate it with the theme “freedom.” They may not have yet, but it did emerge from the short snippet of a song by CSN&Y that begins …find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground…”

FFC: What piece of advice would care to share with future String-of-10 contestants?

JPR: Write the best work you can, and then enhance it by adding as many of the prompt words as possible while making  sure they fit smoothly into the existing narrative.  Don’t try to squish round words into square sentences.

FFC: Who are your hero flash fiction writers?

JPR: The first flash fiction I ever read was over a decade ago when flash was little more than an edgy, postmodern  concept.  I picked up a remaindered book entitled Radios: Short Takes on Life and Culture by Jerome Stern, ©1997. I remember being entranced by the book and reading it in one sitting, so I suppose Stern’s my hero.  More current writers whose work I admire are Len Kuntz, Robert Vaughan, Meg Tuite, and Susan Tepper.

FFC: What other flash fiction venues do you regularly read? Why?

JPR: I read venues that my flash fiction writing friends direct me toward.  I have no regular online reading venues other than THIS and Connotation Press, both venues where I work because I love what they publish.  I support writers I know and like, so I go anywhere they ask me to.  I am still a believer in paper books.  I do most of my reading in bed, holding a lovely book in my hands.

FFC: What other flash fiction venues do you regularly submit to? Why?

JPR: I’ve placed work in Eclectic Flash, A-Minor, Eunoia Review, Wilderness House, The Smoking Poet, and have work forthcoming in Metazen, Mad Rush, and Apocrypha and Abstractions. I usually try a new venue after I’ve had work published once, although I make exceptions for certain venues that I find particularly supportive like EclecticFlash and The Smoking Poet.

The editors at both of those venues appreciate my rather zany, satirical take on the human condition.  I wrote a piece not too long ago satirizing the nightly news commercials encouraging people to take pill after pill in an attempt to make their lives perfection, and I immediately thought of Zinta Aistars at The SmokingPoet, knowing she’d laugh out loud.  She did.

FFC: Tell us something you are not entirely satisfied with in the online publishing scenario and how you would like to see it dealt with.

JPR: Online publishing has not yet achieved the cachet print publication enjoys.  I understand why–change comes slowly, and the entrenched print magazines attached to universities won’t give up their elevated positions easily.  There are some good reasons for this.  Anyone can start a web blog and call him or herself an editor and send out calls for submissions.  I have run into some of these folks, and their lack of decorum and professionalism ain’t pretty.  When a venue doesn’t take the trouble to make sure their words are spelled correctly, I walk away quickly. I hope other writers do the same so these will be weeded out and online venues can mature to achieve the level of admiration print venues currently enjoy. There are a few online pubs, however, that are making headway with their complete professionalism, and I look forward to the day when a CV is enhanced equally by both print and online publications.

FFC: Is there anything you wish I had asked but I didn’t. Feel free to come up with both question and answer.

JPR:: Not a thing–you did a fine job covering the subject.  Thanks!

 

*Zoetrope is public and free.  Anyone can join and create their own office.