This year there have been more really great new or relatively new flash magazines than I’ve ever seen. I started noticing Arielle Tipas's OCCULUM on twitter because of their surreal graphics and gifs (the artist is Bill Domonkos), then started actually reading their online posts when they published a string of authors that I admire and follow: flash writers like Cathy Ulrich, Rob Parrish, Jan Stinchcomb, Alina Stefanescu, J. Bradley, Dylan Brie Ducey, poets like Chloe N. Clark, Stephen Langlois, among others.
So I’m thrilled that my Shirley Jackson-inspired flash “He Looked Like James Dean” has been accepted for their second issue, posting on December 1. It’s spooky, so I was thinking Halloween somewhere, but OCCULUM, which describes itself as “an online journal/haunted home” for “the exquisite, the weird, the beautiful, the grotesque,” is spooky year round.
Christopher James, editor of the dynamite, relatively new Jellyfish Review, just posted a list of the flash zines he considers really hot. A lot of them are new: Split Lip, b(OINK), Lost Balloon, Threadcount, The Fanzine, SmokeLong Quarterly (old and venerable), People Holding, WhiskeyPaper, Cheap Pop, Ellipsis Zine, Moon Park Review. (I've been in lots of these. Looking forward to a flash fiction in Ellipsis posting next week, and a nonfiction flash in Lost Balloon later.)
I'd definitely add Occulum, Literary Orphans, and Flash Frontier to the upcoming and relatively new, and Monkeybicycle, matchbook, Fiction Southeast, 100 Word Story, and Wigleaf to the well-established and venerable.
There are many mediocre flash zines out there, but so many really really good ones. I'm thrilled to have flash coming out in two stellar literary journals (Post Road and Hotel Amerika), but though they're among the top journals in the country, I'm so used to being online in flash zines that part of me wonders who'll read them. Probably not the flash community. Even the very best print journals have a much smaller readership than zines do.
Jellyfish Review published a powerful flash by Kathy Fish last week that went viral, with over a thousand shares on facebook, probably more on twitter. Here's Kathy Fish's mind-blowing "Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild." Jellyfish is only two years old, but so central to the flash scene already, due not only to Chris James' unerring good taste as an editor, but also to his appreciation of his authors, all-round generosity and community-building.