Fictive Dream Call for Submissions

Fictive Dream is open to submissions and, as always, we’re interested in short stories with a contemporary feel (500 – 2,500 words). We especially like stories that give an insight into the human condition; stories that focus on those moments that change people’s lives. They may be on any subject. They may be challenging, dramatic, playful, exhilarating or cryptic. Above all, they must be well-crafted and compelling.

Check out the Fictive Dream website here.

See our submission guidelines here.

We’re looking forward to receiving your best work!

Laura Black
Editor

Website www.fictivedream.com
Twitter @fictivedream
Instagram fictive.dream

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Talking Tales #24 – 20th August – Bristol

Talking Tales is open for submissions for its flash fiction special event on 20th August. What’s special about it? You’re going to be there and you’re going to be reading.

If that seems a little presumptuous, let me explain. The flash fiction special is celebrating the art of very short stories, poems and all other forms of creative writing. We have an upper limit of 300 words and we have confidence in you.

We believe in your writing – whatever form that may take. We believe in your ability to knock our socks off at the beginning, the middle or the end. We believe you know that Talking Tales is a lovely night of stories, with a warm audience in a great venue. And we believe…this is the important bit…that between the tennis, the barbecue, the warm Summer nights, the paddling and the 99s – we believe you’ll pull your digits out and give us 300 of your best by 9th August (submissions close then). 

Hosted by the awesome Christopher Fielden who will also be launching two of his writing challenge anthologies on the night. Are you in them? If not, there’s no excuse not to be in the next ones.

Challenge Books  E-mail your submissions (300 words or less) to: stokescroftwriters@gmail.com

Event details – are stupendously straight-forward:

…venue:     Left Bank, 128 Cheltenham Road, Stokes Croft, Bristol BS6 5RW

…time:       we start at 7pm on Tuesday 20th August 19 – doors open at 6.30

…join-in:    the ‘finish the lines’ competition – win a Talking Tales badge.

Stokes Croft Writers would love to see you there.

BlueHouse Journal Issue #1: submission deadline AUGUST 1ST

BlueHouse is putting together our first issue, and we are still looking for work by emerging and established writers that frame the “I voice” in a new and exciting way! We love poetry, concrete poetry, lyric essay, creative non-fiction, flash and micro fiction and so much more!

Any questions? Please contact us.

Interested in submitting? Check out our submission guidelines.

For the latest from BlueHouse, please visit our website, or follow us on twitter.

Happy writing!

-The Editors

 

Spring 2019 Winners & Choose Your Own Entry Fee

Reflex Fiction - Flash Fiction - Spring 2019 Winners - ShortStops

Reflex Fiction is a quarterly international flash fiction competition for stories between 180 and 360 words. We publish one story every day as we count down to the winner of each competition.

Spring 2019 Winners

At the end of June, we published the three winning stories from our Spring 2019 flash fiction competition as chosen by Alison Moore. Here are the winners and links to the stories:

First Place: Cooped by Andrew Stancek
Second Place: Big Strong Giant by Billy Cowan
Third Place: Happicabs by Night by Izzy Paprika

You can read Alison’s thoughts on the winning stories here.

Summer 2019 Long-List

We’ve also just published the long-list for our Summer 2019 competition and have started publishing stories as we count down to the announcement of the winners at the end of September.

Autumn 2019 – Choose your own entry fee

We’re also accepting entries for our Autumn 2019 competition. For this round, we’re delighted to have 2018 Guardian ‘Not the Booker’ Award shortlisted writer Naomi Booth as our judge.

For this round of the competition, we’re inviting you to choose your own entry fee. If the suggested entry fee of £7 is prohibitive, just pay what you can afford. If you’d like to support a writer who can’t afford the full fee, why not add a pound or two? More details on our website.

Here are the important details:

Prizes: £1,000 first, £500 second, £250 third (or the equivalent in your local currency)
Entry Fee: Choose your own
Entries close: 31 August 2019
Judge: Naomi Booth

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

Fictive Dream call for Submissions

Fictive Dream is open to submissions and, as always, we’re interested in short stories with a contemporary feel (500 – 2,500 words). We especially like stories that give an insight into the human condition; stories that focus on those moments that change people’s lives. They may be on any subject. They may be challenging, dramatic, playful, exhilarating or cryptic. Above all, they must be well-crafted and compelling.

Check out the Fictive Dream website here.

See our submission guidelines here.

We’re looking forward to receiving your best work!

Laura Black
Editor

Website www.fictivedream.com
Twitter @fictivedream
Instagram fictive.dream

Writing Soul Etchings

Writing Soul Etchings

Sandra Arnold lives in New Zealand. She is a novelist, non-fiction and short story writer. Her short fiction has been published and anthologised in New Zealand and internationally including Bending Genres, Connotation Press,  Flash Frontier, Spelk, Fictive Dream, New Flash Fiction Review and Bonsai: Best Small Stories from Aotearoa New Zealand. Her recent awards include  finalist in the 2018 Mslexia Flash Fiction competition and the 2018 University of Sunderland Short Story Award. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and twice for Best Small Fictions. Her third novel, The Ash, the Well and the Bluebell (Makāro Press, NZ) and her first flash fiction collection, Soul Etchings (Retreat West Books, UK) will be published this year. https://www.sandraarnold.co.nz

Three years ago a poet friend told me about the upcoming New Zealand National Flash Fiction Day. At that point I hadn’t read any flash fiction and I said I was sceptical that a story could be conveyed with much depth in just a few hundred words. He, on the other hand, a practitioner of the prose poem, enthused about the flash form, which he defined as being similar to prose poetry with a narrative arc. He recommended that I read Flash Frontier, an online journal established in New Zealand in 2011 by Michelle Elvy. The journal’s 250 word gems captivated me enough to want to investigate further. In the process I discovered a whole world of flash fiction complete with supporters hailing it as the future of literature, critics decrying it as the death of literature, and others dismissing it as a passing fad of the internet generation.

Although flash fiction has become more prominent since the advent of the internet, its roots go back to ancient times. For the kind of ‘slice-of-life’ flash fiction commonly published today Charles Baudelaire’s prose poems are credited with being the precursor. In more recent years many accomplished writers are turning to the form for the challenge of conveying the greatest possible effect in the fewest possible words. There are now hundreds of online journals, as well as literary prizes and print publications that include or focus exclusively on flash. The position of marginalised obscurity it once occupied  has long gone.

After the conversation with my poet friend I decided to set myself the challenge of trying to write in this intriguing form. At that time I was working on my fourth book, a novel titled The Ash, the Well and the Bluebell. While the two forms are completely different, I found that writing flash helped me to think more about the weight of  words in my novel. Writing flash is good discipline for writing in any form.

After publishing work in various journals around the world and being placed in competitions I approached Amanda Saint of Retreat West in the UK to ask if she was interested in publishing the stories as a collection. To my delight she was. Amanda suggested taking out some of the stories so that the fifty seven left in the collection formed a cohesive whole with connecting themes.

Many of the stories deal with social dislocation, other-worldliness, loss and grief. Others explore memory, love, the search for belonging and new possibilities. The  ideas for these stories came from a variety of sources – newspapers articles, fragments of overheard conversation, images and memories, but a few appeared out of nowhere, almost fully formed.

An example of this is The Gatherers. This appeared one day as I walked by the river with my dog. The sky was blue, the Southern Alps glittered with snow, the tracks were covered in wildflowers, and the only sounds were bees and birds and the dog splashing in the water. Unannounced, The Gatherers arrived.

The distress of a bird unable to help her fledgling when it fell from the nest triggered Waiting Lists. A visit to a spooky second-hand shop with one-eyed dolls, stuffed animals, and a massive carved bed with enclosed wooden sides resulted in Whistle on the wind, my lad. Early one morning I opened the curtains  and saw a golden hot air balloon drifting over the Canterbury Plains  towards my house. It looked beautiful, but it also triggered a memory of being in a hot air balloon accident  twenty five years before. At that time the pilot was inexperienced, and when a fierce wind blew up he was unable to deflate the balloon quickly enough to land safely. It crashed to the ground and was dragged on its side by the wind at top speed towards a lake. No one was killed although most of us were injured. The memory of that accident surfaced after I sighted the golden balloon and I wrote The Golden Balloon, giving it an ending that could so easily have happened.

An experience my youngest daughter and her friend had one night observing a strange object in the sky while lying in their sleeping bags in a paddock with their horses inspired Soul Etchings, which became the title of the collection. A painting she did of a girl who was part tree with green hair, feet like roots and arms like branches was the inspiration behind The Girl with Green Hair. Esbos Boo came from a dream of a child named Esbos Boo who was hiding in a forest The name was so intriguing I wrote it down as soon as I woke up. When I started writing his story I saw he had blue skin.

I have picked just a few examples of how the stories in my collection began. It isn’t difficult to find ideas. Ideas are everywhere. The challenge is in creating fiction out of them. Flash fiction is defined as a complete story between 100 and 1,000 words. Because of this restriction much of the story must be implied rather than stated, but there must also be enough to deliver a moment of clarity, a punch to the gut, a stab of recognition. I hope the stories in Soul Etchings achieve that.

 

Soul Etchings by Sandra Arnold

The Autumn 2019 Reflex flash fiction competition is open

Autumn 2019 - Reflex Fiction - Flash Fiction Competition - shortstops

Reflex Fiction is a quarterly international flash fiction competition for stories between 180 and 360 words. We publish one story every day as we count down to the winner of each competition.

We had a fantastic response to our Summer competition: 413 entries from 25 different countries. We’re busy reading and judging in preparation for announcing the longlist on 1 July. In the meantime, the next round of the competition is now open for entries. In the interest of making the competition more inclusive, we’re trialling a choose your own entry fee system for this round. Visit our website for more details.

We’re delighted to have Naomi Booth, 2018 Guardian ‘Not the Booker’ Award shortlisted author acting as judge. Here are the important details:

Prizes: £1,000 / £500 / £250 (or the equivalent in your local currency)
Entry fee: Choose your own
Deadline: 31 August 2019
Judging: September 2019
Longlist announced: 1 October 2019
Judge: Naomi Booth
Submissions: via our online entry form.

Witches Sail in Eggshells by Chloe Turner

Witches Sail in Eggshells coverWe’re excited to announce our first publication under the Reflex Press banner. Witches Sail in Eggshells by Chloe Turner is a collection of seventeen short stories and is available to order now through our website. You can also read a taster story from the collection, ‘Hagstone’, online here.