Sunday, January 30, 2005

The First Submissions

Since announcing my intention to publish, I've received four (actually five) submissions. The first arrived from Mexico, and I suggested some changes. However, the author decided to withdraw it and to submit a different piece. I liked it better, but I hesitate to make any acceptances this early in the game.

The second arrived from Nova Scotia, an entertaining 55er that's definitely worth considering.

The third arrived from New York. Again I made some suggestions for changes, and the author took the opportunity to do an overhaul, producing a much stronger piece (in my opinion).

The fourth arrived from Australia, enlarging my opportunity for producing a multi-national publication.

When I was formulating my plans, however, I hadn't considered the cost of international mailing. Now it looks as if that may be a factor because 75% of the submissions so far have come from outside the United States!

Meanwhile, I've made an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of submissions, including date of submission, author's mailing address, e-mail address, title of submission, word count, and disposition. I've also modified my guidelines, asking authors to let me know how they heard about my Trial Issue so that I can include that information on my chart as well.

And I've submitted two pieces for publication this week, thereby providing an opportunity to get the word out by including a reference to the Trial Issue in my bio.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Getting the Word Out

Tonight I took a big step toward starting this quarterly by sending a New Market announcement to two of the Flash groups that I belong to -- FlashXers (a Flash Exercise group that provides three prompts per week as well as feedback on submissions) and Flashshot (the discussion group of writers whose work appears in the daily Flashshot). Each of these groups contains numerous prolific and talented writers of the Flash persuasion, so I probably shouldn't have been surprised when, less than 20 minutes after sending my notification, I received my first submission ... from Mexico! Ain't this a wonderful world?

I also sent a notice to Madpoets (a writing group that organizes and advertises readings throughout the Delaware Valley); they've signed me up for a readng at the Barnes & Noble in Bryn Mawr, PA, on July 7.

And I'll be "lecturing " on Flash Fiction at the Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, on February 14, a presentation that I'm calling "The Joy of Flashing."

Monday, January 24, 2005

Submission Guidelines

Hi,

My name is Ken Mullin. I enjoy writing Flash Fiction, and I've been thinking about starting my own Flash Fiction quarterly. However, to find out how much time and money I'd have to invest in such a project, I intend to begin with a Trial Issue.

I've chosen the title for my publication, A Flasher's Dozen, and expect to include 13 to 15 pieces of Flash (approximately 24-40 5x8" pages).

Submissions may be fiction or memoir in any genre or combination of genres; they may be cleverly surreal or humorously absurd; they may even be prose poetry. But they must contain narrative elements, and they must display some form of wit -- cleverness, paradox, subtlety, irony, epiphany, enigmas enwrapped in conundrums, etc.

Submissions must contain between 55 and 999 words, preferably about 500.

Works containing gratuitous violence, prurient sex, or censorable language should be submitted elsewhere.

Authors should include: (1) a mailing address to receive a copy of the issue, (2) a brief biography to be published in the issue, including a personal website if desired, and (3) information about how they heard about this Trial Issue.

Submissions will be limited to one per author; all rights revert to the author after publication. Please do not send material that has been submitted or published elsewhere.

Authors whose stories are accepted for the Trial Issue will receive 2 copies. If I decide to continue publishing, they will also receive a complimentary four-issue subscription, probably about a $20 value.

Deadline for the Trial Issue will be on or before April 1st; notification of acceptance or rejection will occur by May 2nd; and publication will take place on or before June 3rd. When15 pieces have been accepted, the issue will close.

Submissions should be sent within an e-mail (no attachments) to krm6343@yahoo,com; the Subject Line should begin "Trial Issue:" (without the quotes) followed by the title of the submission.