Tag Archives: short story

A Taxonomy of Very Short Fiction

If our attention span, as some experts have claimed, has shortened, and is now somehow inversely proportional to a lengthening life span, perhaps the speed at which data streams and changes has made us impatient to the point of frustration with any wait at all, even a wait for a conclusion, should that take more than a page to occur. And this trend to compact information sometimes provides us gloriously dense neutron stars for stories that provide as much satisfaction as Willy Wonka’s four-course-meal bubblegum.
In fact, so many variations of stories of this abbreviated length have proliferated in the last decade that a need for a taxonomy of such work has arisen (not really, but why buck the trend to pigeonhole everything into nice neat little buckets). Enlarge the diagram on the right for a derivation of the genus fabula brevissima and its constituent species from of the phylum I have classified as communicationis arogantis (all self-edifying works, which does include infomercials and French films).

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Camera Obscura Journal

                                                                             ICamera Obscura Journal have recently launched a new literary and photography print annual. The Camera Obscura Journal is now open for prose submissions. We hope to feature the best literature and photography we can obtain. We will offer a featured writer honorarium of $1000 for the best story we publish in the first issue. We are also hosting a photography competition with categories for amateur and professional photographers offering $1500 in prizes. Deadline for photography entries is February, 1 2010.  All submissions are handled electronically.  Stop by if you get a chance.


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MacGuffin Spring/Summer 2009

MacGuffin Spring/Summer 2009
Cover – Sue Averell

While some small press publications do survive, even fewer thrive. Many wind up as squashed bugs on the literary radiator grill in a matter of a few years, and in some cases, months. The MacGuffin has been around since 1984. I hope it lasts another twenty-five years.

Behind the beautiful cover of the Spring/Summer 2009 MacGuffin designed by Sue Averell , my story “The Harlot of Baltimore” was lucky enough to land a spot beside some great fiction and poetry, including that of Jen Michalski, editor of the indie publication JMWW Journal.


“The Harlot of Baltimore” Begins:

“Day fifteen of a twenty-three day voyage began before sunup with commotion on the main deck. Myron scurried up the ladder to find a crowd, mostly crew at this point in the trip, gathered around a man wearing a bowler hat. Buttoned up in tweeds, a shine on his shoes, Finister Morgan stumbled along the bulwarks with a triumphant grin on his face. “I have beaten it,” he proclaimed, and, given his equanimity, no one had any reason to doubt him. Moments after his declaration, even as the mainsail filled with wind, Finister’s chest heaved, and he collapsed, breathless, onto the forward deck of the Baltimore Mary.”

To get a copy of the MacGuffin and support a great small press publication go to http://www.schoolcraft.edu/macguffin/default.asp.

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