Friday, February 25, 2005

1 Acceptance, 2 Releases, 3 Submissions, 4 Almosts

After a complete review of all seven submissions to A Flasher's Dozen, we're proud to announce our very first acceptance:

"Double Jeopardy" by Margaret B. Davidson (Born and raised in England, she now resides in upstate New York)

To help fill the Trial Issue with Trials, we co-editors will each make a contribution:

"A Star in the Witness Box" by Sandra Seamans (A retired farmwife living in upstate Pennsylvania)

"The Accidental Misfortune" by KR Mullin (A hospital-based Tumor Registrar working in South Jersey)

There were four other submissions that we liked almost enough to accept; these we returned to their respective authors with editorial suggestions on how they could win our literary affections. Unfortunately, we released two other selections back to their authors in hopes that they will find other homes. Now we're reviewing our three latest submissions, all from members of pathetic.com, an on-line poetry community. If things go well, we'll soon have our Trial Issue half full!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A Few More Submissions Arrive

We've received three more submissions this week. A very short piece from Chicago, a piece with a nice, surprise ending from Wales, and a fable from South Jersey. The last two of the pieces are a direct result of my having presented a talk entitled "The Joy of Flashing" at the Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ. I distributed a chapbook that I'd put together for the occasion; it included some history and examples of Flash Fiction as well as a list of websites that publish Flash Fiction and, of course, an ad for A Flasher's Dozen. One of the attendees helps administrate pathetic.org, an online poetry community. The author in Wales is a member of that group. Although I liked most of his submission, I asked him if he'd consider some editorial suggestions, and he said, "Yes." So I "critted" his submission and returned it to him.

It will soon be a month since we started receiving submissions, and we only have nine so far! Nevertheless, it's probably time to make decisions on which ones to keep and which to release. The "necessity" of this action is partially motivated by an experience I had this week. I emailed an inquiry about a piece I'd submitted to a journal last November and was informed that, since they hadn't replied within 90 days, I should consider it a rejection. With the simplicity of the e-mail "reply" button, I think that such an attitude is patently unfair to authors, and I won't be sending any more pieces to that publication. I certainly hope that A Flasher's Dozen, if it becomes a quarterly, will be far more author-friendly.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A Few More Submissions Trickle In

I've been in a bit of a funk lately, and I think it's partly due to this publishing project. Although I've been announcing my plans to flash-oriented groups on the internet as well as at public readings in the area, I've been amazed and depressed by the lack of submissions. Many publications complain about the thousands of submissions they have to plow through in order to select one or two for publication. I, on the other hand, want to put together a collection of 13 to 15 pieces but haven't even received half that many.

Nevertheless, I'm strangely intimidated by the pieces that I've gotten. Are they as good as I think they are? Am I fit to judge them? Is it possible that I'll receive something even better when the floodgates open and I'm inundated by millions of submissions?

To be certain that I don't misjudge a submission, I've asked Sandra Seamans to be my co-editor. Although I've never met her in person, I've always enjoyed the responses that she's produced to the prompts on FlashXer, and I've received a lot of level-headed and helpful criticism from her on my responses, so I think we'll make a good team.

Now all we need are enough submissions to judge! I've been thinking that part of the problem may be the restrictive requirement that submissions contain certain words or that preference will be given to works about a particular topic. Therefore, I've decided to eliminate those elements from the guidelines, and you can write about anything you want! So ... why not send us something wittily whimsical, eclectically entertaining, mischievously mythical, and/or scintillatingly snappy?