“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.
- 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.