Every day the Medium Daily Digest appears in my Gmail inbox, giving me the opportunity to read articles from various progressive voices. If you’ve read other of my social commentaries on this blog (not the hottest of topics among my readers based on the statistics, “likes,” and comments), you know I sample a wide range of opinions in an effort to keep informed.
Much of the time, it isn’t easy reading the opinions of people who don’t like you, or at least, don’t like what they think you stand for, but I don’t want to spend all my time reading and listening to viewpoints with which I already agree.
That’s why the article We Need to Redefine Success for Writers by James Ardis came as a bit of a surprise.
He certainly isn’t widely published, and his advice seemed fairly generic, but I was compelled by the source. Usually, it is the more socially and politically conservative authors, typically who operate in the speculative fiction genre, who are the ones suggesting indie publishing.
The Ardis essay was the sort of “cross-pollination” I’ve always hoped was possible but feared was doomed from the outset.
So I was on the writing subreddit and I found a link to something called 404 Words which all short story writers should start paying attention to, especially if you are looking to get published with the possibility of winning $200.00 USD.
You can find out who they are on their About Us page, but more importantly, click the next link to find out about their contest.
They are accepting fiction story submissions until September 1st (I know, not much time left). All accepted stories will be published on their site, and the author of the top submission wins $200.00.
The contest is international so anyone in the world can enter, however all stories must be submitted in English.
The other trick is all submissions must have a word count of no more than (you guessed it) 404 words including the title. Click the link I provided above for the rest of the details.
I just thought I’d throw this out there in case any authors visiting my blog have a short fiction story 404 words or less ready, or you can put one together very quickly (actually, they’ll accept up to 3 submissions per person).
Just spreading the love. I submitted one story already and I’ve got five more days to decide if I want to write one or two more.
Cheers, and if you submit a story or stories to them, good luck.
I recently submitted an original story (one that hasn’t appeared on this blog) to a website that publishes flash fiction of a thousand words or less. Wow! Less than a thousand words for an entire story. That was a challenge.
I took a creative writing class in high school (back at the dawn of time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth), and we called those kinds of stories “short shorts”. You start writing a story as close to the ending as possible.
Anyway, I cranked out my story and it came out to just a few words shy of a thousand in the final draft.
I’ve noticed that when I write something for (potential) publication on another person’s site, I really have to go over the story again and again to shake out all the flaws. I’m a tad more lax when I’m posting my wee tales here on “Robots,” probably because I’m impatient and hey — I’m the site owner. I just want to write and press the “Publish” button.
So, I went over “Killing Juliet” repeatedly until I thought I had it in really good shape. Then I followed the publication instructions laid out on the publishing site I had found and sent it in.
Part of the instructions said it would take up to thirty days for a response, so I figured I wouldn’t hear back from anyone until the end of August.
When I woke up this morning, I was surprised to see an email from the publisher. Basically it was “interesting concept but not a good fit for us.”
I clicked “Reply,” typed the one word response “thanks,” and hit “Send.”
But I couldn’t leave it alone.