My story “Cowtown,” a flash piece (1,000 words) that mixes comedy, horror, and a dash of sci-fi, was recently published over at The Arcanist. The story is free to read on The Arcanist’s website; just click the cow below to check it out.
A little more about the publisher. The Arcanist is a new market that publishes sci-fi and fantasy, but their definitions of those two genres are broad enough to include a bit of horror, as evidenced by my story. They’ve really put their best foot forward, with a good-looking website, a solid team of editors, clear submission guidelines, and a pay-rate of $50.00 a story, which works out to .05/word or more for flash fiction. That all adds up to a market you should check out if you write speculative flash fiction. Here’s the submission guidelines.
So, a little about “Cowtown.” This is another story that began life as part of a one-hour flash fiction challenge. I’ve participated in a bunch of these, first at the Shock Totem forums and now with a private Facebook writing group. The idea is pretty simple: someone posts a prompt, usually a photo, and then you have one-hour to write a flash piece of no more than 1,000 words. The authors then vote on the stories, and the winner gets to post the prompt on the next go-around. Anyway, these contests have been very good for me, and I’ve published eighteen stories that began life in a one-hour writing blitz. A number of those stories I later expanded, sometimes considerably, but many I simply cleaned up and sent out in more-or-less in their original form. “Cowtown” is one of the latter, and I’m glad the editors over at The Arcanist dug it enough to publish it.