Interview With A Goddess Of Flash

Old book bindings at the Merton College library.Image via Wikipedia

I am a flash fiction addict, and I’m not the only one. My favorite thing to receive in my mailbox every day is a tasty shot of flash fiction from Flashshot. Not only am I an avid reader, I’m also a Flashshooter. It is a fine publication, and in this busy life, those little bursts of fiction often stimulate conversation and occasionally, the Elusive Muse. The experience of submitting work has always been pleasant, due in no small part to Esther Schrader, editor-in-chief of Flashshot.

I wanted to know a little bit more about this Goddess of Flash Fiction, and she graciously agreed to participate in an informal interview. She doesn’t fit the picture of an old, grizzled editor, grumpy and gruff. Read for yourself…

  • 1. How did your editorship for Flashshot come about? GW Thomas began Flashshot in late 2002, as a one-person operation. He persuaded Bill Dougherty to take over the editing after the first year, and during the second year, he asked me to do it. I’ve been editing Flashshot for over four years now, and submitting my own stories since early 2003.2. What is your favorite thing about editing for FS? Corresponding with old friends, meeting writers from all over the world, and helping newbies to get started.
    3. What type of story are you totally sick of reading? Aimless ones. A good story should have beginning, middle, and (usually) snappy or surprise ending. Some writers send vignettes, which really don’t fit our Guidelines.

    4. What are the most important elements of a Flashshot? See #3 & #6. Also, no more than 100 words!
    5. Where do you see the future of flash fiction? Is it a “flash-in-the-pan”, or do you think flash fiction has staying power? Flash fiction has been around for a very long time, and I can’t imagine that it would ever fade away.

    6. How do you think flash fiction fits into the literary world? In the introduction to Flashshot: Year Two, I said: A Flashshot is to a short story what haiku is to a poem: succinct, descriptive, and packed with emotion. I believe flash fiction fills a definite niche within short fiction.

    7. What is the most frustrating thing about editing Flashshots? People who don’t read Guidelines, and/or fail to proofread their work before submitting.

    8. What is your Favorite Flashshot Story Evah? There have been so many fine ones, that it would be unfair to pick just one. We have contests for that. Some stories take on a life of their own in the internet.
    9. Is it true GW Thomas was born of alien parents? ROTFLMAO!

    10. What are the future plans for Flashshot? GW Thomas has given me no indication that Flashshot will be ending or changing in any major way. A while back we did tighten up the word count to 100 words, because some writers were still pushing the limits, even at 110 words. As for me, I truly enjoy what I’m doing — including submitting my own Flashshot from time to time — and plan to continue as long as GW needs me.

    You can receive your daily dose of flash fiction by subscribing HERE. I’ve never received any spam or anything obnoxious, and they arrive like clockwork. You can unsubscribe at any time (but why would you want to?!) and if you feel particularly adventurous, submit your own nuggets.

    Thanks to Esther for taking the time to speak with me – she is a lady in every sense of the word, and GW Thomas is lucky to have her (although I notice she really didn’t answer #9 – heh!)

    Flash on, people. It’s great stuff.

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    8 thoughts on “Interview With A Goddess Of Flash

    1. lala, it will always be my First Love. 😉

      hi erica! i hope you check out Flashshot — not all of them score, but there are some real jewels. i find it one of the most challenging format in which to write, and i love a challenge!

      thanks for stopping by :)

    2. Submitting to Flashshot and conversing with Esther have always been a good experience. I was lucky enough to have a couple of pieces accepted, and would recommend the publication to everyone interested in writing or reading flash fiction as there are some absolute gems out there.

    3. Always been a fan of anything and everything that’s quick and easy – put it down to lack of patience and laziness! In any case, what’s great to see these days is that technological changes means anyone can easily write and publish their own stuff on their own website with no fuss. Long live fiction for all, by all!

    4. Thanks!

      Publishing has definitely been through some changes lately, and i feel like there’s still a great deal to come. It’s exciting, frustrating, and I believe a great time to be a reader. Problem is, even if you disagree with “gatekeepers” (ie agents, editors, etc.)you still can admit there’s a lot of chaff out there with the wheat, if you catch my drift. In the end, the readers will ultimately decide what’s good, what isn’t, and in what format they want their fiction.

      I can’t wait to find out.

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