Flash Fiction

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
nthor
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:45 pm

Flash Fiction

Postby nthor » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:51 pm

Hi all,
New. I see the contest invites entries of up to 17,000 words, and I noted that David Farland doesn't view flash fiction as particularly competitive. Just wanted to invite comments from any flash writers who have submitted here.

User avatar
reigheena
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:26 am
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby reigheena » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:04 pm

All my flash has received a straight R from here. Haven't had much luck selling it elsewhere, though, so ::shrugs::
Silver Honorable Mention: 3
Honorable Mentions: 7. Published HM - Infant Insomnia
Other published works

YM Pang
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby YM Pang » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:07 pm

The shortest story I've submitted to WotF was ~1,300 words. It got an HM. I'd say flash has a chance, but this isn't the ideal market (compared to a magazine that pays by the word and can publish 3+ flash stories for every novelette) Dave is also big on sensory detail, so it's probably even harder with him as judge.

But hey, don't self-reject. If flash is what you have ready, submit away!
Michelle Pang
http://www.ympang.com
1xFinalist, 10xHM

"Subtle Ways Each Time" in Escape Pod.
"The Palace of the Silver Dragon" in Strange Horizons.

User avatar
orbivillein
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:37 pm
Location: Anatoll

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby orbivillein » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:41 am

Flash fiction of greatest appeal and, consequently, publication success potential, entails the narrowest focus of event, setting, character, and dramatic movement, plus, of course, emotion and tone, or transformational emotional attitude toward a timely and timeless, relevant social topic. Flash's greatest appeals are emotion and tone, in which an emotional attitude is expressed up front and transforms, the overt if covert dramatic movement of substance, throughout to the end of a restrictive word count.

However, the original coin of the term "flash" for prose refers to written in a flash from a flash of inspiration and preserves the raw-flash emotional expression of the inspiration flash. Naturally then, flash favors restrictive lengths. Most flash falls far short of the emotional tone movement aspect, most prose does, for that matter, though many song lyrics comprise strong emotion and tone expression and movement. Music scores contribute a measure, too. Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight," for example.

For greatest flash success potential, at WotF and any publication, amplify emotion and tone, emphasize emotional tone movement, and focus the narrowest subjects and topics and narrowest dramatic furniture.

Alack and alas! Society, however, exhorts we never rock the boat, not make a public spectacle scene, yet a "dramatic" scene spectacle portrayed on the page is what flash, prose altogether, really wants.

User avatar
morganb
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:11 am
Location: Mount Gilead, Ohio
Contact:

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby morganb » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:21 am

nthor wrote:Hi all,
New. I see the contest invites entries of up to 17,000 words, and I noted that David Farland doesn't view flash fiction as particularly competitive. Just wanted to invite comments from any flash writers who have submitted here.


I write and submit flash stories in between writing short stories and submissions for WOTF. Dave does look for fully fleshed-out characters and arcs, themes, world-building, story immersion, etc. for the anthology — all difficult to pull off in less than 1,500 words.

And the nice thing about Flash Fiction is that publication doesn't count against you for eligibility in the contest. So write and publish away!


~Morgan
"If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."
- Stephen King

Drop me a line at https://morganbroadhead.com

HM x 1
R x 4

jficke13
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:24 am
Location: Wisconsin
Contact:

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby jficke13 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:39 am

There have been pretty short stories that have won. Mine was about 2k words. Janey Bell's "Face in the Box" was pretty short in Vol. 34 as well. I recall "The God Whisperer" being very short too. I don't know that there's a floor on word count, so if your story is good, it will stand on its own.
HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd. http://www.jonficke.com

User avatar
orbivillein
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:37 pm
Location: Anatoll

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby orbivillein » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:57 am

According to a July 17, 2017 forum post by preston, here, the shortest ever contest winner is "The Disambiguation of Captain Shroud" by Gary Shockley, first place 1988 contest year second quarter, and Golden Pen winner, is in volume V, 1989, pages 404 to 406, about a thousand words length.
Last edited by orbivillein on Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Wulf Moon
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:04 am

Also, if it's a thousand word flash or over, AND pro pay of 6 cents per word, AND 5000 hits or print copies (in other words, a SFWA pro market), it DOES count as a pro sale. So I'm told from people that know. So if your aim is to stay in the contest, you have to be aware of where you submit your flash and it's published length.

However, I will respectfully submit again that restricting our submissions to protect our WotF qualification is a mistake. The purpose of the contest is to help us become pro writers. Winning the contest would be nice, but not if we pin all our efforts and dreams on one market we have no control over. Send out your stories, top market down to your threshold of where you believe is still a respectable venue to showcase your work. And WotF is the pinnacle market for *amateur* writers, so we start here.

We would be crazy not to.

Fortune favor the brave,

~Moon~

User avatar
morganb
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:11 am
Location: Mount Gilead, Ohio
Contact:

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby morganb » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:55 am

Hi all,

I sent an email to Joni in September last year and asked whether Flash Fiction sales count against our eligibility in the contest. She wrote back and said they do not. So at least according to her, flash sales should still be safe. But please let me know if anyone hears any differently.

~Morgan
"If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."
- Stephen King

Drop me a line at https://morganbroadhead.com

HM x 1
R x 4

jficke13
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:24 am
Location: Wisconsin
Contact:

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby jficke13 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:06 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:[...] However, I will respectfully submit again that restricting our submissions to protect our WotF qualification is a mistake. The purpose of the contest is to help us become pro writers. Winning the contest would be nice, but not if we pin all our efforts and dreams on one market we have no control over. Send out your stories, top market down to your threshold of where you believe is still a respectable venue to showcase your work. And WotF is the pinnacle market for *amateur* writers, so we start here.

We would be crazy not to.
[...]

~Moon~


I cannot stress this enough. Do not think of WotF as an arbiter of success, a hurdle that must be leapt, or any barometer of quality that is preferable to literally every other pro-market. I think the best way to think of it is a pro-market with multiple rejection tiers. You can learn a lot from my submission was close, but not close enough, not everywhere gives you that. That's valuable.

But (and this didn't happen to me) if I were presented with a DQ sale or remaining eligible at WotF, I'd take the DQ sale, every, single, time.

I have a strong feeling that there are other short fiction markets with far wider circulation/reach. WotF sells a few copies, sure... but I've heard of an editor at Tor contacting the author cold after reading a Daily SF piece. There's more than one path to success.
HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd. http://www.jonficke.com

jficke13
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:24 am
Location: Wisconsin
Contact:

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby jficke13 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:10 pm

Wulf Moon wrote: [...] Send out your stories, top market down to your threshold of where you believe is still a respectable venue to showcase your work. [...]
~Moon~


That is almost word-for-word one of the best pieces of advice (or at least the pieces of advice that stuck with me the most) that I received at the conference in LA.

Tim Powers said that for both novels and short fiction, rank the markets. From the top of the top down out of "pro rates" and into sketchier and sketchier territory. Then work your way down from the top with a red pen. When you hit the market where you'd no longer want to be associated with, draw a big red line. Sub from top down, and if you hit your red line without selling your piece, trunk it.

You do not win by being "published" in a bad place. The idea is that you ought to value your own work and reputation. If something you've sent around doesn't sell at the places above your line, it's not worth making it public and bringing down your professional reputation.

Everyone trunks stuff. It happens!
HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd. http://www.jonficke.com

Wulf Moon
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:37 am

Back to Flash Fiction. WotF does not count a SFWA qualified market sale against you if the piece is under 1000 words. That's their definition of Flash, and it's the only definition that matters for the sake of the contest. One thousand words and over to a SFWA qualified market (and any other fiction market that pays 6 cents per word and has 5000 copies or hits) they count as a professional short story sale and it gets added to your count. I haven't directly asked Joni about this, but I know others have, and that's what they were told. So it all depends on the definition of Flash, and the only one that matters is WotF's in this case. So if one wants to fly under the radar to stay in the contest, it's good to keep the word count in mind for pro flash sales.

SiFiMarine
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:47 pm

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby SiFiMarine » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:18 am

My only pro sales were flash, but I wouldn't use a flash story for WOTF. Mike Resnick buys plenty of flash fiction for Galaxy's Edge, but WOTF isn't his brainchild so I suspect it doesn't go over well for the contest.
HM - 1
R - 1

Wulf Moon
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:27 pm

You can't do big world building in a flash piece--you can only create the illusion of a big world. Quoting Dave in Vol. 35: "It would be difficult to write a story that was very short and still have it be powerful and convincingly brilliant, so most of our stories here fall between 5,000 and 17,000 words long."

User avatar
AlexH
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:42 pm
Location: Staffordshire, England
Contact:

Re: Flash Fiction

Postby AlexH » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:20 am

Some of the best, most powerful stories I've read are flash fiction. There's always a chance, but I understand Dave's reasoning.

I can't find the link but remember reading something about flash having less words to impress the judges. It may have been the article Wulf Moon quoted above, or be from Dave's Daily Meditations e-book.

Here's another quote from Dave: "I can imagine a rare circumstance where a flash fiction piece might win, but when placed beside a long, formed story, flash pieces almost always suffer by comparison because the conflicts in the piece never get properly developed and resolved."
https://www.writersofthefuture.com/dave ... -to-avoid/
R, R (FP), ?


Return to “The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest