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Writer's Life: Flash Fiction Part 3

If you’ve read the first two parts of this series, I’ve gone over the basics of writing a flash fiction story.  Now I’ll cover submissions.  The brilliant thing about flash fiction is not only are they quick to write, quick to edit, but they help out in the whole submission process.  In truth, they help with most important part of the writing life: rejection.  Something every writer, every artist has to go through.  Every human being really, but that’s a different story.
Most writer’s fear rejection, but it’s really a friend trying to help.  Depending on your writing level, the types of rejection may change depending on with whom you are submitting.  Magazines or book publishers, a form rejection is sent to many of various writing talents.  If an editor likes what you sent but can’t accept the manuscript, they will send you a rejection letter stating what needs to be worked on.  Editors can like a work but reject it for different reasons like the story didn’t fit what the magazine publishes.  For example if the story was a paranormal romance that was submitted to a strictly romance magazine.  Or the story was great but the violence was too graphic for a mystery magazine.  Stuff like that.  With all of the online websites accepting for publication, I’m not sure if they follow the same rules as I have only gotten form rejection slips.
Always do the research on who you are submitting to.  If they have a website, publishers lay out what they are looking for and what they will not accept.  Once I sent a short story to a publisher but forgot to put ‘the end’ at the end of the story.  For that rejection, I got a form but I sometimes wonder if the story would have had a chance.  I doubt it as I think my story was a bit darker than what I read from that website.  Since Editors are bombarded with submissions, anything that stands out that isn’t in the guidelines will get instantly rejected.
That being said, here are a couple of resources on flash fiction publication.  First I recommend signing up for the Yahoo group: Flash Fiction Flash Newsletter run by Pamelyn Casto.  It’s a monthly newsletter that talks about what up and happening in the flash fiction world and there are a list of new publishers.  Second there’s the site called Duotrope (  This is a website that has a list of publishers to genre.  There are usually a description of the magazine, website, publisher plus where to go to submit your work.  It costs five dollars a month.  So far I haven’t written enough to justify the cost.

Since the time spent on the flash fiction is short, feelings shouldn’t be hurt once you get the rejection slips.  It’s something every writer gets.  But once you get past the first few or more than likely first hundred, you can learn from them and use rejection to improve your writing.


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