My microfiction "Leftovers" was so tiny and I almost gave up on placing it anywhere. I tacked it onto a submission to ATTICUS REVIEW because they allow three flash in a submission and I only had two. I was surprised when the fiction editor Michelle Ross wrote back and said she loved it and wanted to publish it.
I'm grateful, honored, and even more surprised that "Leftovers" has been nominated by ATTICUS REVIEW for BEST MICROFICTION 2018! Best Microfiction is a relatively new annual anthology of microfictions under 400 words, edited by Meg Pokrass and Gary Fincke (this year the final judge will be Dan Chaon). I write a lot of micros (my favorite is "Little Darling" in WIGLEAF), but this is the first time I’ve been nominated, so I’m particularly pleased. And there are flash friends whose work I follow and love on the list: Claire Polders, Tara Isabel Zambrano, Benjamin Woodard, Leonora Desar. All of the micros on the list are amazing. See the link to the announcement above for links to the stories.
Hooray! LOVE this journal, which also pays $50 for flash. The first and only place I sent my nonfiction micro "Because I Could Not Stop for Death," also exciting. And they've published so many flash greats (with flash upcoming from Christopher James, Kim Magowan, Paul Crenshaw). Mine will be published on March 11.
Waiting for my copy of the print journal OCEAN STATE REVIEW. Love the cover, which I'll save until it lands in my mailbox.
Just found out that Steve and I will be in the offsite AWP reading that Black Lawrence Press is putting together for the great anthology of collaborative writing THEY SAID. In Portland, in March. We're going anyway, Steve is on a panel, can't wait.
A very slow time for publications, or so it feels to me. I have a few coming out in the next couple of months, but not many.
Always love Poe. In fact my 600-page PhD dissertation was on Poe and the American modernists (how they remade him in their own image to define different brands of modernism in the 1920s). I found this great picture of a Poe boxcar online on the poet Todd Smith's site. I don't know where he got it, and when someone on Facebook asked him about the sources of the pictures on his new site, he wrote: "No, they aren't my pics - they're all cropped from random online sources (images that are labeled for reuse - someone please let me know if that doesn't make it OK!)"
The UK flash writer Sophie van Llewyn has a great two-part article on "Unusual Structures in Flash Fiction" ("exquisite, boundary-shattering, unconventional pieces"). Up early today, scrolling through twitter and Facebook, I was thrilled to run across my flash "The Missing Girl" in her list of "extra sources of inspiration" at the end of part II.
Steve and I both read last night in the Lit Crawl event for 100 WORD STORY's great anthology NOTHING SHORT OF: SELECTED TALES FROM 100 WORD STORY. Wonderful venue (the art gallery Creativity Explored), wonderful audience with lots of friends, wonderful readers—Ethel Rohan, Cornelia Nixon, Peg Alford Pursell, along with editors Lynn Mundell, Grant Faulkner, and Beret Olsen, who were able to read a few more stories from writers who weren't there. Steve and I were able to catch Lyndsey Ellis and Cocoafly readers in the first leg, and eat some great tapas with friends after our reading.
Emily Devane, a writer whose flash fiction I love, has reviewed THE MISSING GIRL for the journal SHORT FICTION IN THEORY AND PRACTICE. The review of four books is only available in print, in the UK, but she was nice enough to send it to me when I asked. Here's what she says: "Jacqueline Doyle’s ‘The Missing Girl’, holds a mirror up to the girls who become victims of neglect, of abduction, of predatory male behaviour. The eight stories within are gut-punch short. Doyle uses second person daringly, so that the reader is forced to become the potential abductor: ‘watch her blush as she turns wondering eyes to you’ (The Missing Girl, p.2). Next, the reader is the hit upon girl on a Hawaiian-themed boat trip, several piña coladas down: ‘Whoops, he says, sorry, but he doesn’t look sorry, and you know you should leave now but you don’t.’ (Hula pp.11-12). ‘My Blue Heaven’, a piece of fragmentary flash about an older man whose affair with a young girl ends bloodily, takes on several voices, including the man, his wife, the friend, the motel clerk – the victim, Molly’s, is conspicuous by its absence: literally, she becomes ‘the missing girl’ of the title. The final story in the collection, ‘Nola’, tells the disturbing tale of a woman still regretful at her part in her friend’s disappearance: ‘Nola never did come back, did she?’ (Nola, p.26) This is a powerful collection, with razor sharp stories that linger."
This comes at a good time, because my publications are lagging. Three on the horizon, which is not a lot, and many rejections of flash that I thought would not be so hard to place. Steve and I will read in Lit Crawl on Saturday, which will be fun, but that's also the only reading I have lined up. I'm writing, but it's a potentially long flash project that may never see the light of day. Teaching is taking a lot of my time. End of complaints.
IIt's been a year since my chapbook THE MISSING GIRL arrived in the mail, and today I'm grateful to Black Lawrence Press and so many others: the literary journals who published my flash and nominated me for awards, the Bay Area bookstores who are selling THE MISSING GIRL, my writing group in San Francisco for their critiques and unflagging support, writers who took the time to write blurbs or review the book (so many more than I expected!)—and all the READERS who have responded to the book, those I know, and those I don't know. (Love the twitter flash community. This year I met two flash writers in person that I never would have otherwise. Looking forward to meeting more in Portland at AWP.) I'm filled with gratitude at what a great year it has been for my little book.
I've been feeling discouraged lately. A long essay I can't seem to wrestle into shape, a flurry of rejections (some for three flash at a time) after long waits. Dejected that an autobiographical flash that I really liked this year didn't make that magazine's Best of the Net nominations. The national news has been so stressful this week; my response has been visceral.
So MIDWAY JOURNAL's email yesterday was a welcome surprise. Not sure how the dates work for these nominations (my story there, which won their Flash/Poetry Contest a year ago, and won a Finalist listing in Best Small Fictions 2018, was published in October 2017), but I was thrilled to hear that their fiction editor Ralph Pennel has nominated "Zig Zag" for Sundress Publication's BEST OF THE NET 2018.
Such a great reading! And a surprising number of writers I know were in the audience. The poet Kathleen McClung posted on Facebook: "OMG, what a great reading tonight at Why There Are Words in Sausalito! Every writer rocked the house. Special shout-out to Jacqueline Doyle, who read 'My Blue Heaven,' from her superb book, The Missing Girl. My students and I LOVE this book."
WTAW posted some great pictures. The one on the right is my favorite because it was so much fun to co-read "My Blue Heaven" (which has male and female voices) with Steve.
This is my fourth Notable listing with BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS (2013, 2015, 2017, 2018). The first was the most amazing. They don't contact you, I never imagined such an honor, and I only found out because SWEET published a list of their former contributors with Notables on their home page. But each has been very exciting.
I'm hoping to include all four essays in DO-IT-YOURSELF NIGHT, the collection I'm working on. Or not working on. I think I've been dragging my feet (I keep writing new "last" essays to complete a narrative arc) because I'm so reluctant to launch the next phase: finding a publisher.