Trouble emailing us?

I got a report that att.net has blocked our IP address “for abuse” — typically spam. Ours is a shared server, so other organizations share this IP address with us, and it’s possible that one of them has been reported (correctly or not) for spam. If you’re having a hard time reaching us, use my […]

Why Not Name Your Main Character?

This isn’t a rant, but a serious question: why wouldn’t you name your main character within the first sentence or so? So many stories (especially short-short stories) have only “he” or “she” as the main character; some will start with the pronoun and then give the name later. But a name is so powerful! Consider […]

The Lineup For March

I didn’t write a complete “coming next issue” article this month — I don’t yet know everything that’s coming! — but I want you to know a bit about what’s on deck for March. First, I’m very proud to present a new story by Jim Van Pelt called “Just Before Recess”. Jim says on his […]

Things Not To Put In Your Cover Letter

I’m pretty good-natured, so none of the following have stopped me from reading your stories, but consider what an editor might think on reading the following statements in the email that accompanies your submission: “I wrote this in 20 minutes after finding out about your zine.” While I appreciate the fact that you want to […]

Flashes and Twist Endings?

Many authors write stories with twists. For a while, Law and Order even advertised the fact that there was a twist at the end of their episodes. The problem with twist endings and flash is that they often don’t feel like twists: they feel like punch lines. And that makes the stories jokes, not stories. […]

Flash Fantasy & SF: Harder Than Other Genres?

I just stumbled across a year-old post by Steve Goble called “Swords and Flashery“. It hits on a topic I’ve been thinking about as I go through the submissions we’ve received over the last two months. [After writing the first draft of a fantasy flash,] I read the [2000-word] piece and found nary an ounce […]