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Interview with Keffy R.M. Kehrli, Glittership Editor

  1. Glittership is open to flash fiction and short stories. Do you think there are differences to what makes each length of story successful?

Yes, but I find it difficult to articulate these differences in a way that doesn’t immediately sound fake to me. I think that flash fiction is most successful when it focuses very intently on one piece of the story, like a feeling, or a character, or an idea. As short stories get longer, they need to “do more” to be successful. But, that’s true of all fiction. The more words you use, the more you need to give me.

Of course, now I’m sitting here thinking about the ways in which flash fiction starts to approach poetry in some ways, in that each word becomes more and more important when the story gets shorter.

Then again, no matter what length you’re talking about, you shouldn’t have extraneous words just hanging out and doing nothing… heh.

  1. Do you have a favourite piece of flash fiction? If so, what about it stands out?

I don’t have a favorite – and even worse, I have the traditional writer’s problem when it comes time to start listing favorite stories or books. Essentially, I just go blank, and it’s like I’ve never read anything at all.

  1. You’ve worked as a slush reader for Shimmer in the past. Have you noticed any differences in how you evaluate stories now that you’re looking to create audio versions?

I quit reading for Shimmer last summer, but that was only because I felt like it was time for me to move on and work on my own editing projects. So far, the biggest change between how I read for Shimmer and how I read for GlitterShip is that with GlitterShip, I’m the boss. When I read for Shimmer, I was trying to pick stories that I thought might appeal to Elise, and was supposed to pass more stories up to her than we would ever buy so that she could choose between them. Now if I hold onto a story for a while, it’s just to see if how I feel about it changes.

I think that eventually I’ll be looking for different things in terms of how a story reads, but in my experience those differences are fairly slight. The two of my stories that tend to read the best have a lot of visual elements in them – scene breaks, poems, Kickstarter formatting. At the end of the day what I care about is whether or not I’ve chosen good stories, and then talented readers will take care of the rest.

  1. Glittership’s focus is on LGBTQ characters and issues. Do you have any advice for non-LGBTQ authors who might be interested in submitting their work?

In general, I think that anyone who is writing about people from a marginalized perspective that they don’t share should be reading copious amounts of fiction written by authors who are marginalized in that way. So, read fiction by authors who are out as queer.

Other than that, just send me the story! If I like it, I’ll buy it. If I don’t, well, we all get rejections.

  1. Anything else you’d like to say?

The first episode came out on April 2nd, so readers and listeners can check that out at our website (glittership.com). Additionally, issue #2, which will be out on April 9th is going to be a “flash medley” with three different stories between 700 and 1300 words, so lovers of flash fiction should definitely stop by on the 9th to check that out.

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.

 

Next Publication Date: May 5, 2009

As a reminder, we publish on the first Tuesday or Thursday of the month. Our May issue will be available on Tuesday, May 5. The lineup is:

* Bryan S. Wang, “Descent”, a literary story that doesn’t really make me long for the glory days of my youth.

* Isaac Espriu, “Jack Rabbit”, a story that makes me, a Crackberry addict, worry about my future.

* KJ Kabza, “Billions of Stars”, a story that makes me think that things aren’t always so bad after all. 🙂

Bruce Holland Rogers will be with us as always. After all, he always hits his deadlines, even when self-imposed: he published his three April stories for shortshortshort.com subscribers late last night!

Our Classic Flash will again come from that incredibly rich source of humor, Punch. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, which is a celebration of the victory of outnumbered Mexican soldiers against the French / Mexican army at Puebla in 1862, we’ll be publishing the only war-oriented classic short-short story I could find that involved the French: To The Death, from the March 26, 1919 issue. I hope you’ll be as amused as I was.

See you then!

Coming on Halloween: Ray the Vampire

“Ray the Vampire” by Mercedes M. Yardley will go live on Halloween. It’s fun, and if you want to see what it’s about (and get a look at a really cool text technology), check out this Wordle I made with its text.

Happy Halloween!

Modified Publishing Schedule

Starting in September (our next issue), we’ll be shifting our publication schedule to the first Tuesday of the month. Thus, our next issue will launch on 9/2.

We have three great new stories (“Beyond The Pale” takes us to a bar and a question; “Just One Thing” is an insight into a Mexican family and inquisitive minds; “The Trick” is about a boy who… Well, you’ll see) and a Classic Flash from Edgar Allan Poe. We hope you’ll join us.

Lineup for July

We’ve solidified the line-up for July, and I couldn’t be happier.

We have another story from David Tallerman, who wrote “The Desert Cold” in our March issue — and I actually like this one better than the first, truth be told. (Don’t tell Dave. It would be like playing favorites with his kids.) You can find him on the web at davidtallerman.net.

We have a great little story by Jennifer Tatroe. It’s our first publication with her, but she’s also been published in The Boston Literary Magazine, Every Day Fiction (and is about to be again), and Flashquake. Her Web site is jennifertatroe.com.

Finally, we are publishing a story by Brenda Kalt, a graduate of the Viable Paradise workshop. She’s been published before in Not One of Us.

And of course, we’ll have Bruce Holland Rogers‘s next column in the “Short-short sighted” series.

And maybe more. We’ll see what we can pull off. 🙂

Writers of the Future Semi-finalists

Galaxy Press has released the names of the finalists, semi-finalists, and honorable mentions for the Writers of the Future contest for 1st quarter 2008. Of special note are two honorable mentions: Our very own R.W. (Rich) Ware — showing he has a talent for writing as well as art — and the author of our upcoming special feature for March, Barbara A. Barnett.

This is a very tough competition, and getting an honorable mention is a very big step for a budding writer. Congratulations to both of them!

Addition to the March Line-up

Good news! Glenn Lewis Gillette just agreed to let us publish “Downstream from Divorce: a Drama in Three Acts” in March. It’s going to be a great issue. For a little more detail, see this blog post.

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 blog that January has been a good month for him — I’m happy to be a part of that.

We’ll also present a great story by David Tallerman called “The Desert Cold”. You can find his work around the Net if you look, but this will be his first pro sale.

“Avid rejection letter collector” Barbara Barnett-Stewart shows her sense of humor with our St. Patrick’s Day special. She doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to ask her to post the haiku version in the Flash Forum. (And no, I don’t pay by the syllable.)

Since Barbara’s story won’t go live on March 1, we’re still looking at the last story to put up then. We’re also still hashing out the details of our Classic Flash #4. And I hope to have an interview with Eric Garcia, who wrote The Materialist for our January issue.

It’ll be good, it’ll stick with you through the rest of the month, and it probably still won’t take you more than 20 minutes to read. 🙂

Regards,
Jake

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