Best of 2009

 

We had eighty-nine stories this week, with seven debuts. Please welcome Travis King, Nathan Oliver, Vandamir Windrider, Jason Coggins, Rachel Carter, B.T. Sønderby, and Raisa Gonzalez to #fridayflash. Be sure to drop in, read their stories, and leave them a comment.

If you had a story posted as #fridayflash, and you don’t find it in this list, please visit the Collector and add your details. I’ll update the listing to include you.

The Stories

‘Til Death Do Us Part by Stefanie Howerton @SteferstheGreat ~ Horror ~

A brick for your candy floss by BrainhazeWP @BrainhazeWP ~ Slice of Life ~

A Juicy Date by Sarah Callejo @SCallejo ~ Romance ~

A small goddess by Anke Wehner @Anke ~ Fantasy ~

A Small Misunderstanding by Gracie Motley @gracecrone ~ Horror ~

Abigail White by J. Timothy King @JTimothyKing ~ Literary ~

Absolute Zero by Travis King @travisking ~ Science Fiction ~ Debut

ALBINO VILLAGE by Anthony Venutolo @bukowskisbaseme ~ Horror ~

An Unbroken Chain by KjM @kevinjmackey ~ Slice of Life ~

Bargaining by Tonya R. Moore @mikodragonfly ~ Fantasy ~

Benching A Wolf by Cathy Olliffe @Matthiasville ~ Horror ~

Broommates: Hedgehog’s Dilemma by Valerie Valdes @valerievaldes ~ Cross Genre ~

Burning by Deanna Schrayer @deannaschrayer ~ Romance ~

Chained Love by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Horror ~

Close Encounters with Goldfish by Alison Wells @alisonwells ~ Slice of Life ~

Cooties by Donald Conrad @NoddlaNocdar ~ Horror ~

Courage by Paul Servini @None ~ Romance ~

Crowning Glory by Jane Travers @janetravers ~ Romance ~

Diagnosed by Michelle Dennis Evans @michelledevans ~ Steampunk ~

Dragonfire by NL Gervasio @NLGervasio ~ Fantasy ~

Essence by Annie Evett @AnnieEvett ~ Science Fiction ~

Falling Fruit by Nathan Oliver @SubversiveVibe ~ Unspecified ~ Debut

Fast Food by Laura Eno @LauraEno ~ Cross Genre ~

Festival of the Lift by Mike Robertson @miker_lazlo ~ Fantasy ~

Finding Comfort by G. P. Ching @gpching ~ Slice of Life ~

Fired by Aidan Fritz @AidanFritz ~ Cross Genre ~

Flying (and prize draw) by Emma Newman @EmApocalyptic ~ Slice of Life ~

For The Love Of Mike! by Sam Adamson @FutureNostalgic ~ Horror ~

GAME OF LIFE’S CLUE by Absolutely*Kate @AbsolutelyKate ~ Magical Realism ~

Ghost Host by Carrie Clevenger @carrieclevenger ~ Thriller ~

Gone in 60 Seconds by Denise Covey @pichetsinparis ~ Action ~

Gonna Fly Now by Christian Bell @christianbell37 ~ Unspecified ~

Great Gams, Pt. 1 by J. Dane Tyler @DarcKnyt ~ Suspense ~

Hard Brown by Benjamin Solah @benjaminsolah ~ Horror ~

I Love You… by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Slice of Life ~

If I Write You A Love Song by Kat DelRio @katdelrio ~ Unspecified ~

In The Nursery by Marc Nash @ExisleMoll ~ Literary ~

It’s All in Your Mind by Jim Bronyaur @jimbronyaur ~ Horror ~

Judgement Day by Heather Lloyd @heatherlloyd83 ~ Slice of Life ~

Listen by Rebecca Emin @RebeccaEmin ~ Unspecified ~

Love, Rosalee by Kemari Howell @Kemari ~ Literary ~

Manhattan in the morning by Jim Dempsey @jimdempsey ~ Crime ~

Megalo-Man vs. Dr. Tarantula by Tony Noland @TonyNoland ~ Science Fiction ~

Metamorphosis by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Unspecified ~

Midnight Lover by Vandamir Windrider @Vandamir ~ Cross Genre ~ Debut

No! by Clive Martyn @Clivem ~ Horror ~

Non-prime Meridian by Jason Coggins @thehedgemonkey ~ Action ~ Debut

Odd Surprise by Nomar Knight @Nomar_Knight ~ Horror ~

Off the Bright Side by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Fantasy ~

Oh, Anya by Anna Tan @natzers ~ Slice of Life ~

On The Button by Rachel Carter @rachcarter ~ Science Fiction ~ Debut

Panda Slippers by David Masters @davidmasters ~ Slice of Life ~

Pink Slip by Elijah Toten @authoreit ~ Unspecified ~

Prelude pt 5 by Timothy P. Remp @Tim_Remp_Writer ~ Science Fiction ~

Promises by A. M. Harte @am_harte ~ Horror ~

Rain by Diandra Linnemann @LaCaffeinata ~ Slice of Life ~

Remote Control by Jason Warden @ShadowCastAudio ~ Cross Genre ~

She-Hero by Jodi Cleghorn @JodiCleghorn ~ Cross Genre ~

Six Minutes by Maria Kelly @mkelly317 ~ Slice of Life ~

Sleep by Amanda Scotney @rasplemjelly ~ Unspecified ~

Snagging by adamjkeeper @adamjkeeper ~ Science Fiction ~

Something Not Hunger by Matt Merritt @1block ~ Horror ~

SPENT by Linda Simoni-Wastila @drwasy ~ Literary ~

Tanited Love by Melissa L. Webb @melissalwebb ~ Horror ~

The Beautiful Visitor by T.J. McIntyre @southernweirdo ~ Horror ~

The Boss Needs A Fix by Pamila Payne @mspamila ~ Horror ~

The cat’s on the roof by Karen Schindler @karenfrommentor ~ Unspecified ~

The Cell by Denis Vaughan @inshin ~ Suspense ~

The End by Danielle La Paglia @Dannigrrl5 ~ Western ~

The Fourth of July by Wulfie @wulfshado ~ Horror ~

The Glowing by Louise Dragon @WeezelWords ~ Science Fiction ~

The Happiness Tree and Me by Anton Gully @pablogully ~ Humor ~

The Man’s too Big by Mark Kerstetter @markerstetter ~ Historical ~

THE MANLY ADVENTURES OF ABNER DEGGENT: Island of the Toroga by Al Bruno III @albruno3 ~ Humor ~

The P Word by Mari Juniper @marirandomities ~ Fantasy ~

The Perils of Evolution by B.T. Sønderby @aerodaydreams ~ Humor ~ Debut

The Phone Call by Kate Davis-Holmes @crystalsinabox ~ Slice of Life ~

The Short Life of a Biscuiteer by Joanie Rich @nightcrafter ~ Horror ~

The Spy Who Loved Me, Part 2 by Kathy Fenton White @kfentonwhite ~ Unspecified ~

The Ultimate Betrayal by Raisa Gonzalez @BookLover73 ~ Thriller ~ Debut

Thoki & Lor: DWINDLED by Monica Marier @lil_monmon ~ Humor ~

Through the Pearly Gates by T.S. Bazelli @tsbazelli ~ Humor ~

Through Window Glass by Rachel Blackbirdsong @RBlackbirdsong ~ Literary ~

Truth or Fiction by Lauren Cude @NA ~ Slice of Life ~

Undead Unlove by David G Shrock @dracotorre ~ Horror ~

Under Siege by Angie C. @techtigger ~ Fantasy ~

Unforgettable by Icy Sedgwick @icypop ~ Fantasy ~

Waiting for the flags to go out by Kate Davis-Holmes @crystalsinabox ~ Unspecified ~

Whatever You Wish For by Aislinn O’Connor @Aislinnye24 ~ Science Fiction ~

In Other News

The galley of our first anthology, The Best of #fridayflash – Volume One, was sent out to all the participating authors this week. I am awaiting feedback from all concerned and am in the process of doing the final tweaks. We should have the anthology release within the month.

If you have something noteworthy of general interest to the #fridayflash community please send it on to me via email or Twitter DM, and I will consider it for inclusion in this newsletter.

The wrap

Thanks to all our readers. We love you. And please, if you enjoy a story leave comments when you visit. Writers love feedback almost as much as chocolate. Maybe more! Then go tell your friends to read it too. Help these writers grow.

You can subscribe to the #fridayflash hashtag (external link) on Twitter every week for more great flash fiction.

We’re on Facebook (external link) too.
~jon

 

The polls are now open!

Seven stories were nominated for the Reader’s Choice Award for inclusion in The Best of 2009 #fridayflash Anthology. They are listed below, with links to the original story. Please take a moment to read all six, then go to the poll in the sidebar and cast your vote for your pick for the Reader’s Choice.

Fable of the Great Horned Owl, by Barry J. Northern

First Foot, by Sam

Puma and Jaguar Save the Planet, by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith

Slide Into Satin & Gold by Michelle D Evans

Silver Bullet, by Linda Simoni-Wastila

Succubyebye, by John Wiswell

The Touchstone, by Lily Mulholland

The polls will close on Saturday, January 23rd.

Congratulations to the six nominees. Fantastic stories, all.
~jon

 

I want to thank everyone who submitted stories for consideration in The Best of 2009 #fridayflash Anthology. We had a great turn out. Sixty-five people submit a total of 167 stories. As usual for #fridayflash, we have a nice mix of genres, so there should be something for everyone in the final collection. I think I contacted everyone who submitted with a reply email to let you know I received your entries. If you did not get a reply from me, ping me at the Mad Utopia email address and I’ll be sure to confirm your submissions.

Submitter’s remorse

I had some people contact me privately after they made their submissions, to ask if they could swap out one of their stories for another one. Being a nice guy, I said sure. So it only seems fair to me to extend that offer to everyone. If you submitted one or more stories for Best Of, and now would like to change your mind on one of them, simply contact me via the Mad Utopia email (the same one you made your original submissions with) to make the switch. Those of you who have already done this, please refrain or I’ll end up in an infinite fairness loop. We wouldn’t want that.

Please note, this is not an offer to add an additional story, just to swap one for another. And please don’t beat yourselves up second guessing. Your submissions were great. But, if you submitted early you may have posted a later story for #fridayflash you liked even better. This is your chance to remedy that.

The deadline for this offer is 11:59pm this coming Friday, January 8 – firm.

The work begins

Thanks to all the folks who volunteered to be first round judges and/or editors. As it stands now the judging load is about ten stories per judge. I think that’s a bit much. I’d like to see it closer to five or six so it is not such a burden on each judge. Yep, I’m looking for more volunteers.

If you would like to volunteer to be a first round judge please email me at jstro AT swbell DOT net and I’ll add you to the list. I’ve already emailed all my earlier first round volunteers, so if you have not gotten an email, and thought you had volunteered, you slipped through the cracks. You can either breathe a huge sigh or relieve, or shoot me a new email revolunteering. You do not need to be a #fridayflash Best Of story contributor to be a judge.

Reader’s Choice Award

Entries are now closed for Reader’s Choice nominations. The Random Number Fairy dropped by and selected post #2 as the winning reader. Congratulations J. C. Towler, the fairy dust settled on you! Please contact me at the above email address and I’ll arrange to get you the $25 prize. How’s that for a nice start to the New Year?

Look for a poll later this week where we will actually choose the Reader’s Choice. The nominees are:
Bathroom Monologue: Succubyebye, by John Wiswell
First Foot by Sam, aka, @FutureNostalgic
Puma and Jaguar Save the Planet, by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith
Slide Into Satin & Gold, by Michelle D. Evans
Silver Bullet, by Linda Simoni-Wastila
The Fable of the Great Horned Owl, by Barry J. Northern, and
The Touchstone, by Lily Mulholland

Once again, thanks to everyone who participates in #fridayflash in any way, shape, or form. Readers, writers, tweeters, judges, editors, and artists: you are all the best. I value each and every one of you.

Have a terrific New Year!
~jon

 

The Best of 2009 #fridayflash Anthology is due out sometime early next year. I’m shooting for January, but until the thing is pretty well wrapped up with a bow the actual release date remains an unknown. To help generate a little buzz, and some buy-in from our readers, we are announcing another reader’s contest. This time around you, the readers, may not only win valuable prizes, but will also help determine which #fridayflash story wins the Reader’s Choice Award.

Rules. Always with the rules

First off, go read some #fridayflash. Find it via Twitter, the Facebook group page, by visiting the newly revamped Archives, or simply by visiting your favorite participant’s website.

Second off, come back to this post and nominate your favorite story for the Reader’s Choice Award in the comments any time between now and midnight (11:59:59, actually) on January 2. You could be a sport and also tweet its praises to the world, along with a link to the story. A comment on the author’s blog would also be a class act. They’ll love you for it.

That’s it.

That’s right. Just two simple rules.

Well, I lied. There is a third rule. The contest is not open to anyone entering submissions to the #fridayflash anthology. We really want to hear from our readers this time around.

So, what’s in it for you?

For one thing, you get to read some terrific flash fiction. Over and above that, two winners will be chosen at random by the random number fairy. The first winner will receive a $25 gift certificate from Amazon.com and a free digital copy of the anthology once it’s released. The second winner will receive a free copy of the anthology, in hard copy.

OK, I lied again. There will be three winners. The third winner will receive a free copy of the anthology, in electronic format.

The coveted award

A poll will be posted on this site on January 5th, or thereabouts. It will remain open through midnight (yeah, again, 11:59:59) January 9th. The story with the most votes when the poll closes will win the Reader’s Choice Award.

The author will be contacted, and if they wish to participate, the story will be included in the anthology, along with the nifty Reader’s Choice moniker. If they choose not to participate they will get our warm wishes, kudos, and a link to their website in the anthology and on this blog.

So what are you waiting for? Start reading!
~jon

 

Best Of 2009
There are less than four weeks remaining in the submission period for the Best of 2009 #fridayflash Anthology, so it’s high time for a status update.

So far we have received 24 submissions from 12 different individuals. The Wordle to the right gives you a feeling for the mix we have to date. I hope to see many more submissions before the deadline of 31 December, 2009. See the post, Announcing the Best of 2009 #fridayflash Anthology for complete instructions on how to submit. If you’ve posted a #fridayflash anytime this year (thru December 25th) you can submit it for consideration.

Important Links:
Random Thoughts Of the Day: a few notes on Yog’s Law, how judging will work, and my thoughts on editing.

Announcing the Best of 2009 #fridayflash Anthology: the formal announcement. This post contains the full submission guidelines and instructions on how to submit.

Best Of 2009: musing on how a crowd-sourced anthology might come together and a call for volunteers. I have gotten a lot of support but am still open to volunteers.

Anthology Anyone? The post that got it all started. Be sure to read the comments and feel free to chime in, even at this late date. It’s never too late for a great idea.

A Possible Contest

I am thinking of having another reader’s contest in conjunction with the anthology. What do you all think of a Reader’s Choice Award? The idea here is that readers (not #fridayflash authors) could nominate their personal favorite in a new contest post. Then a random winner will receive a prize. After nominations close a poll of all the nominees would be posted and the winner would be included as The Reader’s Choice, if the author agrees to be included. Otherwise they get a mention and a link to their story.

This is not community voting for inclusion in the anthology. Rather, it is a way to promote visits to your blogs and to generate some buzz about the anthology. Thoughts?
~jon
Word cloud generated with http://www.wordle.net/

 

Yog’s Law

I am a firm believer in Yog’s Law; money should always flow toward the author. Things like “poetry contests” where everyone who enters is a winner and gets published in the collection, which is then sold back to the entrants have always bugged me. I don’t want The Best of 2009 #fridayflash Anthology to be like that. While the anthology will be available for sale, probably both as an ebook and as a POD, I don’t want the participants to have to pay for a copy of it.

So, everyone who submits a story to the anthology, whether they get accepted or not, will receive an electronic version of it free – probably as a PDF. I cannot offer you a free copy of the POD simply because physical books cost money to produce and ship, and I can’t afford that. So, while money won’t flow toward you, at least it won’t flow away from you either.

Genre Request and Judging

I added a request that you include the genre on the same line as your title. The reason for this is I will ask all judges to identify any genres they prefer not to judge. It makes no sense to me for someone to judge a genre they do not read or like. If you already submitted without the genre listed don’t worry about it. I’ll figure it out. It will just make life easier on me if it is included from now on (but won’t get you eliminated if you forget).

Second round judging will be done by a panel of judges selected by me. So far Steven King and Dan Brown have not volunteered. I hope that’s not too disappointing.

I reserve the right to select up to four “Editor’s Choice” works for inclusion over and above what the judges decide. That does not necessarily mean there will be four Editor’s Choice stories. But there might be.

Editing

We now have four volunteers for editing who have rather extensive editing experience. They include newspaper copy editors, anthology editors, and editors-at-large. So far they are all fellow #fridayflash writers. We have an amazing pool of talent here folks. You impress me every week. If you have experience editing, I’d love to hear from you. You do not have to be a #fridayflash contributor to be a volunteer.

Editing will mainly consist of line edits. Spelling and grammar errors will be corrected without reservation. More substantiate edits will be passed back to the author for coordination and revision. The author will have the final say. It’s your work.

Don’t Cry For Me

I am not going to finish NaNo in time. Don’t weep, wail, or gnash your teeth. It’s OK, really. I came to the realization a few days ago that there is no way on Earth I am going to finish my novel by November 30th. There is simply too much going on that commands a higher valued demand for my time. Something had to give, and NaNo was the something.

As soon as I made the decision I felt a great sense of relief wash over me. I told my wife I felt “clarified.” The novel will continue, and will most likely get completed, but on my own time in my own way. I wish the best of luck to all my NaNo friends and encourage you to carry on. I will most likely be right in there with you next year.
~jon

 

Today is the the six month anniversary of #fridayflash. To celebrate I am opening up submissions for the Best of 2009 #fridayflash Anthology. We have discussed this anthology in previous posts, and from all the discussion I have become convinced it is something we can not only pull off, but pull off in style.

The reason I have confidence in the project is the amazing response I got from the #fridayflash community. I asked for people to contact me if they were willing to do some of the work involved on a volunteer basis. I’ve had no less than a dozen people volunteer so far. We have three people working up proposals for cover art while three professional editors have offered their services. With teamwork like that we can’t lose. If you would like to volunteer please read this post and then contact me via email. If you have practical editing experience I am particularly interested in hearing from you.

Submissions

  • The anthology is open to all stories posted under the #fridayflash hashtag since its inception right up through Friday, December 25th.
  • The submissions period begins today, this very instant, and runs through Thursday, December 31st.
  • All stories must be 1,000 words or less, not counting the title.
  • Stories can be edited and revised prior to submission.
  • Authors may self nominate up to three of their own stories. The reason for the limit is so the author gives serious consideration as to which of their stories are their very best. This will act as the first filter.
  • All stories should be flash fiction, that is, a story that stands on its own merits, not one of a series which requires prior episodes to be understood by the reader. Most of the stories I’ve read as #fridayflash qualify, even those that are part of a larger stage. Don’t let this requirement dissuade you from submitting, rather have it guide you as to which stories to choose.
  • The author grants non-exclusive print and digital rights. This means you are free to do whatever you like with your stories provided they still fall under the rules of submission for other venues.
  • You cannot nominate a story written by someone else, but feel free to contact them and strongly encourage them to submit it. In fact, I strongly encourage you to do so.

How To Submit

  • All submissions will be handled via email. Send them to madutopia@gmail.com.
  • Email each story separately. Use Best of 2009 as the subject of the email.
  • The story must be in the body of the email, not an attachment.
  • Make the first line of the email the Title, followed by the genre. (Genre request is new, don’t sweat it if you already submitted without genre. The genre request will be made clear in Monday’s post.)
  • Make the second line of the email your name as you would like it to appear in the anthology. I strongly recommend you use your real name, or your standard pen name, and not your Twitter user name.
  • Paste the story as plain text as the rest of the email.

A Word About Judging

  • First Round Judging will be done by volunteers using a score sheet in an effort to assure consistency.
  • Judges will not judge their own work.
  • Names will be removed from manuscripts prior to distribution to judges.
  • Second Round Judging will be conducted by a panel selected by me.

I will post more details on how judging and editing will be conducted at a later date, possibly as early as Sunday (but don’t hold me to that). I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has participated in #fridayflash to date, and a warm welcome to anyone who joins us in the weeks to come. Let’s create a killer anthology together.
~jon

 

Thank you all for the thoughtful comments and suggestions you’ve made on Anthology, Anyone? I’ve read them all and they have been most helpful in clarifying my vision on where I want to go with the anthology. Here is a rough outline of what I propose.

Where I stand

I agree with those who suggested a Best of 2009 instead of a six month anniversary anthology. It makes more sense, both due to the hectic nature of this time of year, and as a set up for an annual event. It also gives people time to come up with new pieces to post in the coming weeks, which might help us grow the community.

Every story ever submitted as a #fridayflash, between launch and the end of 2009, is eligible for consideration. Some writers have come and gone, for whatever reason, and may not even be aware of this anthology. If you have fond memories of a certain piece please go back to that author and tell them about the anthology so they can submit. I can think of three or four off the top of my head that I would be proud to share space with.

The nuts and bolts

Submissions will be done via self nomination. Everyone can submit what they feel is their best work for consideration. No limit on the number of pieces you can submit. But remember, #fridayflash is intended to showcase your best efforts, so be reasonable about what you think is your best stuff. I’m hoping for two or three pieces from most folks. That should get us a nice batch of stories to choose from. Actual submission will be done via email. Details on how will be included in the formal announcement, coming out in a few weeks (I have to celebrate the six month anniversary in some manner!).

Which brings me to the selection process. I liked Donald Conrad’s idea quite a lot.

“Winnowing? Use a panel of judges/editors… Each are given a percentage of the stories to read and rank without attribution. The top, say 60%, are then passed to the next judge; again without attribution and without previous scoring…”

This appeals to me for two reasons. First off, I lack the moxy to approach professional editors and ask them if they would kindly judge potentially hundreds of pieces of flash fiction on a volunteer basis. That’s asking an awful lot. More importantly, I want to explore the whole concept of community participation. I’m a big fan of Open Source projects, and I’d like to see how this can be applied to the editing phase of the publishing business.

Many of you said you would be willing to help with editing. I’d like to ask for volunteers to become, in effect, slush readers – to do that stage one winnowing that Donald talked about. If we get enough volunteers this task can be made manageable.

The second phase of the selection process will be done by a panel of judges. Just who ends up on that panel is yet to be determined. It may end up being just me, but I hope I can recruit some additional help. If I end up on the panel I will take my own stories out of consideration.

I think this should be done on a free sample, pay for the full product basis. I think doing that will give us all a better sense of just how that oft touted model works. We really are writing in a new era, and I think it best we learn the ropes first hand rather than simply reading about others experiences. Either way it turns out, huge success or big financial flop, we’ll all end up the wiser.

Those pesky profits

There have been several suggestions on how to handle the profits, if any. I really like Jeff’s suggestion.

“I’d rather all profits go into a pool for buying #FridayFlash promotional items, such as a Nook or Kindle or $100 Barnes & Noble gift certificate that we somehow give away to a reader (not one of us authors).”

We are not likely to earn a lot on this anthology in the first place. Dividing that all up, even if it turned out to be a few hundred dollars, probably won’t even get you a Happy Meal. So pooling the money into a bigger pot, that we can use to promote #fridayflash makes much more sense to me. In the long run, attracting more readership will pay us all much bigger dividends. I’d like to hear more discussion on this. Will anyone be disappointed if any money earned goes back into #fridayflash as reader prizes?

Other good ideas

Lily suggested the anthology contain, “a short bio on each author, including their Twitter handle (if they have one) and a link to [their] blog…” I agree completely.

Tony suggested we include “a brief history of how #FridayFlash came about…” and a “list of the authors who have participated, along with links to their writing blogs…”  Sound good to me. But I think  we will have to contact anyone not directly involved to get their permission to list their name and blog. That could be time consuming, but should be manageable.

How you can help

I’d like anyone who is serious about helping to send me an email stating what they would be willing to do. My email is jstro AT swbell DOT net. Make your subject FridayFlash Volunteer. Don’t worry, there will be no heavy lifting until after the first of the year.

I need the following in way of volunteers:

  • Sleuths – to help track down authors who have fallen by the wayside. This actually could begin now, so the authors have time to respond.
  • First round judges – to act as the initial filter. I’ll send you the judging form and a pile of stories. Judges will not rate their own work.
  • Editors – to markup stories for correction. This will likely be more work than first round judges, requiring a more careful reading, redlining errors, contacting the author about the errors, making the final corrections, and sending the corrected manuscript back to me. Authors will have final say.
  • Artists – for front and back cover design. I have a design concept in my head I’d like to bounce off  you. Also, I have been reading up on Kindle formatting, and have specs on size and resolution for that platform.
  • Other stuff – anyone can volunteer for stuff I’ve failed to mention above. Marketing. Reviews. Things I haven’t even considered. Just shoot me a note.

As always, I’m still open to further suggestions. Feel free to comment, pro or con, on any of the above.
~jon

 

The six month anniversary of #fridayflash is fast approaching. I’ve been pondering how to properly celebrate. I have the Reader’s Contest going as a way to show our appreciation to our readers, but want to do something for the writers as well. One thing that comes to mind is producing a #fridayflash six month anthology. So, I’m asking – anyone interested in participating in such a project? Let’s open up a discussion on the possibilities in the comments below. Actual work on getting this done won’t start until December, so if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, don’t panic.

Some things I’d like to hash out:

  • Which stories to include
  • Editing
  • Cover art
  • Publication
  • Profits

Which stories to include

To make a viable anthology I think we would need 70 to 100 stories in all. I’m shooting for 50,000 words. I’m guessing the average story is significantly shorter than 1,000 words, maybe more on the order of 500 to 750. So we need around seventy to one hundred stories to get a properly sized anthology. We’ve had many more than a hundred wonderful stories, but how to choose which ones to include?

My initial thought is to have each author who would like to participate self nominate what they consider to be their top three entries. The final selection could be made from this list. Another possibility is to have everyone nominate three of their favorites which were written by someone else. Either way we’ll likely end up with a list that will require some whittling down, so I’ll need to come up with a selection process. That’s still to be determined.

Editing

Once the stories are selected I’d love some help with the editing. The stories will already be fairly well polished, but those typos do have a way of sneaking in. Volunteers would be most welcome.

Cover Art

Any graphic artists among us? We all know what a good cover means for a book. If any of you are artists, and could find it in your heart to volunteer a cover, I’d really appreciate it. The cover should look good in four color and black and white to support various publication options – anything from POD to the Kindle.

Publication

So, once we have everything compiled, how to deliver this baby? I’d like to try some form of the free/paid model. Three possibilities come to mind.

  • We could offer it for free for an introductory period, then switch to paid.
  • The first 20% is made available for free, but you have to pay for the whole thing.
  • We offer it as a free ebook, but the physical book is a paid POD.

I think working thorough one of these models will serve as a valuable experiment for all of us. We’ll see first hand how this oft touted business model really works. I’m not adverse to other ideas.

Profits

So, if anyone actually forked over cash money for this thing, what do we do with the profits? I propose we split them up on a “shares” basis. That is, each story, and the cover art, gets a share. If we have 70 stories, and make $100 dollars then each contribution would receive $1.40. Hey, that’s enough for two cokes! Well, I guess it depends on the vending machine.

So, anyone interested?
~jon

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