10 best lit mags to send your flash fiction (and get happily rejected from)
August 14, 2013
SmokeLong—Number one not just because the journal is dedicated to flash but because of the consistent quality of the flash they publish. Also, the weekly guest editors guarantee regular bumps of the old reset button so that tastes don’t stagnate. And finally because in a crowded AWP room full of circus style barkers at every table and no limit to the ego, meeting Tara, their primary editor, was like a calm zephyr breeze on a balmy day.
PANK—Hey 520 Duotropers can’t be wrong, can they? And despite the fact that just about every hip up-and-comer has the PANK patch on their writer’s summer camp sleeve, the place knows how to spot and publish memorable flash. It doesn’t hurt to be a repeat offender on the Wigleaf top 50 list year in and year out either.
Word Riot—Perhaps my favorite place to get rejected from. I have no trouble spelling the last name of the editor, even with the intentional lower case. The thing is the turn around time. I set my delicately wrapped nugget of verbal art into the digital mailbox, and immediately get tapped on the shoulder by the twice-ringing digital postman, rejection slip in hand. Ahhh, immediate feedback…hurts so good.
A-Minor—Reason here is ditto above, with the added note that while they say they specialize in the edgy and the surreal, lately I’ve been hard-pressed to find that aesthetic in their offerings. Perhaps a change is afoot. What hasn’t changed is the reliable swiftness of the feet with which they carry that Major No a la A-Minor.
Revolution House—I love a journal that has an eye for great art as well as a dedicated category on Submittable for Flash Fiction. RH has both, and lots of terrific flash to boot. Look for them as shoo-ins for the Wigleaf top 50 in 2014.
Monkeybicycle—Speaking of which, these primate cyclists are also JimDandy on the Wigleafs. The only drawback here is that your NO will take its time, swinging from branch to branch, the front tire bent to hell, spokes all akimbo. Also, they don’t seem to understand the necessity of simultaneous submission and that’s the inevitable banana peel on my stage.
Spork—Although not as well known as the others, this little place is a gem: solidly edited with efficiency and personable expertise.
JMWW—I love the work that comes out of this venue. One funny thing about them, though, is that if you get rejected enough times the editor may put you in a time-out, finger-wagging you not to submit again until such and such a time when you can take the cone hat off your head and your nose away from the corner. Sheeesh Finally, now here’s part thirteen of my flash series on that certain slant of light that swaths my prized Begonias in the morning.
Hobart—Another place that reliably publishes memorable, well-crafted flash—and of both schools: the ultra condensed story (with plot and character) and the prosier prose poem (with emphasis more on surprising language).
Corium—A lovely journal that currently boasts a flash specialist as the guest editor. It’s always nice to be told to bugger off by someone who could have been next to you in the trenches. It feels different, slightly, and nothing appeals to a rejection gourmand more mightily than variation. So instead of “unfortunately we’re going to pass” or “Unfortunately, the piece is not for us” or “Unfortunately, we don’t think this submission is quite right” I love hearing: “I enjoyed it, but it’s not quite what I’m looking for.” Still, just once, why not—“Hey you, verbtard, suck it.”