Submit your story

Dust off your keyboard and submit all those great stories you slaved over all winter long.

This is May and it is National Short Story Month and the opportunities abound.

Let me know about any contests I’ve missed. There must be a zillion more out there.

Who are you submitting to? Leave me a comment and add your favorite to the list.

Get ready!

Get set!

Select and…

Good Luck!

Publications Accepting Submissions:

  1. Six Words Stories 
  2. Don’t Do It Ezine
  3. NANO short story 31 writing prompts 
  4. Storm Cellar Quarterly  Accepts submissions year round.

Contests Open for Submissions:

  1. Glimmer Train:  1st: $1,500 May 31, 2014 deadline
  2. NANO:  contest The sixth-annual NANO Prize $500, 300 words max, Deadline: September 1, 2014
  3. DECISIONS, DECISIONS This contest offers free critiques.
  4. 53 Press:
  5. Writing Maps Journal:  See website for details.
  6. Writers Village:  The top 50 contestants, whether they win a cash prize or not, will also gain a brief personal critique of their stories.
  7. Short Story Competition:   Cash prize Closing date: 31 July 2014
  8. Narrative Magazine: Cash prize Deadline June 15.
  9. Flavor Wire: Cash Prize.
  10. HHA short story: See website for more details.
  11. Jotters United  Deadline May 31, 2014 See website for details.
  12. Poetry:   Poetry Anthology –Submissions open until June 30, 2014
  13. TIFERET Writing Contest    $1200 in prizes, $15 fee per entry, June 1, 2014 is the Deadline.
  14. Flash Fiction:   Blue Earth Review  Flash Fiction Contest Deadline August 1, 2014, $500 1st place, 2nd-$250, 3rd-$100. Winners will be published in Fall issue. Other admirable submissions may be published. $2 fee Submit here  https://blueearthreview.submittable.com/submit/24696
  15. Crazy Horse    Deadline July 31, 2014 $1000 prize,  All entries will be considered by our editors for publication, and the $15 entry fee includes a one-year subscription

 Please check websites for additional rules and details.

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How to write Flash Fiction

I’m not an expert, but I love flash fiction. Love to read it and love to write it.

As with any story flash has the same three parts.

A beginning. Choose a moment in your character’s life that tells us a lot in a short amount of time. The plot must be simple. A hint of conflict and plot involvement is sometimes all it takes.

A middle. Be concise. Here is where you start cutting. Edit everything out of the story that isn’t vital to moving the story forward. Remove modifiers, such as “very,” “quite,” and “actually.” This is where you must plan every word and cut all “pretty purple” words.

An End.  The story needs to be wrapped up in a nice package for the reader. Whether that package is five hundred words or two thousand words. Remember flash has but a hint of the depth within a short story or novel.

The rule to show, rather than tell, is especially important in flash fiction writing because your goal is to maximize the impact  of each passage. Paint your characters and action with small, vivid scenes. Mike Resnick says, “Brevity is not just the soul of wit; it is damned hard work.” 

Another way is to think of your flash piece as a thirty minute TV sitcom. You have but thirty minutes, make each second count. There is no room for scene building, you must introduce the main character to the reader, where they are, what’s happening and bring everything to a satisfactory conclusion in 1800 seconds.

There is little room for elaborate words, purple prose or run on sentences. The flash fiction piece needs to be concise, tight and as elusive as poetry in story form.

Quite the challenge.

Each ezine, magazine, anthology or contest has different rules and word count. Check and recheck those rules. The rules are important and word count will help you tighten the story.

Read, read, and read some more. Reading flash fiction will enable you to understand the craft. Next, write and submit somewhere to someone. This is the scary part for some of us. I get sweaty palms every time I hit that submit button. But as a friend once said to me, I already have a no. This time I might get a yes.

Then do it all over again, write and submit.

Since I’m no expert, I’ve put together a list of websites to help us all. Please click on the links above and below. Together maybe we can learn and enhance our flash fiction writing at the same time.

“I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”~ Pablo Picasso

  Who writes flash fiction? Famous authors dead and alive…

NATIONAL FLASH FICTION DAY IS COMING!   

21st June 2014

 Stories in your Pocket    Flash Fiction Chronicles Blog    Accepting Flash Fiction      Every Day Fiction   Haunted Waters Press 

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Memories & Movies

Five Sentence Fiction – Feathers

Memories and Movies

I searched through the attic of my mind for memories long hidden in dark corners and opened a round metal container covered in dust. With care, I unwind and thread the old movie reel, damaged with age, and smeared by tears, into my imaginary projector.

The memories, filled with an image here, an image there, look more like ghosts than humans, but still I smile. Pictures flash, they tickle my mind like feathers against my neck, whispering in my ear, then as wisps of smoke slipping through my fingers they vanish.

I pushed at my hair brushing away the cobwebs, closed the box and put the memories where I found them until another rainy day.

Be sure and join in the fun at Lillie McFerrin Writes! See what you can do with five sentence fiction.

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Keep that first thrill alive

You love, obsess, and write. With a little luck, a lot of sweat, blood and tears, maybe, just maybe, others will read and love your precious manuscript too.

I love to write. My husband loves the game of golf. Writing and golf have nothing in common, unless you take a peak at the inbox on our computers. As any crazy person does, we both obsess over ways to improve our craft. The result, our cup runneth over in the form of more information than either of us can process.

The running joke around our house is, did you delete or read?

This got me to thinking how these “tips” seem to run in trends, following the same subject. Which leads me delete more than I read. I mean, how many emails can I read on comma splices. See my point? Then came my ah-ha moment. Why do I pick one particular email, click open to a blog and read amid a sea of others on the same subject? What makes it different?

It’s the author’s tag or hook line.

Now I can see all y’all seasoned writers shaking your heads. Big deal you’re thinking. Everyone knows about tag lines. You like me have read everything there is to know concerning how to hook the reader. But sometimes we all need reminders. Tag lines are important for our blogs, books and emails.

Tag lines, and first lines matter. Hell, firsts of everything matter. Think of all the firsts your and the weight of importance they held your life. Your first love, kiss, date, dance, job, sex, car, roller coaster, high dive, beer, well you get the idea.

Firsts are important and my ah-ha moment came in realizing that first encounters with my readers must, be a good first for them. No make that a great first for them. Not sure my writing can compete with sex and beer, but I’m gonna try to step up my game and keep the thrill alive. I can’t think of anything scarier than putting myself out there to publish or perish. Yikes!

Here are some links to a few tips I opened. Enjoy, I did.

Choose Wise Guides

Put Passion in Your Writing 

Danger of Premature Editing

Just the Right Word

Use a Magazine to Improve

Should You Enter Contests?

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