Publishing News -- Exeter Writers Short Story Competition

I've been rocking third place lately. That's a personal criticism as well as a sincere shout-out of gratitude to the competitions who've chosen my work: placing, long list, shortlist, whatever. I'm thankful to be at the party. I say that a lot, but I mean it. I know there are throngs of great writers out there, and I know I can learn a lot from them. The Reflex Fiction competition is underway. I read the stories every day and think WOW. There are so many writers out there who really get the tempo and urgency of flash. For SmokeLong Quarterly, I read 5000 flash fiction submissions a year. Very brief fiction and non-fiction must move. It has to start in exactly the right place and end there too. You can't waste words.

We could all work harder, right? I don't know many writers who would say "I'm working too hard." My talented friend Lori Fischer is the hardest working writer I know. She deserves stardom. I love every word she writes. She's my numero uno.

Who doesn't want to be numero uno? After reading the winning stories in the competitions where I placed third, I can say that I agree wholeheartedly with the judges. Great stories, masterfully told. I'm inspired to work harder by the stories that won.

Speaking of working harder, are you a travel writer? Have you entered the 2017 I Must Be Off! Travel Writing Competition? We are in our fifth year. This year's judge is prolific travel writer Graham Mercer. The free-entry period has closed. From June 1 to July 31, the entry fee is a nominal €3. Go HERE for the guidelines.

I must be off,


Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Dead Mule, FRiGG, Juked, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Indiana Review, FIVE:2:ONE and over a hundred other journals. Allen's stories have been anthologized in the Bath Flash Fiction anthology, Eclectica Magazine's 20th-Anniversary Speculative anthology, SmokeLong Quarterly: the Best of the First Ten Years: 2003-2013, and others. Allen was both a finalist and semi-finalist for The Best Small Fictions 2017. He is a multiple nominee for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, The Best Small Fictions, and storySouth's Million Writers Award. Since 2014 he has been the managing editor of SmokeLong Quarterly and as of 2017 a consulting editor for The Best Small Fictions.


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