Your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations in only ten words?

Bacon-parodyWe had a fantastic last meeting. Thanks so much to Nick and Coey for sharing their work, and sorry for making everyone suffer through that first bit of Atlanta Nights. Nonetheless, grit your teeth and try giving it a read. The RTF file can be downloaded here under the working title of Sting Manuscript. The story behind this literary hoax can be found here, and here is the original blog posting. Really, reading bad fiction can be just as instructive as reading the masterpieces.
Actually, it would be kind of fun to do a "Design a sign for Sam Shaw's lawn" contest. The winners get to feel sad about themselves.

Actually, it would be kind of fun to do a “Design a sign for Sam Shaw’s lawn” contest. The winners get to feel sad about themselves.

Coey brought a great selection of 10-word stories to the meeting, as well as a one-hundred-word piece, which inspired our project for the next meeting. Apparently, six word stories are the in-thing these days, thanks to Ernest Hemingway’s, ” Forsale: Baby shoes. Never worn,” which is admittedly quite brilliant. So, your options are to write one or more 6, 10, or 100 word stories with the goal of submission. They can be fiction, essay, apocalyptic sandwich board messages, or signs for Sam Shaw to post on his lawn — whatever floats your boat.We will find a market and submit them. So far, the markets that I’ve found are more in the 100 range:

  • [100 Word Story] is a pretty self explanatory site, which accepts fiction and essay submissions of exactly 100 words (no more, no less). They have a monthly photo prompt to help you out. Submissions are accepted via Submittable.  This is not a paying market.
  • This led me to a blog posting with the author’s “Top ten literary magazines to send very VERY short flashes.” These magazines range from 600 to 100 words or less. The cool thing is each has a percentage for chance of acceptance. Looks like the best you can hope for from any of these is a contributor copy.
I found one magazine that looked like a dream, paying $50 for accepted submissions, until I noticed that they also charge $15 per submission. bwamp bwamp. Wired had a nice collection of six word stories for your reading pleasure, and speaking of them, here’s the link for a free year subscription with no strings attached as far as I could see (hopefully still valid by the time you read this). I’m a big fan of for finding these deals, and lots of $5 magazine subscriptions going around these days.

Editing is like that scene at the end of Carrie, where the kids dump a bucket of blood on her and she is like, "Hey, thanks a lot! for the constructive criticism! This resolves a lot of the things I was struggling with."

Editing is a lot like that scene at the end of Carrie, where the kids dump a bucket of blood on her and she is like, “Hey, thanks a lot for that constructive criticism! This resolves many of the issues that I was struggling with.”

At our next meeting, we’ll also be going over Elisabeth’s short story, which she was kind enough to share. I’d emailed the fileout to everyone and assigned you each a page to edit mercilessly. Feel free to edit more if you like, but be prepared topresent your edits to the group in two weeks. It’s your wits against mine in a life or death game of cat and mouse — sorry, got a little over-enthused there. This will be some great proofreading and copy editing practice for most of us, while offering up a very thorough critique for Elisabeth’s benefit.

— Derek Kagemann

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