Matthew Norman is the author of the novel Domestic Violets, which was nominated in the Best Humor category in the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards. He lives outside Baltimore with his wife and two daughters and is currently working on another novel.
“Miss November,” A Story by Matthew Appears In:
Forty Stories, a Harper Perennial collection
I love humor in writing. Not all stories can be funny—nor should they be—but I’m most attracted to fiction that has threads of humor. Richard Russo and Jess Walter are perfect examples of writers who balance humor and “serious” very well.
A Deal Breaker:
A deal breaker for me is overwriting. The older I get, the more infuriating I find it. Less is more.
Like the nomadic Pericú natives before him, Matthew Dexter survives on a hunter-gatherer subsistence diet of shrimp tacos, smoked marlin, cold beer, and warm sunshine. He is the author of the novel, THE RITALIN ORGY (Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, 2013). His flash fiction and narrative nonfiction has been published in hundreds of literary journals and dozens of anthologies. Thousands of articles sold for fish tacos. He is the memoir editor at Split Lip Magazine and reads submissions for PANK. He lives in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
A Flash of Matthew’s:
A Flash He Really Likes:
“Steady Hands At Seattle General” by Denis Johnson
A “deal breaker” would be a piece that does not take any risks. Please don’t be afraid to write poetry between the lines. Also, something riddled with simple grammar errors and pervasive typos at the expense of the narrative. Be experimental; but proofread with bloodshot sclarae. Write fearless—with no remorse or regret—but edit that thing to beautiful death.
Angela Readman’s stories have won The National Flash Fiction Competition, and The Costa Short Story Award. Her work has appeared in several journals online and in print, including Smokelong Quarterly, Gigantic Sequins. The Asham Award anthology, The Bristol Short Story prize anthology and Unthology 5. Her story collection, Don’t Try This at Home is out in 2015 with & Other Stories.
A Story by Angela:
What Angela Likes in Flash:
I love stories that do something to me. The language in a story can wake me up, characters can make me consider something I haven’t before, or confirm something we all know in a way that surprises me. A deal breaker for me is a last line that makes the story seem like a joke or adds a twist that makes me feel cheated. I’m looking forward to reading your stories. I know I won’t be disappointed.
John Copenhaver chairs the English department at Flint Hill School, an independent high school outside of Washington, DC. His novel manuscript Dodging and Burning placed as a quarterfinalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. He attended Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2012 and 2013, and Tin House in 2013. In 2011 he was a fellow in genre fiction at the Lambda Writers Retreat. He graduated with his MFA from George Mason, where he edited the literary magazine Phoebe. He has published in regional journals, including Timber Creek Review and The Roanoke Review, and was first runner-up in the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest and Narrative Magazine Winter Story Contest, 2014. His blog is called Talking the Walk.
A Flash He Admires:
Hannah Bottamy’s “Currents.”
One of John’s Stories:
“Please no purple prose. Have a vivid, textured, and authentic voice, but be clear and concrete. Remember, your job as a writer is to communicate, not obfuscate.”
Is there any better place to be than New England in early Fall? SmokeLong Quarterly is teaming up with the Brattleboro Literary Festival to host a flash fiction contest and reading at the festival, held in early October in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Stories of 1000 words or less about New England or from writers living in New England are welcome. Submissions will be open from July 1-31, 2014 on SmokeLong‘s Submittable page (please submit under the Brattleboro Literary Festival Flash Fiction Contest category). The winner will be invited to read at the Flash! reading at the festival on October 4, 2014 in Brattleboro, Vermont, with authors Pamela Painter, Tara Laskowski, Jeffrey Friedman, Leslie Jamison, Ann Hood and Tim Horvath.
In addition, the chosen story will be published in the September issue of SmokeLong Quarterly, and the winning author will be given a copy of SmokeLong Quarterly: The Best of the First Ten Years.
We are very excited that the winning story will be chosen by contest judge Pamela Painter. Pamela’s third story collection is all flash fiction, titled Wouldn’t You Like to Know. Her stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, Narrative, Ploughshares and SmokeLong Quarterly, among others, and reprinted in numerous anthologies, such as Sudden Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Forward, Microfiction, Stripped, Sudden Flash Youth and Flash Fiction Funny. She is also the co-author of What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers. She has won three Pushcart Prizes and Agni Review’s The John Cheever Award for Fiction. Painter lives in Boston and teaches in the Emerson College MFA Program.
There is no entry fee. One entry per writer, please. Winners will be announced in late August. The winning author will need to provide his or her own transportation to the festival. Previously unpublished work only. No simultaneous submissions, please.