Flash fiction: stories under 500 words. IRS code published here: 5368 pages, which at 300 words/page is 1,610,400 words. Should the writers of the IRS tax code use the same word limit as flash fiction as well before they self- publish it? Okay, let’s be generous. Let give them the word limit a of novel. 100,000 words?

Dear writer,

A word about submissions to ours or any other literary magazine.

The works coming to us over the transom are generally either good or very good. The problem, however, is that good is the new average, and, therefore, is not enough. You must be excellent.

Sue O’Neill and Mark Budman nominated the following stories published by Vestal Review in 2015 for the Pushcart prize:

  • Print Issue 46: “Momentum” by Pamela Wolfson;
  • Print Issue 46: “If Visiting Rome is Out of the Question” by Rachel Farrell;
  • Print Issue 46: “How Are You?” by Nancy Ludmerer.

Good luck to all nominees.

Susan O’Neill and I nominated the following stories published by Vestal Review in 2014 for the Pushcart Prize:

Print Issue 44: “A Lover,” by A. W. Marshall

Print Issue 42: “Bed Bugs,” by Abbie Copeland

Congratulations, Andrew and Abbie.

In a quote often misattributed to Mark Twain, the 17th-century French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal said, “I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter.” As applied to flash fiction writers, the masters of compressed work, that probably means we have too much time on our hands. Our letters/stories are short (but not necessarily sweet) and to the point. We don’t mince words. We are looking for redundancies, imperfections and dead waste that get in the way, and cut them off like a surgeon or a sculptor.

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