Wonky Email Delays Gratification

While still feeling smug about the Faulkner-Wisdom folks saying they liked my novel-in-progress, I logged into Submittable to see what I still have in the active column, with a view to submitting something somewhere. I clicked the “Accepted” tab by accident, knowing I have received no notifications, but three of my story titles were there with a bright green “accepted” tag beside them. Apparently, The Helix Literature and Art Magazine emailed me two weeks ago, but I never received the emails. I could have been happy about this all this time! For whatever reason, I suppose the time wasn’t right yet.

Look for these stories in the Fall 2017 issue:

  • “Chumming for Sharks”
  • “Sea Legs”
  • “The Messenger”

I will be writing

This year I signed up for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. I think it is the same challenge I wrote for last year but the name changed. In any case, this weekend is round two, so I plan to be writing. I really like my round one story, and it scored respectably, so hopefully it will see the light of day before too long.

Flash Fiction Prize

I won a flash fiction prize in the Cracked Flash Fiction Competition in December 2016. My piece was entitled “The Understanding.” You can read it HERE, or you can just scroll down the page. I decided to post a screenshot as this news is a couple of years old now, and you just never know when some website will go down or they’ll decide not to keep your piece live. Many thanks once again to the judges at Cracked Flash Fiction. This is flash fiction after all, so it’s short enough to fit a single screen. Here it is:

Flash Fiction prize winner "The Understanding"

I went back and took a screenshot of the prompt for this story:

The rules for Cracked Flash Fiction Competition with prompt

I particularly loved the judge’s comments at the beginning of this:

I want to take a moment to appreciate the finesse that little details about the characters are dropped to build an image of them in the mind. Without ever saying outright that Mrs. Baker is a construction worker, we see that she’s wearing a flannel shirt and a hardhat (and, presuming this is mostly from her POV, ‘an outboard motor’ sounds like something a construction worker would be able to recognize (I certainly wouldn’t be able to)). There might have been a little more build-up to the climax, or the climax a little bigger–it felt like the story started at a mezzo-piano and only grew to a mezzo-forte or forte (sorry to bust out the music terminology out). I really like how much this piece of flash relies on extrapolating data–I had to reread it a couple of times to get all of the nuances. Good job with this!

—Mariah Burkett

A few other stories I’ve written that may interest you include: “Do You Know the Bunny Hop?,” “Strings of Solace,” and “The Meek Inherit.”

Honorable Mention for “The Art of the Bargain”

I’m pleased that my 2nd round story for the NYC Short Story Challenge 2016, “The Art of the Bargain,” received an honorable mention. Only four stories advanced to round three from each heat, and I was number 5. I’m still proud to have made it that far. I’ll certainly participate in this contest again. It was a lot of fun, and I’ve come away feeling good about my writing. I’ll share the story eventually. . . For now I want to implement some of the excellent suggestions the judges made to improve it.

Round 2–NYC Short Story Challenge

I made it to the second round of the 10th Annual NYC Short Story Challenge! My story, “Chumming for Sharks,” is a thriller about assuming a new identity with an unannounced house guest somewhere in it.

I spent last weekend writing my second round story, a fairy tale about breaking a rule with a character who is a pacifist.

My Story Won a Prize!

This summer I participated once again in the WritersWeekly.com 24-Hour Short Story contest, and I won a prize. Okay, I didn’t place in the top three, so the prize was not of the cash variety, but my story was recognized as “worthy” which is far more important to me. The story is titled, “The Meek Inherit the Earth,” and it offers a glimpse into one young man’s emergence into the wide world, with his chicken under his arm, just as everything is falling apart. I won’t publish it here, since I hope someone else will also find it worthy, but if you would like to read it, please use the contact page to let me know. – Kim 😉