This month my trampset column “Not Me Offering Advice on Writer’s Block” received a lot of likes and shares. Evidently writers are on the same boat as myself, ruminating about their craft, the present of our world and what holds for them in the future. Amidst war, unrest, gun violence, dictatorships, corruption and injustice, any art that anyone manages is commendable. Whether put out there for others, or for one’s own satisfaction. I know the odds are just too much, and it is incredibly difficult. What remedy do we have? Except perhaps this: Keeping at it. Because keeping at it has got us thus far.
This unsure baby writer clocked 250 (and counting) publications from zero in 2019. At the moment, I’m excited about the preorders for my Novella-in-Flash Where We set Our Easel and its launch by Stanchion on 23 May 23!
So, in order that we aren’t disingenuous or casual in the practice of our craft simply out of hopelessness or boredom, let’s do a Spring cleaning of the skills we have, and see how to make our writing exciting and what else we could do. Let the fresh ideas come!
In this month’s blogpost, let’s look at pieces that stand apart from the others and marvel us. Those that make the EiC exclaim: Good Gracious! This is Excellent! Obviously, these are ones litmags get very little of and could do with some more. Let’s make a list:
Sleek satirical pieces. Editors will agree that in a queue for unthemed submissions, prose written in a lighter vein, in a quirky, comic, satirical style, are always eagerly read. (Read Avra Margariti’s The Clown King, if you’d like to attempt one)
Bottom-up Approach, or Reverse Chronology (Keys by AE Weisgerber ). Done well, these are sensational.
Difficult subjects like Identity, Displacement, Gun Violence, and Climate Catastrophe when tackled well (Read Market Forces Winner, Bath Flash Fiction 23rd Award, February 2023)
Authentic cultural perspectives (Read Hema Nataraju’s CNF Tempering)
A story that does not obey spelling and grammar (You might find this amazing: Elisabeth Ingram Wallace’s Scrolling Facebook Memes…, Winner, Fiction, Forge Literary Flash Competition, 2020)
Using time jumps in spite of extreme brevity using clever writing (Read Leah Browning’s Orchard City : lifetimes in 100 words!)
Unusual setting. Places where no one’s been (or very few have!). Flash Fiction set in Kenya, Madagascar or Greenland for example. I found none! If you have, do link in the comments!
About or fiction set in a game/match/competitve race that most of us aren’t very aware of, like archery, or Jallikattu
DIFFICULTY LEVEL 1: A flash piece about someone who lost his way while on an expedition in Antartica.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2: A flash piece about a retired Olympic swimmer. Make it funny (for example: he tells tall tales to his friends when drunk)
DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3: Write prose but using the rules of a villanelle or limerick
THING TO LOOK OUT FOR
2023 FlashFlood UK : 00:01 BST on 30 April to 23:59 on 6 May 2023
Micro Madness New Zealand (submissions open April 15)
Here I list magazines writers may not know about. These are FREE TO SUBMIT & either are open or are opening on April 1
Broad River Review (Free on the 1st of April), Narrative Magazine (First two weeks in April are free), The Cortland Review (upto May 15, poetry), Fictive Dream, MoonPark Review, Brilliant Flash Fiction Contest (until Aril 15)
Book here: CROW COLLECTIVE WORKSHOPS
REGISTRATION OPENS APR 1!
This workshop runs over 2 days, 2 hrs each day: Sat, May 20, 2023: 7 AM PDT / 10 AM EDT / 3 PM BST / 7:30 PM IST & Sat, May 27, 2023: 7 AM PDT / 10 AM EDT / 3 PM BST / 7:30 PM IST
Click here to read what previous participants of this workshop had to say!
PRO-TIP OF THE MONTH
This month we hear from published writers who offer valuable advice. Things they wish they knew when they started out!
To find the right workshop. The right sensibilities, perspectives, and skills are essential in the peers to whom you entrust your work. — Camille U.Adams
That writing ebbs snd flows. Don’t be afraid of the days the words won’t come, or won’t come out right. Give yourself space. Do other things. Trust that the tide will turn. — Laura Besley
Have a strong circuit of fellow writers whom you can go to whenever you want to. A strong support group is absolutely necessary.— Rashmi Agrawal
That the goal is to move towards our most authentic voice and perfect our craft to get there NOT to try to embody someone’s else’s voice. That writing isn’t about the publishing world. That you need to find your people and listen to them. — noam keim
Your writing will improve if you keep doing it. — Jamie Etheridge
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