$2 Sale Inventory Check


I’ll Give You Something to Cry About – 5

The Life Story of a Chilean Sea Blob – 3

We Bury the Landscape – 1

Lesser Apocalypses – 17

Completeness of the Soul – 4

Strategies Against Extinction – 18 (1 signed)

Shadows of Men – 8

Is That You, John Wayne? – SOLD OUT

The Sin Eater and Other Stories – 12

Danceland – 19 (hardcover 17; paperback 2)

Where the Body Ends – 3

Goodnight Nobody – 39

The Decline of Pigeons – 19 (2 signed)

Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History – 18

Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness – 2

Backswing – SOLD OUT

Torture Tree – 15


Ahead of its pre-release next Tuesday, November 24th, we thought we’d stay true to the freewheelin’ spirit of Camouflage Country and have a little fun–and also give you the chance to win signed copies!

Here’s how it works:

Below you will find four groups of sentences drawn directly from the book. Because the collection was a true collaboration between Ryan Ridge & Mel Bosworth, it’s tricky to determine where one author ends and the other begins. Which is exactly what Queen’s Ferry is asking you to do: tell us who wrote the sentences that follow–two groups belong to Ryan, two to Mel–by emailing publisher@queensferrypress.com; the first 4 correct responders (1 per group) will each receive a signed copy.



1) At the time I believed in love and I reckon I still do.

2) And farther off still, I can nearly hear the low rumble of something bigger than you on your loudest day.

3) We had fantastic mohawks and the world by the balls.

4) Through the dust that kicked up all around, my eyes kept returning to the horses tethered nearby, their long faces blank and beautiful as catwalk amnesiacs.

5) There we were in our minds, skin naked and pink, teeth-tearing our favorite concert tees and slam-dancing with mechanics, each of us happier and each of us the wiser for it.

6) And when the day finally comes, the reunion signal will be easy because I practice it all the time inside the saddest boxcar: knees to chest, hug forever.

7) The groove wrapped the room like a second skin and my Memphis blood took us all home.

8) Later, pensive and buzzed beside the crackle of our campfire, I took a cool swallow of Michelob Ultra, fired a snot rocket into the darkness, and told my father he’d make a damn fine mother.

9) We rolled up our lives like sleeping bags and headed toward brighter colors and louder music.

10) Outside, the world was thick with a fog that took me in like a birthday party, all cheers and backslaps and frosting stabbed with fire.



1) Everyone was a star and nothing is real.

2) I went to bed early because it was never too late.

3) Outside the rain fell like empires.

4) We are actors, dammit, children who never ceased believing.

5) Through the giant bagel marquee I watched the sunset burst from the center and thought how everything good comes from the center.

6) The cork played the room like a pinball machine.

7) Another man dousing himself in kerosene as his wife bursts into laughter from the flames.

8) My manifesto was getting lots of likes on Facebook and my Twitter followers had shot to triple digits in the few hours since I’d issued my ultimate ultimatum.

9) Martyrs happen all the time, but a modern saint is about as rare as a one-armed gymnast.

10) I didn’t believe in monsters until my sister brought one home.



1) Now the blue moon lit our skin like butane.

2) With the exception of stating that there was no digital Satan, the producers were super tightlipped about how the Virgin birth scene was accomplished.

3) Such was my beginning, long before my funding for Antarctica, long before those strippers grazed my sagging skin with their chests, breasts, and hearts.

4) We were high as Balsa-wood flyers.

5) What I got instead was a spectacular view of galaxies’ slow-motion salsa dancing and I guess I can think of worse ways to spend a few lifetimes.

6) I hoped you’d answer but all I got was the pounding sound of everything that was ever wrong.

7) The way I saw it we were like our American Adventure cabin coupon: innocent until proven unredeemable and I’d never felt more born.

8) The moon pushed beneath the horizon and rang like the close of the second round of a fight scheduled for fifteen.

9) The answer was obvious but no one would admit it: it was time to put our guns down and go home, collect our sashes from pot-bellied oaks, and press our own pot bellies into American dinner tables.

10) I turned my attention back to the darkening field, to the uninspired music, and to whatever patriotic dishonesty came next.



1) And I jumped out the window as the room became flames.

2) He’d constructed a sensory deprivation tank out of old washing machine parts and a children’s pool.

3) We married beneath a waterfall, honeymooned at the end of a rainbow.

4) I went to the store and picked up a forty of Olde English, a box of menthols, and a Shake Weight.

5) It was raining animals and we sweated nude in the glass-walled parlor of my attorney’s home in the hills.

6) Whoa, whoa, whoa.

7) The moon looked like a dark disc with light leaking from it.

8) We wanted to sleep in our own beds, and for once, we wanted to wake up in a world that didn’t seem shot.

9) He had eyes like shiny new shovels and when no one was looking I suspected he dug deep into the pharmacy stash.

10) I was a man without a plan––hungover and already half-drunk––and just stupid enough to think everything was going to be all right.


Come one, come all!

The Story Behind the Cover: THE SUMMER SHE WAS UNDER WATER by Jen Michalski

When I teach writing workshops, I always emphasize that the first sentence is the most important part of one’s story. It’s a first impression, the man or woman who steps up to your restaurant table during a blind date. Say the wrong thing, or don’t dress the part, and you lose a lot of points right from the get-go. Sure, some may give you the benefit of the doubt, but many will have made up their minds about the second date (nada) before you’ve even placed your napkin on your lap. When you do have a captivating first line, and your novel is published, however, suddenly the cover becomes the most important part. It’s the first thing potential readers see in the bookstore or library; it should be able to sum up, along with your title, the mood and type of story. Easier with romance novels, or even science fiction, where scantily clad lovers on the beach or a rocket firing through the cosmos get the message across pretty quickly. But what about literary fiction?

I knew, as soon as Queens Ferry Press acquired my second novel, The Summer She Was Under Water, that I wanted a say in the cover art. I know to what kinds of covers I am drawn and (I hoped) my potential readers. There are covers that blew me away when I first saw them, like Laura van den Berg’s debut collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, from Dzanc, where a wooden footpath leads into a washed-out landscape of mist, or Julia Orringer’s How to Breathe Underwater (Vintage), wherein a trio of teenage girls swim in a lush but murky lake of water, completely hemmed in by a tree canopy. It helps, of course, that both books had “water” in the title, like mine, and they both perfectly portrayed the mood of the collections in them. What the World Will Look Like’s hazy, dreamy fog and disappearing footpath invite the reader into a world of grayscale, where dichotomy is muddled and what seems up is down and down is up. How to Breathe Underwater’s deep waters (the waterline is high, halving the cover into top and bottom) plays on similar themes on what is seen, or what appears to be, and what isn’t. Orringer’s cover even more so hints of the foreboding that clings to the three teenaged girls on what appears to be any other day, except this is the day that’s different.

The Summer She Was Under Water takes place during a fourth of July weekend at a cabin on the Conowingo River in Northern Maryland where things also aren’t as they seem. I studied many images of swimmers in bodies of water, being careful not to replicate Orringer’s perfect cover. Because I employ some magical realism in the book, I considered that my lake or river scene should hint at dreaminess, but also depth. I also wanted colors that would draw viewers from across a crowded store.

I was on Etsy one day (my guilty pleasure) when I decided to look for swimming-related paintings and artwork when I came upon the work of Scout Cuomo. Her work concentrates very heavily on the refracted qualities of light on water mixing realism and surrealism. I was enchanted. And then I happened on, “Going Swimming,” the image that would become the cover for The Summer She Was Under Water. In it, we, the viewers, look up from the bottom of the pool (or are we even in a pool? Cuomo doesn’t exactly ground us with any reference points) as a woman in an orange bikini swims by us at the top. The dizzying blue water is lit from the surface and shows its depth. At first glance, the image is unthreatening, and yet, with our deep submersion and unclear point of reference, we cannot really position the woman; what is she swimming to, or away from? Is she merely keeping afloat? Will she eventually join us below, at the bottom, out of exhaustion, or desire? And what are we doing here?

Summer cover with text 2

“Going Swimming” perfectly sums up the protagonist, Samantha Pinski, in The Summer She Was Under Water: on a trajectory to success (she has just published her first novel), in motion towards a goal (getting through a holiday weekend with her estranged parents and brother), but in danger of being pulled down by something (or someone) any minute. And even if a potential reader doesn’t draw the same psychological cues from Cuomo’s work as I have, the piece itself is just visually stunning. (I can vouch for Queens Ferry Press, at least, who thought it “gorgeous” when I “floated” the idea to them.) The cool aqua, prism-like water and the warm bright orange bathing suit combine to produce a visual pop and easily stand out in a row of other books or on a table. “Going Swimming” is really the best of two worlds in one. It’s like a gorgeous dinner companion who had you at hello but then, when you get to know them, really bares his or her soul.

THE BEST SMALL FICTIONS 2016 Nomination Time!

“I believe The Best Small Fictions series, which will begin with this 2015 volume, is an extraordinarily important literary event. The art form of the small fiction speaks strongly to the zeitgeist of the 21st century and this sort of focused recognition is long overdue.”

–Robert Olen Butler

With The Best Small Fictions 2015 launched (and now available on international sites BookDepository and bol.com), we are heartened by the support we’ve received and the wonderful reviews, many of which are coming from readers unfamiliar with flash who are discovering this genre for the first time, and who are finding a new appreciation for the form. Readers are commenting on the exceptional variety in the book, and we hope to continue to highlight the field’s diversity. They are also enjoying the discovery of new journals and presses.

Just this week NYU hosted some The Best Small Fictions 2015 authors as part of the McGhee Inside/Outside Reading Series:


As we look ahead to The Best Small Fictions 2016, guest edited by PEN/Malamud Award–winner Stuart Dybek, and with Tara L. Masih at the helm as series editor, we invite you to send in your nominations, starting November 1. As our guidelines and FAQs have recently changed, they are posted below in full, and are also available on the QFP site: http://www.queensferrypress.com/bsf/bsf2016guidelines.pdf

The Best Small Fictions 2016 Nomination Guidelines

Queen’s Ferry Press—founded to promote collections of literary fiction—is pleased to publish the first contemporary anthology solely devoted to compiling the best short hybrid fiction in a calendar year. With this annual—honoring work appearing in literary journals and story collections worldwide—we seek to promote the seasoned writer as well as the emerging writer in a compilation that reveals the depth of literary fiction and highlights historical trends as they occur due to world events and human considerations. The Best Small Fictions is a brief, affordable, yet powerful reader that supplements instructors’ current classroom anthologies and texts and offers writers and readers examples of what their contemporaries are achieving.

Journal editors and book publishers: submit up to five nominations (print or online) from your journals, chapbooks, broadsides, or story collections. Small fictions consist of 6 words to 1,000 words, and may take any traditional or experimental form and include illustrations or photos. However, the fictions must be prose and self-contained (no novel/novella excerpts) and published/translated into English. Poetry that sits on the edge of fiction and verse may be submitted, but should be mainly in prose form (haibuns qualify). Small fictions must be published in 2015 and submitted November 1, 2015, until January 18, 2016 (postmark deadline). NOTE: foreign submissions have a January 11 postmark deadline.

Submission Checklist:

  • Up to 5 nominations (tearsheets, printouts, or photocopies)
  • 2 copies of each nominated small fiction
  • Cover letter (editor email contact info; author/artist email contact info; publication info and word count)

Do not send originals as all submissions will be recycled. We accept no email submissions. Mail nominations to:

Best Small Fictions 2016

c/o Tara Masih, series ed.

3321 Haley Point Rd.

St. Augustine, FL 32084


Questions regarding the nomination process may be sent to series editor Tara Masih at QueensFerrySmallFictions@gmail.com, but queries as to the status of a nomination will go unanswered. Use tracking or enclose an SASE of you want acknowledgment of receipt. The 2016 guest editor, PEN/Malamud Award–winner Stuart Dybek, will be judging the finalists blindly. At no time may the guest editor be contacted.

Writers accepted will be notified late spring, with a publication date in Oct. 2016. Finalists will be acknowledged in the book.

For updates, please see the Queen’s Ferry Press blog, like our “The Best Small Fictions” Facebook page, or follow @Qfpress on Twitter.

Frequently Asked Questions:

You mention you are looking for hybrid work. Can I send in my flash story, which is not considered hybrid?

Yes, we use hybrid lightly to encompass the whole genre of small fictions, as we consider flash stories to fall under the hybrid umbrella. Traditional and experimental are both welcome.

In what year do the stories have to be published?

Within January 1 and December 31 of the calendar year in which the submission period begins. If the story has yet to appear, the manuscript is welcome as long as there is a commitment to publish by the 31st.

Can the stories receive an edit before submission?

Yes, as long as a substantial part of the story remains as it appeared in the publication, edits are acceptable.

What rights are you asking for?

We are going to ask for one-time republication rights to revert back to the author on publication.

Should the pages of each story be stapled or paper-clipped together, or should all pages in the packet remain loose? 


All methods are acceptable.


When printing stories from the web, is it acceptable to hand-print the author’s contact information at the top of the first page?


Yes, but we still need a cover letter with the nominating editor’s name and email and word counts either on the story or in the cover letter.


If bios appear at the beginning or end of each story, is it okay to include them, or do I need to cut and paste those stories into Word and strip out the bios?


It is fine to retain bios; they will be stripped out for the guest editor. Cutting and pasting the stories into Word is acceptable, too, and has its benefits, as word counts can then be verified, but this is totally optional.


Are stories that won competitions eligible?


Yes, as long as they appeared in print or on a website as a published winner.


If a story collection includes stories published prior to the calendar year, can they be nominated?


Yes, as long as the collection was published in the nominating year, each story is eligible.


Is self-published work eligible?
Not at this time. The same applies to Fictionaut and similar venues.

How are winners and finalists notified?
We send winners and their nominating editors personal emails in the spring; finalists are notified in a group email and asked to let their nominating editors know their status.

Queen’s Ferry Title Shortlisted for a Saltire Literary Award

We are thrilled to announce that Scotland’s Saltire Society, at simultaneous announcement ceremonies held in Edinburgh and London, has shortlisted Helen McClory’s On the Edges of Vision for the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year Award. As these prizes are widely regarded as the country’s most prestigious literary awards, Queen’s Ferry couldn’t be more proud of Helen—regardless of the winners’ announcement in Edinburgh on November 26th.

On the Edges of Vision is described in the announcement as “a collection of dark short stories and prose poetry about the limits of the conscious and the darkness within from Edinburgh-based writer Helen McClory.”

Reviewing the title for Monkeybicycle, Ariell Cacciola calls the book: “A debut collection that lingers in the curves of your eyes and during the double-blink gazes of late night shadows, Helen McClory has wound tight, unexpected stories… On the Edges of Vision is simmering…. If anything, McClory’s monsters are both homely and unfamiliar, and the tangle is what makes this collection ever so enjoyable.”

Why not pick up the book for yourself and see what all the fuss is about, or read the full Saltire Literary Awards press release.

On the Edges of Vision frontcover



Events kick off this week in NYC in support of The Best Small Fictions 2015:

Sunday, October 25KGB Bar Reading Series, KGB Bar, NYC
Lisa Marie Basile, Randall Brown, Jesse Kohn (finalist), Jane Liddle, and Julia Strayer (with Amina Gautier)

Wednesday, October 28 — McGhee Inside/Outside Reading Series, NYU Bookstore, NYC
Rusty Barnes, Lisa Marie Basile, Randall Brown, George Choundas, Jesse Kohn (finalist), Jane Liddle, Dawn Raffel, Kathryn Savage, and Julia Strayer

Special thanks to NYU’s Julia Strayer and Ruth Danon for their hard work on this event.





I first encountered Amy L. Clark’s writing in A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness (Rose Metal Press); I’m now thrilled to publish her Adulterous Generation, a collection that “follows young people using what they have to try to create lives for themselves in our still-new century.”

About the book, Christopher Boucher (How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive), says: “Amy Clark’s stories are flash floods, full of moments both poignant and devastating. Step into Adulterous Generation and let the waters rise around you.”


The book page is now now live on the Queen’s Ferry site–why not stop by and learn more about this January 2016 title?


The Best Small Fictions 2015 is now available through Amazon, Amazon UK, and other online retailers such as Barnes & Noble for the general release date of October 6, 2015; the ebook (Nook and Kindle) will be released early for international readers and downloadable on the 6th.

As we approach the official launch, we feel this is a good time to share some exciting anthology news.

A wonderful new review is in from BookTrib in which Rebecca Foster says, “Super-short stories . . . have exploded in popularity. Where should newbies start? With Best Small Fictions 2015 . . . [r]eaders will be introduced to a wealth of fresh and existing talent…. Discover some haunting voices for yourself this fall.”

BookCourt, located in Brooklyn, was first to carry BSF copies, displaying the book prominently in its window:

photo window

Many thanks to BookCourt for their support. We are also grateful to the following bookstores for recent orders: Prairie Lights (Iowa City, IA), Well Read Books (Plaistow, NH), and The Brewster Bookstore (Brewster, MA). The press also appreciates when readers request that their local bookstore carry a Queen’s Ferry title.

We’re also pleased to announce that as of this date the anthology will be taught at Baldwin Wallace University, CW Post College, Georgia State University, Hendrix College, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and Regis University.

Events and readings for 2015-16 are scheduled on the East and West Coast:

*25 October, 2015KGB Bar Reading Series, KGB Bar, New York, NY
Lisa Marie Basile, Randall Brown, Jesse Kohn (finalist), Jane Liddle, and Julia Strayer (with Amina Gautier)
*28 October, 2015NYU Bookstore, New York, NY
Rusty Barnes, Lisa Marie Basile, Randall Brown, George Choundas, Jesse Kohn (finalist), Jane Liddle, Dawn Raffel, Kathryn Savage, and Julia Strayer
*7 January, 2016Book Soup, West Hollywood, CA
Lauren Becker, Yennie Cheung, James Claffey, Blake Kimzey, and Chris L. Terry
*4 February, 2016Flash Fiction Collective, Alley Cat Books, San Francisco
Stefanie Freele and Dan Moreau (with Jane Ciabattari and Grant Faulkner)
*3 June, 2016Dire Reading Series, Out of the Blue Gallery, Cambridge, MA
Allison Adair (finalist), Rusty Barnes, Randall Brown, Tara L. Masih, and Brent Rydin
*30 April, 2016 – Best Small Fictions: The Art of Compression, Newburyport Literary Festival, Newburyport, MA
Tara L. Masih, Dawn Raffel, and Brent Rydin

Please watch this blog for updates, visit and like The Best Small Fictions 2015 Facebook page, and/or follow @QFPress on Twitter.


A year in the making, it is with great pleasure that Queen’s Ferry acknowledges everyone who has helped make this debut “something significant, something worthwhile, and something necessary.”

Without the editors who nominated stories, there could be no book; we appreciate your faith. To the BSF finalists and winners: your writing made this anthology a vibrant, compelling volume we are proud to publish. To the 2015 consulting editors Kathy Fish, Christopher Merkner, Robert Shapard, and Claudia Smith, and roving editors Michelle Elvy and Clare MacQueen: we are in debt to you. We’re also appreciative for the general assistance of Heather L. Nelson. Gratitude to Steven Seighman for his interior design, and to Brian Mihok for so strikingly covering the book.

We are immensely grateful to Robert Olen Butler, who lent this project his prominence and wisdom and helped give the anthology its best start. Tara L. Masih is the reason this book exists at all and to thank her for her experience, expertise, and dedication feels flimsy but is offered most sincerely; I’m sure the authors agree that Tara gave her all to make The Best Small Fictions 2015 the very best representation of short short fiction.

And finally, we are immensely thankful to those who have bought a book or otherwise supported this title or the press.


The 2016 nomination period will open November 1; be sure to check out the updated guidelines and read the 2016 editor bios.

The Best Small Fictions 2015 — Editorial Elucidation from the Editors

“I believe The Best Small Fictions series, which will begin with this 2015 volume, is an extraordinarily important literary event. The art form of the small fiction speaks strongly to the zeitgeist of the 21st century and this sort of focused recognition is long overdue.” –Robert Olen Butler

 The Best Small Fictions 2015 guest editor Robert Olen Butler was kind enough to talk with Pleiades Magazine, a journal to see three of its small fictions included in the anthology’s debut; read about the perils of success, the search for balance, the biggest surprises in selecting authors for BSF, and more in “‘Lone Wolf of a Lie': Robert Olen Butler on The Best Small Fictions of 2015.”

Series editor Tara L. Masih also offers her insight in Fiction Southeast’s Ask an Editor Series on revision and recognition and, of course, the anthology she is responsible for: The Best Small Fictions 2015.


Robert Olen Butler, Empire vertical