All posts by bhighsmith

Changing of the Guard

By Jake Freivald

Jake here.

I founded Flash Fiction Online in December of 2007. Flash fiction itself was just gaining steam, and it looked like there was an opportunity for a professional market dedicated to flash. I’m happy that we — me, yes, but alongside a team of volunteers who rallied around the concept — created that market and kept it going for five-plus years.

About two years ago — has it been two years yet? It’s pretty much impossible for me to tell — I passed editorial leadership to Suzanne Vincent, a talented author and judge of stories. She will continue in the Editor-in-Chief role. I’m now also handing off the publisher / CFO role to Anna Yeats. If I already owe you money (believe me, I know it’s possible), contact me; for anything else, contact Suzanne or Anna. :) From this point forward, anything I do with FFO will have the title “emeritus” attached to it. And for all that I love flash fiction, that’s a relief.

I’d like to thank the volunteers on the Flash Fiction Online staff, past and present, who have done so much to keep the magazine moving forward. I literally can’t thank them enough. They do the work for the love of literature, and to make wonderful things happen. I trust that they, Anna, and Suzanne will continue to bring you flashes of beauty and insight.

 

Self-Publishing Super Hero–William Blake

Venerable poet William Blake, author of sometimes mysterious and sometimes brilliantly simple works, was a self-publishing super hero who might serve as an inspiration to would-be self-publishers. He’s perhaps best known for his illuminated “Songs of Innocence” (example plate below) and “Songs of Experience.”

The Lamb–Example Relief Etch, Hand-Painted
Image in public domain according to Wikipedia, from which it came.
Notifiy Flash Fiction Online if you believe it is not in the public domain.

He had a soup-to-nuts approach to publishing, illustrated by the unpoetic list below:

  • wrote the poems
  • created a new printing technique, relief etching, whereby the illustrations’ line art and text were etched on copper plates in reverse, whereby the negative and color spaces were etched away. (This is in opposition to the practice of making plates for each color.)
  • printed the pages on the printing press in his living room.
  • hand-colored each illustration, making each copy unique.
  • bound the books and mailed them to his customers.
  • marketed them, somehow, in the late 18th century.

If you see an original Blake publication at a garage sale, pick it up. It would be considered a museum piece. Then you can sell it and make the transition from waiter/writer to writer.

 

Publications by FFO Alumni for 2012

Flash Fiction Online alumni (authors who published previously at FFO) may add news of their publications at other venues for 2012 to the list below. Post your news in a comment to this post or contact the editor. Your comment won’t be posted; the news be added to this post.

FFO Alumni who published elsewhere in 2012:

Zach Shephard

 

Odyssey Writing Workshop–Summer 2013

Barbara Barnett-Stewart, Flash Fiction Online alumnus and Odyssey publicist, announced the Odyssey Writing Workshop’s summer 2013 session.

According to their press release:

Since its founding in 1996, Odyssey has become one of the most respected workshops in the fantasy, science fiction, and horror writing community.  Odyssey is for developing writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work.  The six-week workshop combines advanced lectures, exercises, extensive writing, and in-depth feedback on student manuscripts.  Top authors, editors, and agents have served as guest lecturers, including George R. R. Martin, Harlan Ellison, Jane Yolen, Terry Brooks, Robert J. Sawyer, Ben Bova, Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Hand, Jeff VanderMeer, Donald Maass, Sheila Williams, Shawna McCarthy, Carrie Vaughn, and Dan Simmons.  Fifty-eight percent of Odyssey graduates go on to professional publication.

The program is held every summer on Saint Anselm College’s beautiful campus in Manchester, NH.  Saint Anselm is one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country, dedicated to excellence in education, and its campus provides a peaceful setting and state-of-the-art facilities for Odyssey students.  College credit is available upon request.

Jeanne Cavelos, Odyssey’s director and primary instructor, is a best-selling author and a former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, where she won the World Fantasy Award for her work.  As an editor, Cavelos gained a reputation for discovering and nurturing new writers.  She provides students with detailed, concrete, constructive critiques of their work.  Cavelos said, “I’ve worked with many different writers, and I know that each writer thinks and works differently.  We limit attendance at Odyssey to sixteen, so I can become deeply familiar with the work of each student and provide assessments of strengths and weaknesses.  I work individually with each student, helping each to find the best writing process for him, suggesting specific tools to target weaknesses, and charting progress over the six weeks.”  Her critiques average over 1,200 words, and her handwritten line edits on manuscripts are extensive.

Odyssey class time is split between workshopping sessions and lectures.  An advanced, comprehensive curriculum covers the elements of fiction writing in depth.  While feedback reveals the weaknesses in students’ manuscripts, lectures teach the tools and techniques necessary to strengthen them.

The workshop runs from June 10 to July 19, 2013.  Class meets for four hours in the morning, five days a week.  Students spend about eight hours more per day writing and critiquing each other’s work.  Prospective students, aged eighteen and up, apply from all over the world.  The early action application deadline is January 31, and the regular admission deadline is April 8. Tuition is $1,920, and housing is $790 for a double room in a campus apartment and $1,580 for a single room.

Go here for more information.

 

Publications by FFO Staff

The Flash Fiction Online editorial staff members are generally writers, too. Occasionally FFO lets them beat their own drums, and so they will–without a hint of embarrassment. As this information rolls in for the 2012 publishing season from the editors and slush pile readers, I’ll update this post. Here is the present information, including publications and conferences:

William Highsmith

  • “Tempest Kings” is a Pushcart Prize-nominated short story in the Third Flatiron Publishing’s Spring 2012 anthology, entitled Over the Brink: Tales of Environmental Disaster, found  at Smashwords and AmazonTrouble follows anthropologists at a dig in Honduras in the near future and the Mayans living there in the distant past. Third Flatiron has other anthologies published and underway.

Lydia Ondrusek

  • Staffer Lydia Ondrusek co-conspired with John Jasper Owens in the writing of “The Best Laid Plans,” Omnium Gatherum Media‘s FORTUNE: LOST AND FOUND, an anthology about capital, cash, gold and lucre. This anthology may be found at Amazon.

Nancy DiMuaro

  • Nancy has been busy this year.
  • Novel: Paths Less Traveled, published by Musa Publishing. Sometimes finding justice means finding yourself. This can be found at Amazon, Amazon UK, BN, and Musa.
  • Novel: Shots at Redemption, published by Musa Publishing. Even mythical beings need a chance to correct their mistakes and reclaim lost love. This can be found at Amazon, Amazon UK, BN, and Musa.
  • Short story in the anthology: Jack Gorman Got Cut By a Girl, published by Musa Publishing. This can be found at Amazon, Amazon UK, BN, and Musa.
  •  Novel: Apollo Rising. Shot by a golden arrow, Apollo has only truly loved Daphne….This can be found at Amazon and Amazon UK.
  • Workshops/Conferences: World Fantasy (Oct/Nov 2012), Dave Farland’s Novel Rewriting Workshop (August 2012), and Superstar’s Writing Seminar (April 2012).

Flash Fiction Online in the News

Worlds Beyond (“News and reviews for the geek in all of us”) liked the current FFO issue’s subversive  Zombie Walk, linking to it on their Flash Friday page.

Sam Tomaino at SFRevu has reviewed Flash Fiction Online’s October 2012 issue, which has two original and one classic flash stories, including:

  • Zombie March Tension by Brynn MacNabb,
  • Mid-Autumn Moon by Lani Carroll, and
  • Classic Flash: A Fratricide by Franz Kafka

Speaking of Mid-Autumn Moon, Sam said, “A wonderfully quirky tale.”

See Sam’s other short fiction reviews here.

 

SF Writers’ Imaginings about 2012

In 1987, some science fiction writers of note made a time capsule of their expectations for 2012, as reported by the gizmag tech blog.  So now the cork has been popped from the capsule. What did they think? Mutant avengers take over the world? Dead atmosphere? Elvis returns to finish what he had begun? The experiment looked ahead only twenty-five years, so it’s surprising what some of the conclusions were.

I won’t tread on the original blogger’s turf much, but one prediction has an interesting note in today’s news. The Mars explorer craft, Curiosity, landed today, unmanned and unwomaned. One time-capsule prediction was that there would be Mars and moon bases by now. That prediction was off by half, at least.

The time capsule was the baby of the Writers of the Future folks.

 

Give Bruce Holland Rogers a Kickstart

Bruce Holland Rogers is well known to FFO fans; he wrote a monthly flash fiction column, published by Flash Fiction Online, for a couple of years. Among his writing awards are a Pushcart, two Nebulas, Bram Stoker and others. He’s one of a few to try to make a living of short fiction.

Now he’s starting a short-short (flash) publishing project via KickStarter. If you aren’t familiar with Kickstarter.com, it’s just cool, is what it is. It is a crowd funding group that favors creative projects, including all the arts, technology and others. The ‘crowd’ is a growing group of people who chip in a little bit or a lot for some project that appeals to them, just to be part of something cool. There are small, non-equity rewards, but that’s not the point.

Take a look at Bruce Holland Rogers’ 49: a square of stories for hip people. Don’t be left behind; he’s almost halfway home.

Flash Fiction Opportunities

Here are two opportunities for SF writers and, in due course, readers. Science magazine Cosmos soon will open another of their prestigious short story competitions, the winner’s story to be published in a print edition, and the runners up in an online edition. Frequently, these are flash fiction contests. Cosmos regularly publishes short SF. At the time of writing, they have a Ray Bradbury story…yeah, I heard of him.

A long-standing online literary and genre quarterly magazine, Eclectica, is sponsoring a flash fiction competition for stories under 800 words, any theme, for their October/November issue.

Interested writers may find out more about these contests via Circalit, who helps writers manage their writing projects, and who is providing submissions support for the Cosmos competition and the Eclectica competition.