Alle is promoted to Associate Editor

I was promoted to Associate Editor at Vestal Review. I am loving my work at VR, and–lo! and behold!–find that we are on this snazzy list:

Where to Submit Short Stories: 23 Magazines and Websites That Want Your Work

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Liars’ League NYC Reading and Publication: That Moment in Lao

Jessica Gallucci read “That Moment in Lao” on 6th February 2019 as part of the “Plots & Schemes” edition.

Lao Photo

Nothing but yellow.

pittsburg rally
Hilary Swift for The New York Times.

There is a nice story—not true—that holds when Hitler decreed all Sweden’s Jews wear yellow stars, their King replied, “If our Jews wear yellow stars, we all wear yellow stars.” Again, nice story; not true.

What would be different if all of Europe had worn yellow? Nothing but yellow.

This is a photo from one rally protesting the visit by Trump this morning to Pittsburg.

By the Numbers: “A Distressing State of Purity.”

Rosie Goldstein
Goodness!

Let us first take note that the image the magazine Literary Orphans chose is far sexier than I am enjoying.

Over the past two years, my latest publication, the flash fiction piece “A Distressing Sate of Purity” was rejected thirty-one times before finding a spectacular home at Literary Orphans. One of those thirty-one rejections came from the literary magazine for which I am now a reader, Vestal Review. In May of 2017, a VR Editor Who Shall Not Be Named wrote on my rejection that “A Distressing Sate of Purity” was “an interesting story except for the ending.” Traitor!

Due to Vestal’s response, I sent “Purity” to a magazine which offered editor feedback for $4. Read below. (Some parts are redacted because they reveal critical plot points.)

Though ostensibly flash, the piece seems to be interested in telling a modern fable; that is, a piece that feel a little bit bigger, more allegorical, more omniscient in the telling. Usually flash focuses on a single concentrated moment told in detail, with an intense focus on the language, but this piece skips time and the narrative voice stays large. That style is not to my particular taste. What I prefer to capture me in flash is the language: a dense focus on the line and the energy brought about by a particular rhythm and line of tension in the prose.

I think the most interesting part of Rosie’s character is something that wasn’t quite exploded enough: she seems to want to {REDACTED}, and she figures out a situation in which she can and yet {REDACTED}. Why is that? I’d like to see that story zero in on a moment of interaction with {REDACTED} — right now it’s mostly told, and I’d like to loosen the narrative grip on the piece and see a moment of confusion or ambiguity in Rosie’s education.

I took my $4-advice to heart. And worked my ending. And kept submitting.

Ten Days. Ten Books: Day Five: Bad Boys.

A confession: There is a squishy place in my heart for crime novels. (What? Ms. Snoofy Litmag Writer? Ha!)

5Get Shorty

When a writing teacher, Michael D. Collins, told me my work had the ring of Elmore Leonard, I could not have been more pleased. In my opinion, Get Shorty has the best final line in literary history (well … tied with Alice Walker’s in The Temple of My Familiar.)

Ladies and Gents, give it up for Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty for Best Crime Fiction Ever.

 

5Bangkok 8Followed not even closely by the trash piece of awesomeness that is Bangkok 8. Move over, Tale of the Genji. Take a break, Mahabharata. This pure garbage swims in prostitution and drug dealing. Poorly written, predictable characters, a protagonist who is a monk, a police detective, and a virgin (for 2/3 of the book, anyway). Unremittingly marvelous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Position: First Reader at Vestal Review

VR Cover53I could not be more thrilled to announce that I am now a first reader for Vestal Review, the longest-running magazine dedicated solely to flash fiction.

Some dear friends call the first reader position “The Gatekeeper.” One could also think of it as the receptionist: I am one of a crew of folks who each read 20-30 submissions a week, straight from the submissions in-box. If I believe piece is excellent and suits the magazine, I send it on.

If I don’t, it goes down the shoot.

One of the great things about this position is that it will allow me to keep up with my work at jmww. So I get to be a small fish in a big pond and a big fish in a smaller pond.

Yay, balance.