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Submissions are closed for the October 2011 issue of 10Flash.

The common issue prompts for the next two issues of 10Flash are listed below, to give writers more time to plan a story for submission.

With each prompt, there is a first date accepted listing.

Stories submitted for the issue before that date will be rejected without consideration.

Let’s say that again — stories submitted for an issue before its first date accepted will be rejected without consideration.

  • January 2012 — It’s the end of the world as we know it.  First Date Accepted: October 1, 2011.
  • April 2012 — The falls are beautiful this time of year. First Date Accepted: January 1, 2012.

As always, submissions will be accepted for each issue after the First Date Accepted until we have purchased ten stories. When that happens, we will post a notice online.

10Flash publishes speculative flash fiction stories — fantasy, horror, science fiction, suspense or slipstream — between 800 and 1,000 words.  We may fudge on the bottom number, from time to time, but the top limit is firm.

We do not publish poetry or unsolicited non-fiction articles.

Each quarterly issue will feature ten stories, all written around a common prompt. These prompts are not intended to be restrictive, but rather to provide a thread to pull the issue together. However, the prompt is important. Its minimalization (or absence) suggests to us that an author has sent a trunk story with the prompt stuck on. Such submissions will be rejected.

However, as authors, you are encouraged to freely interpret the prompt and use the genre of your choosing. Write what you are familiar with or experiment with a tale that is outside your usual genre.

We are open to new ideas and reinterpretations of genre — as long as your work is well written.

We want to experience frisson.  We are looking for stories that have been crafted with care and an eye for detail, that offer characters and a plot free of cliché and that proceed to a conclusion that is both emotionally and intellectually satisfying.

Most of all, we are looking for stories that are fun to read.

That’s why we were drawn to genre fiction as young readers. We suspect that is true of all of us who still read such stories.

Even so, 10Flash is not intended for a juvenile market. We will consider work that includes content of a mature sexual nature, as well as moderated use of profanity and violence — as long as we are convinced that such elements are not hard core and are integral parts of the story.

Please, no simultaneous or multiple submissions.

Stories should be submitted via e-mail, to tenflashmagazine@yahoo.com, with the story attached as a .doc or .rtf file. Each submission should include a cover letter, in the body of the e-mail, with preferred method of contact , a brief (60-word maximum) author biography (including where you live — just a city, of course) and a link to the author’s web site or blog, if you wish a link from 10Flash.

Please, in the cover letter, we’re not interested in a synopsis of the story, just its title and word count.  Nor do we wish to know what you do to pay the bills, the nature of your hobbies or what sort of pets you keep.  A bio should include your name, where you live (it’s a personal quirk of the publisher), your best three or four publication credits, writing awards you may have won and professional memberships.

Here’s an example of a cover letter that tells us everything we want to know. Cover Letter.

We are willing to work with writers on story ideas, but please don’t send first drafts. We expect submitted work to be in standard manuscript format, edited and proofread prior to submission, but we do understand that the occasional typo slips past us all. We will correct such errors as we find them.

Here’s a great article from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America on how to format a manuscript.  Manuscript Preparation.

We may also come upon individual words or short phrases that we believe need to be changed to strengthen the story. We will not make such changes without the explicit approval of the author and will provide the author with written notice of all requested changes. We may also ask for a rewrite, if we believe the story concept warrants it and there is sufficient time before publication to do so.  A rewrite request is not a guarantee of publication.

We will provide notice of acceptance or rejection, via e-mail, within 45 days of the receipt of a story.  We also will provide a publication contract — via e-mail — for each accepted story and will require return notice of agreement prior to publication. The contract will ask for first-time electronic publication rights, and the right of perpetual archiving of the story.

Payment for an accepted story is $20, regardless of word count. Payment will be made within six weeks of publication, either by Pay Pal or a check sent via snail mail. Author’s choice.

Details of these guidelines may be added or edited from time to time. If you have questions, we can be reached via e-mail at tenflashmagazine@yahoo.com.

We look forward to reading your stories.

K. C. and Jude-Marie

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