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sideways chocolate fountainNot that I want more competition, but this is too sweet to hog all to myself!

Jonathan Cape Ltd. (associated with Random House) is open to prose fiction submissions by new writers this month. Yes, OPEN to NEW writers. You don’t believe me. Here’s proof: Cape Open Submissions. See. Told you.

Send your first 50 pages of prose fiction from a novel, novella, short story collection, or graphic novel. But, here’s the sweetest little nugget: The pages can be a finished work or a work in progress. Yes, a work IN PROGRESS.

Really now, people. What do you have to lose? It’s always a ‘no’ unless you try.

Sweet submissions!

~ N

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ty for smoking cigars only
Read Kathy Fish’s “Why I Write Flash.” You may understand me, and many other writers, better.

Here’s another tidbit about me: I like cigars, on occasion. As “a shy[ish] person in a big family” where “everyone’s a talker but” me, a cigar occupies me while I sit on the back deck, “on the periphery, [half-]listening” to my brother-in-law “tell the story of the long family road trip as if it happened last week,” all the relatives visited and towns passed. My mind will drift from the conversation though, like the curling smoke from my lips. I won’t be far. Don’t worry. I’ll have drifted just a little way off to contemplate what Kathy Fish calls “moments,” the “stillness and what shatters the stillness. The unguarded way people look at each other sometimes. The filled-to-bursting seconds before everything changes. The small, ugly, beautiful flashes of life.” So, now you know something else about me: On occasion, you don’t have my full attention. Sorry about that.  No insult intended.

Thank you, Kathy, for a well-written read.

~ N

P.S. I snapped the THANK YOU FOR SMOKING CIGARS ONLY pic at Hemingway’s Cigar & Tequila Lounge in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It was just across from the Cabo Wabo rear entrance, but–sadly–I hear the great little spot has closed.

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Discovering something late is better than never discovering it at all, I suppose, as long as it’s kudos stashed away on the internet and not a rotting pastel egg a niece or nephew never found—or didn’t find on purpose—when you packed 43 bodies into your home for the family Easter brunch.

My discovery today, thankfully, is of the kudos variety: “August at the Fair” was named as a Top 3 Micro Fiction finalist by Paul McVeigh for his Hawthorne Citation…back in 2012.

Thanks for the mention, Mr. P. McVeigh! You may never happen upon my name below a story title again, but once upon a time you did and you could again. So, I will keep writing in a way that would make you proud of mentioning a little-known writer back in 2012, in the event you do happen upon my writing again. ~ N

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Robert Swartwood is hosting a New Hint Fiction contest! So, crank out a 25-word story that stands on its own and suggests a more complex story.

But there’s only so much you can do with a 25 word limit, right? Robert doesn’t believe so. He has “faith that more can be done with the genre, that writers can think outside the box.” Let’s prove him right!

A BLAST FROM THE PAST: Four years ago Robert Swartwood selected “View from a ’77 Chevy Scottsdale” to appear in Hint Fiction from W. W. Norton & Company. Not long after, Dustin Grella created an animation of the piece. You can link to it from Swartwood’s New Hint Fiction Contest announcement–it’s the second “here” in “(here and here and here)” or you can click on the below.

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Out of over 825 entries, this ‘ultra-short’ (under 150 words) was selected as an honoree in the 9th Annual Ultra-Short Competition sponsored by The Binnacle, which has published literature and art for over fifty years. “Here Lie the Chicken Bones” is out now with the other fifty-two honorees and, of course, the four winners.

Congrats to the winners!

Eric Svehaug – Married Love, Year Thirty (Poetry)

Cynthia Tracy Larsen – The Loyalty of Legs (General Fiction)

Lisa Ricard Claro – A Twisty Thing (Humor)

Jordan Gilletti – Roots (UMM Student Winner)

 

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Fiction can’t touch this one.

Sometimes the truth really is that much better.

Read Chad Cottle’s story, and you’ll understand.

Visit Chicago Now to read my long-time friend and fellow writer’s adoption reunification story, “I Had My Mother’s Name!”

Carrie Goldman chose to use Chad’s piece as her grand finale for “30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days,” a November series in honor of National Adoption Month. The Huffington Post will re-run the series in January, so watch for the story there too.

If you like Chad’s writing, you can find more of it on his Amazon Author Page.

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Vote. No matter how you choose to do it, vote.

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