Who We Are
Oh, You Mean Personally?
If you really want to know about us as people, please visit our staff page. Otherwise, we'd rather talk about what we're trying to do.
At a high level, our goals are pretty simple.
That implies a variety of sub-goals:
To maintain interest among the general public (and many writers) we need to publish stories, not just vignettes.
Stories have characters. Characters have personalities, and they make us care about them. Ideally they aren't merely stereotypes. We prefer stories with strong, interesting characters.
Stories have plots. The general reader sometimes reads “great” literature and says, “what was that all about?” I am more interested in the general reader than in the student; more in the acclaim of a thousand readers than of a single professional critic. Stories we publish must have a goal, a conflict, a change, a realization, a death, a birth, an “a-ha!” moment — something that happens, something that matters, even if it only happens in the mind of the reader.
Stories have settings; however, settings are less important to a story than the characters (whom we care about, which invests us in the story) and plot (which puts these characters into situations that test their mettle and make us anxious for them). Therefore, although we'd like to have a well-described setting, we will accept stories with mundane or undescribed settings as long as the characters and plots are compelling.
The greatness of a story doesn't depend on genre. The general public likes Law and Order, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harlequin romances, Sands of Iwo Jima, Hackers, National Treasure, King of Queens, Memoirs of a Geisha, and lots of other things besides. I personally have a preference for some types of genre fiction (science fiction, fantasy, mysteries), and I think it's reasonable for our publication to reflect these genre preferences because we aspire to publish great stories, not someone else's definition of great literature. (Note that I consider “literary” to be a genre. Call me naive if you like.) That said, we will consider great short stories from any genre, including literary styles.
We will initially try to achieve a publishing schedule of two thousand words’ worth of stories per month. We may augment this schedule with columns from our editorial staff and “Classic Flashes” for which the copyright has expired.