Huzzah for Another Acceptance: Fiction

Lifeguard Chair
The Summers of Carefully

Man, when it rains around here …

Although this newly accepted short-short is about the beach**.

Actually, it is about healthy lust.

Actually, it is about female sexual autonomy. And imagined sexual normalcy. And, oh, the way lifeguards smell.

The Summers of Carefully: July or August in Right Hand Pointing, one of those small, electronic publications I discussed in my previous post–the sort of  journal that could reach millions of readers if I promote correctly.

**Actually, this newly accepted short short is also about the beach.

You alone can help Alle’s career. Yes, you.

You can leave a small comment on my recent fiction publication.
Crack the Spi Cover
Commenting is a bit of an undertaking. But you love me.
Scroll down a bit. You will see the place for comments.
From the editor – personalized for ME
  • Don’t forget that Alle’s work is now eligible for inclusion in one of our print publications, and we may take feedback left on our website or social media outlets into consideration when reviewing her work for print publication in the future.
  • Also, we will be selecting ONLY ONE author from this issue to be featured in our “Wordsmith” interview series, based on readers’ feedback as well as editorial preference. Possibly Alle?
If you have not yet read Dressed Left, may I present,
weighing in at 223 words:

What is a short-short?

Aka: The short-short
Aka: The short-short

I have been lying to you …

Not lying; I have been … inconsistent. I’ve used “short story.” I’ve used “short-short.”

So, which is what?

My friend and writing teacher, Carole Glickfeld, once described a short story as, “A character starts in once place, something happens to them, and the character changes. Or not.”

Essential to the shorty story is the ability to convey the entirety of the larger life of the characters and situations without the length the writer has to play with in the novel.

Editors seem to be looking for work under 5,000 words. Something they have never seen before that makes them want to read it all in one sitting and think about the images and language of for days after having read.

One thing everyone agrees on is that not a single word should be in the story that does not need to be there. Which is where the short-short comes in.

In the short-short, also called flash fiction, identical principles apply with word limits ranging from 50-tops to 2000 words-tops. Most of the places I submit to ask for stories under 250, under 500, or under 2000. 2000 is moving away from short-short and into what my writing feels like when I’m up to a short story.

Picking the Bones: Publication, by the Numbers

numbersIts first time out, “Picking the Bones” went to five magazines. One wanted it. Can I tell you how NEVER a piece of mine has been accepted so quickly?

With the submission that took, at The Citron Review, I am sure it helped that previously, I had submitted to Citron. While that piece didn’t work for the editor, she asked me to re-submit – which you can bet I reminded her when I submitted “Bones.” Also, Citron’s editor knew the editor of another magazine that published one of my essays previously this year. I informed Citron’s editor of the relationship when I submitted the first time.

Work that system, baby.



How I Got That Story: Anglea Jane Fountas, Literary Fiction

When I met Angela, probably seven years ago, she was wrestling with turning her 70-page novella into a novel. Soon after, she discovered that she was not, as she said, “a long distance runner. I’m a sprinter.” She delved into literary fiction, the short-short, and took off, winning in head-spinning succession:

  • Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship, 2009
  • Writer-in-Residence, Richard Hugo House, Seattle, 2008–2009
  • Arts Special Projects Grant, 4Culture, King County, Seattle, 2006
  • CityArtist Projects Grant, Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Seattle, 2006
  • Jack Straw Writer, 2006
  • Alumni Fiction Award, University of Alabama, 2000
  • Research and Travel Grant, University of Alabama, 1999
  • Teaching Writing Fellowship, University of Alabama, 1999
  • Alumni Fiction Award, University of Alabama, 1999

When you started writing, what were your top three DREAM PUBLICATIONS?

The New Yorker
The Paris Review
The Atlantic Monthly

Has that changed? If so, how.

Yes, that has changed because I’ve been reading all of these regularly and have gotten to know them better; these were my first dream pubs because they were “the” places to publish. My big dream pubs now are: Zoetrope: All Story, McSweeney’s. One Story.

Some of my other recent dream pubs (more realistic targets) were Quick Fiction and Sentence, and both of those came true. (Mind you, I’ve been reading these regularly for quite a while now so the work I submitted was along the lines of what they publish. Read: I did my research!)

Given your current success, what would you say was your tipping point?

My tipping point was advice I received from Carole Glickfeld, whom I paid to read my novella (which I’d been working on since grad school). She asked me why I didn’t just stick with my strength, which was shorter stories (in the 2-8 page range) and then branch out into longer works. Well, I did that and wrote mainly short-short stories for a couple of years and got many of those published. Then I returned to longer stories after I received those two grants. (Ed. note: this interview was contucted in 2009.}

How many pieces do you have out for consideration at any given time?

As many as are ready. Right now I have 6 individual stories circulating, and some of those have been simultaneously submitted. And my short story collection is out to four book awards and being prepared for three more.

When not writing, teaching at Richard Hugo House, or winning awards, Angela runs  the website Write Habit.

Next on “How I Got That Story”: Michelle Goodman, Freelancer Extraordinaire. She wrote the book; literally.

Also check out Goodman's "The Anti-9 to 5 Guide"