Tag Archives: Robert Olen Butler

Queen’s Ferry’s Year-End Wrap-Up

2015 has been a banner year for Queen’s Ferry Press! This year saw the release of twelve titles, to include flash, hybrid, alternate-history and traditional story collections, as well as our first novel; these books, we believe, encapsulate the press’s eclectic aesthetic and advance our commitment to publishing innovative fiction.

2016 will see the release of a title every month (two in October), and features an impressive and varied line-up of voices and works:

Jan. – Adulterous Generation, Amy L. Clark

Feb. – So Many True Believers, Tyrone Jaeger

March – Whiskey, Etc., Sherrie Flick

April – In Case of Emergency, Break Glass, Sarah Van Arsdale

May – Love Slaves of Helen Hadley Hall, James Magruder

June – Middle West, Marc Watkins

July – Bad Faith, Theodore Wheeler

Aug. – The Summer She Was Under Water, Jen Michalski

Sept. – The Widow’s Guide to Edible Mushrooms, Chauna Craig

Oct. – Future Perfect, Matthew James Babcock

           The Best Small Fictions 2016, Tara L. Masih; Stuart Dybek

Nov. – Lesser American Boys, Zach VandeZande

Dec. – Everyone Was There, Anthony Varallo

 

Before we lift our eyes to the new year, however, we celebrate our recent successes:

Helen McClory was just last month named winner of the Saltire Society’s First Book of the Year Award for On the Edges of Vision. This QFP title got to rub shoulders at literary awards recognized as the most prestigious in Scotland, with the likes of Michael Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things. We are thrilled for Helen!

On the Edges of Vision frontcover

 

October saw another exciting avenue of growth take root with the release of the bestselling The Best Small Fictions. Shepherded by series editor Tara L. Masih and guest edited in 2015 by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert Olen Butler, this contemporary annual is solely devoted to compiling the best hybrid fiction in a calendar year. We are heartened by the response to this anthology’s debut and very much look forward to the 2016 compilation, guest edited by Stuart Dybek.

BSF2015_FrontCover

Nominations are currently open; please consult the full guidelines.

 

In that vein, here are our own selections for The Best Small Fictions 2016:

Ben Segal – “Planters” (from Pool Party Trap Loop; originally appeared in Digital Hamper)

Greg Gerke – “High on the Thigh” (from My Brooklyn Writer Friend; originally appeared in The Collagist)

Helen McClory – “Pretty Dead Girl Takes a Break” (from On the Edges of Vision; originally appeared in The Toast)

Rob McClure Smith – “Glasgow Lullaby” (from The Violence; originally appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly)

Ryan Ridge & Mel Bosworth – “The Next Room” (from Camouflage Country; originally appeared in the EEEL)

 

We eagerly anticipate what’s to come and thank you for your support for all that’s been!

 

 

THE BEST SMALL FICTIONS 2015 Launches!

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.

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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.

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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

Announced at AWP: The Best Small Fictions 2016, Guest Edited by Stuart Dybek

The Best Small Fictions 2016 Announcement

The flier above was distributed at AWP in Minneapolis. We are proud to announce the second volume of The Best Small Fictions will release in October of next year. Series Editor Tara L. Masih will be joined by Guest Editor Stuart Dybek, as well as Consulting Editors Motoyuj Shibata, Michael Martone, James Thomas, and Dawn Raffel.  View the flier above as a PDF.

The Best Small Fictions 2015, Guest Edited by Robert Olen Butler, is due to release in October. It has been a pleasure to work on this amazing volume.

The Best Small Fictions: Update

This Friday marks the international nominations deadline for The Best Small Fictions of 2015.

The Best Small Fictions NominationsOver 100 nominations have been received to date, though we expect a great deal more before the final, US deadline, January 23rd.

International nominations have come in from Japan, Australia, Cyprus, The Netherlands, India, Canada and the UK.

We’re very pleased with the response from editors so far, but please submit your nominations and–if you haven’t yet–announce them to your readers! Show your support for this long overdue compilation the best of the smallest fiction available!

 

A Conversation with Tara Masih — Flash Fiction Chronicles on the QFP Blog

by Jim Harrington

Queen’s Ferry Press is in the process of collecting stories for an annual anthology to be titled The Best Small Fictions. Fiction and prose poetry from 6 to 1,000 words published during the current year are eligible for inclusion. For the first edition, nominations will be accepted from October 1, 2014 through January 24, 2015. Journal editors and book publishers may submit up to five nominations (print or online) from their journals, chapbooks, broadsides, or story collections.

I interviewed Tara L. Masih, Series Editor, about this project.

TARAMASIHPICTara L. Masih has won multiple book awards as editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays.Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories was a National Best Books Award finalist. Her flash has been anthologized inWord of Mouth, Brevity & Echo, BITE, andFlash Fiction Funny; was featured in Fiction Writer’s Review for National Short Story Month; and was a finalist for the Reynolds Price Prize in Fiction. Awards for her work include first place in The Ledge Magazine’s fiction contest and Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, and Best of the Web nominations.www.taramasih.com

Jim Harrington: Hi, Tara, and thank you for agreeing to be a part of The Best Small Fictions. What is the purpose/goal of this effort?

Tara Masih: The purpose is to provide a forum for writers who are producing extremely well-wrought small fictions, a forum that recognizes their work at the end of the year. Most of the other genres have this formal recognition, but the short-short story does not. There is of course the venerable Wigleaf Top 50 list, and your own list that appears during short story month, but these lists appear online. We wanted to resuscitate the print series Robert Oberfirst published in 1952–1960, his Anthology of Best Short Short Stories. Enough small fictions were produced at that time to command a yearly volume. Our word count limit is a bit smaller than his, and we have a new title, but Queen’s Ferry Press and I believe enough quality work is being published again to merit an annual anthology. Consider this a contemporary nod to an old era when the short-short thrived.

JH: There have been flash fiction anthologies published before this—the Sudden Fiction series comes to mind. How will this anthology be different?

TM: And the Flash Fiction series. Both groundbreaking anthology series that are highly respected. Each series has its own criteria for inclusion and covers a broader spectrum over a number of years. Ours will be different in that it will be briefer, more inclusive of experimentation and different word lengths, and have the barometer of being the best work within a certain year. I think the confines of the calendar year will lead to a different feel. I’ll be curious to see if any specific topics keep coming up that reflect world headlines. We’re also opening it up internationally, so readers in the States will get a taste of what is being published outside its borders, and vice versa.

JH: The guidelines mention “hybrid fiction” and “experimental form.” Editors and publishers may have different definitions for these terms. Can you tell us a little more about what you’re looking for, as regards hybrid and experimental stories?

TM: I welcome the different definitions of hybrid and experimentation. I’d rather leave it up to the editors to decide what they want to send in. Basically, if it’s small and contains elements of a fictional story, I don’t care what form it comes in. Graphic stories can be submitted, too, as long as there is text.

JH: Do you have an idea of how many stories will be in the final version?

TM: Since this is the first year, I hesitate to give a firm number. We have a goal, and we’ll see if we can reach it. But it will depend on submissions and the quality we receive. We won’t be making compromises to “fill” the book. We’ll only publish what the guest editor feels is the best of the year. We anticipate that it will be a slim, affordable book, densely packed with excellent, eclectic stories.

JH: Robert Olen Butler is selecting the winners from the finalists. How exciting is that?

TM: More than exciting. I can’t tell you what this means to both me and the press. It shows his character, that he’s willing to take time off from writing his latest novel to do this for a small press because he believes in the project and the idea of it. He and I work well together, too, so he was our first choice for guest editor, and we’re honored he accepted. He has a great feel for story and it will be fun for me to see what he eventually chooses as “The Best.”

JH: What else would you like our readers to know about this project?

TM: That this project is for the writers who voluntarily spill their thoughts and feelings on paper, in a small space, then send it out and hope it gets accepted, into a world that doesn’t completely value its worth yet. It’s a tough process and takes its toll. This project I hope will give the writers who are commended the recognition they deserve and a small boost to keep writing, and the editors who publish them the satisfaction that they chose well. Editors often go unnoticed. This gives them some accolades, too. We’ll make sure the publishers of the stories are acknowledged in some way.

JM: Thank you, Tara. This sounds like an exciting project, and I look forward to reading the finished product. You can learn more about The Best Small Fictions on the Queen’s Ferry Press website.

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jimharrington2

Jim Harrington began writing fiction in 2007 and has agonized over the form ever since. His stories have appeared in Every Day Fiction, Liquid Imagination, Ink Sweat and Tears, Near to the Knuckle, Flashes in the Dark, and others. He serves as the Managing Editor for Flash Fiction Chronicles. Jim’s Six Questions For . . . blog provides editors and publishers a place to “tell it like it is.” You can read more of his stories at http://jpharrington.blogspot.com.

The Best Small Fictions of 2015, Edited by Tara L. Masih and Guest Edited by Robert Olen Butler

Queen’s Ferry Press set to release a new anthology of the best short hybrid fiction in October, 2015.

Plano, TX, November 17, 2014—Queen’s Ferry Press is pleased to announce the debut of the first contemporary anthology to compile the best short hybrid fiction in a calendar year. To date, there is no annual print recognition of the best examples of this exciting new work appearing in literary journals and story collections from throughout the world. With this new annual, we seek to promote the seasoned writer as well as the new writer in a compilation that will reveal the depth of literary fiction and highlight historical trends as they occur due to world events and human considerations. The Best Small Fictions is a brief, affordable, yet powerful reader that will supplement instructors’ current classroom anthologies and texts and will offer writers and readers examples of what their contemporaries are achieving worldwide.

Notifications will be made in late spring, ahead of an October 2015 release date.

The press is proud to announce award-winning editor Tara L. Masih as Series Editor and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert Olen Butler as this year’s Guest Editor.

Interested editors should download the full nomination guidelines.

About the Editors:

Tara L. Masih
Tara L. Masih, Photo Credit: Michael Gilligan

Tara L. Masih has won multiple book awards as editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays. Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories was a National Best Books Award finalist. Her flash has been anthologized in Word of Mouth, Brevity & Echo, BITE, and Flash Fiction Funny; was featured in Fiction Writer’s Review for National Short Story Month; and was a finalist for the Reynolds Price Prize in Fiction. Awards for her work include first place in The Ledge Magazine’s fiction contest and Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, and Best of the Web nominations. www.taramasih.com

Robert Olen Butler
Robert Olen Butler, Photo Credit: Kelly Lee Butler

Robert Olen Butler has published sixteen novels and six volumes of short stories, one of which, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and three of which—Severence,Intercourse, and Weegee Stories—are comprised entirely of small fictions (225 in all). He has also published a volume of his lectures on the creative process, From Where You Dream. He was the 2013 recipient of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.

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Media Contact: Kevin Wehmueller, Marketing & Publicity

kwehmueller@queensferrypress.com