Flash Faction Online Staff Member

I’m now officially a slush reader for Flash Fiction Online. I’ll be part of a team that collectively helps the editor judge the stories that come in. For anyone who hasn’t heard of them, they are an online monthly magazine which publishes several flash stories per issue. Flash stories are 1000 words or less, and let me tell you, it is not easy to get a full story into just 1k! Many of the staff has a preference for speculative fiction, but they accept submissions of any story under 1k, so literary, mainstream, romance, mystery, anything is fair game.

I think it’ll be a fun opportunity to sample the editorial side of submissions. The duties shouldn’t be too onerous. I’m at the 2nd level of the slush reading, so the worst stuff will be filtered out before it gets to me. And each submission is 1100 words or less, so even if I don’t like the story, it doesn’t take very long to determine. I’ve been through my first round of judging, and was pretty pleased with the experience. I’ve said for a long time that one of the keys to becoming a better writer is to read and critique other people’s work, so this will be a good way for me to do that. When I feel I have feedback that could be useful for the writer, I’ll try to send some back their way–personal feedback is so rare it’s so nice to receive when you get it.

And, for those of you aren’t familiar with FFO’s slush reading procedures, the stories are anonymous, with no author name attached to them. If I see a story come through and I already know the author, I must choose not to rate it, so you may want to think twice before telling me that.