Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine

FlashISSM

Delighted to have a piece I wrote earlier this year, called You Begin To Ache In All The Same Places accepted for publication in Flash: The International Short- Short Story Magazine Issue 11.1 April 2018.

Flash has an excellent reputation and is one of the world’s leading publishers of flash fiction, so it’s a pleasure to be included in their next edition. Past contributors include Booker and Pulitzer prize winners and nominees and other critically acclaimed authors such as Margaret Atwood, Beryl Bainbridge, David Gaffney, James Kelman, Meg Pokrass, Calum Kerr, Ian Rankin, Ian Seed, Meg Tuite, Jennifer Egan and many more outstanding writers I admire.

You can read all about the magazine here, or subscribe or order past copies from their website here.

I’ve been reading a lot of short stories and flash recently, and one piece which stood out for me was Now That the Circus Has Shut Down, the Human Cannonball Looks for Work  by Meghan Phillips, published over at Wigleaf last month. It’s brilliant, and you really should go and read it here. You’ve got to admire a story done as well as it can be.

On that note, I read a great article in The New Yorker this week, called Donald Glover Can’t Save You by Tad Friend. It’s a long read, but well worth the time, and gives a range of insights into the mind of Glover, the multi talented creator of FX’s Atlanta. Fascinating. Highlights include his prediction that ‘we are probably at the end of the storytelling age’ and concerns about Elon Musk. Highly recommended, go read it here.

Other things to look out for – tickets for the 2018 Flash Fiction Festival UK, held at Trinity College, Bristol on the weekend of Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd July, are selling fast, so to avoid disappointment, go get yours now. The festival is for beginning and experienced writers who want to learn more about flash fiction and features workshops by leading flash fiction practitioners from the UK, USA, Ireland and Germany. The inaugural event was a huge success last year. Further details including a line up of events and speakers, can be found here. 

Last but not least, the National Flash Fiction Day Anthology has a call out for submissions until the 31st March 2018, which gives you a little more time yet to be included. Editors for this year’s anthology are National Flash Fiction Day co-director Santino Prinzi and the award-winning writer Alison Powell.

For more details you can visit the website here. 

 

 

 

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Bending Genres

BG-Logo

There’s a new online journal in town, Bending Genres, offering writing retreats, online workshops and contests and special events. Their pilot issue was pretty special, with work from all the founding names including: Robert Vaughan, Meg Tuite, David O’ Connor, Samuel Fox, Jonathan Cardew, Jessica Mehta, Sisco Hollard and Adam Robinson.

The first issue is now up, and I’m pleased to see a piece I wrote late last year included in there, called Places Satellites Go To Die, amongst some other stellar pieces. This is the first thing I’ve had published this year, so it’s a special one for me – breaking the 2018 seal so to speak. You can read it here.

One other important thing to note, it’s the last weekend to enter this quarter’s Bath Flash Fiction Award. For anyone not familiar with the Bath Flash Fiction Award, it’s brilliant and one of the best contests on the flash calendar. This round is being judged by Tara L. Masih, editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle (both ForeWord Books of the Year), author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows, and Founding Series Editor of the Best Small Fictions series. So, no pressure there then…

Right, I’m off to find a pen, and a blank sheet of paper.

See also, happy new year

 

lancet liver parasite

A creature which spends its entire adult life inside a cow’s liver. After mating, its eggs are excreted into the cow’s faeces, where snails, who like to snack on cow shit, eat the parasite’s eggs. To rid themselves of these unwelcome intruders, the snails package the eggs up into cysts and secrete them through their slime trails.

Next, ants, who use the snail trails as a source of moisture, ingest the sticky eggs. Once inside the ant’s gut, the parasite heads straight for the nerve cells located beneath the ant’s esophagus and hijacks them, taking control of the ant.

Thus, by day, the infected ant goes about their usual business, but as the sun drops, the parasite takes over, drawing the host away from the safety of its colony and forcing the ant to the top of the nearest blade of grass, where it will stand, transfixed, mesosoma upright, waiting for a grazing cow to come along and eat it; So begins the cycle once more.

See also happy new year

 

(It’s Christmas)

Happy Christmas and all that, such a pleasant time of the year and naturally, a time to reflect a little. With that in mind, looking back over 2017, three stories stand out for me.

First, is the quite incredible ‘Collective Nouns For Humans In The Wild by Kathy Fish, published over at Jelly Fish Review in October. Go and read it. It’s probably won loads of awards by now, and is definitely one of my favourite pieces of the year.

Next, is ‘Cat Person by Kristen Roupenian. Apparently this story caused quite a stir when it was published in the New Yorker this month, with a lot of controversy surrounding it. I’ve not read any of that, I just read the story and knew straight away it was going places. Again, read it here. You should.

The last but far from least story which caught my ear this year is ‘Black Holes by Matthew Fogarty published at Cheap Pop Lit. I’ve written three space / science based stories this year so I was instantly drawn to this anyway, but I think Black Holes is a superb example of what can be done in such a way. Well worth a read, and you’ll find it here. 

On that tip, I’m pleased to say I’ve had a story called Places Satellites Go To Die due for publication over at (b)OINK in the new year. I’ve enjoyed reading (b)OINK during the past 10 months, so it’s a pleasure to have something due for publication with them. As always, if you haven’t had a look at them,  you really should.

Well, that’s it. Another year nearly gone. All the best, and see you in 2018.