100 x 100

I submitted a story of mine, “How Tony lost it and kept it off, mostly,” to the 100 x 100 call for submissions at Marco Polo Arts Magazine the other day. I saw the call for submissions in one of the Poets and Writers online forums. The magazine is looking for 100 micro fiction stories of exactly 100 words.

My piece was something I’d been fooling around with for a few weeks. It came to 113 words when I first wrote it, and though that seemed grossly insufficient at the time, I couldn’t think of how I could develop it that didn’t feel like merely padding. So I had this sketch, an idea for a plot, and then I came upon the call for submissions and realized that my 113-word effort could probably be trimmed and refined to qualify. And that’s what I did.

You’re probably saying to yourself right now, “But, Paul, you’ve spoken here many times of your reservation about flash fiction. How can you now be committing micro fiction and still respect yourself?” Right, how can I? I’m not sure. At the suggestion of a friend, let’s call her Swan, I’ve been reading more flash, and I admit that I can see how such pieces work as stories because they can allow so much further development in the reader’s mind. They work by implication. Thus I have been tentatively dipping a toe in the waters.

So away went my story over the weekend. The call ends in June; it may be a long time before I have a response, but I won’t be holding my breath. There’s plenty of other work to be done in my little writing universe. Still, it’s gratifying whenever I send something off, and I’ll feel buoyed by this for a while.

The editor asked for a query email before sending the submission. I’ve seen this requirement occasionally for short stories, but I’m not sure what its purpose is. It’s not as though I’m asking for the commitment of reading an entire novel; my query was longer than the whole story I wanted to send! The brief information I gave in my email hardly seemed sufficient material for screening a submission, yet I got a welcoming response within an hour of sending the email.

Anyway, they’re looking for 100 stories, so if you have something close to 100 words, you might consider getting the word count exact and submitting.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts, short stories

3 Comments on “100 x 100”

  1. Averil Dean Says:

    Honestly, I was intrigued by this until I got to the point of the query. I can barely scrape together a query for a novel, what on earth would I say about a piece of flash fiction? What did you say?

  2. Paul Lamb Says:

    I said I thought I might have something for them that fit their guidelines. And then I listed some of the places I was published. That was it.

    Go for it!

  3. Laura Says:

    The query thing is a little puzzling, but I suppose they have their reasons. I actually like the constraint of making the story exactly 100 words — oddly enough, when such specific limits are placed on me, I tend to respond with more creativity. Good luck and I hope you get an acceptance soon!


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