NewsFlash – Vol. 6 # 19

October 9, 2014 in #AmWriting, Book Launch, Community News, Contests, News Flash by JM Strother


When it rains, it pours. This week we have more news than you can shake a stick at. Enough cliches yet? Well, let’s get cracking.

Emma Newman will be a Guest of Honor at this year’s BristolCon, one of the biggest SF&F conventions in the UK. Emma is a long time member of the #FridayFlash community and author of the excellent Split Worlds Series and co-host of the “Tea and Jeopardy” podcast, along with her husband, Peter. Other Guests of Honor are fellow author Jon Courtenay Grimwood, and artist Julian Quaye. The con will be held in the DoubleTree Hotel in Bristol on October 25th. Memberships are £25. Peter Newman will also be a guest and panelist. He has posted his schedule here. Oh that I were in Bristol.

On September 29th Alan Baxter appeared on Channel 31’s “Behind the Words” television show. Channel 31 is a local community television station in Melbourne. The show features interviews and sound bites with writers and publishers attending the Continuum Convention earlier this year. Through the magic of the Internet you can see the show in it’s entirety here. The entire episode, which runs 24 minutes, is worth watching, but if you want to cut to the chase Alan’s bit starts at the seven minute mark. You know you’ve always wanted to see Alan in person, well this is the next best thing.

An article by Kyle Chayka on the Penguin-RandomHouse blog, Hazlitt, discussed the #AmWriting hashtag and resultant community created by Johanna Harness. While the article was less than flattering, if not downright mean spirited in nature, as Johanna says, there is no such thing as bad publicity. You can read the entire article here.

Editorial note: People pour their heats and souls into the books, stories, and articles the write. To belittle anyone for that effort is small-minded at best.

G. P. Ching was a panelist on the “Publishing In the Digital Age” panel at Archon38 in (actually near) St. Louis this past weekend. I was lucky enough to attend that session and have a summary chock full of good advice for writers up on my blog, Mad Utopia. It was a pure pleasure to finally get to meet Genevieve in person. By the way, if any of you are ever attending Archon please let me know. I’d love to meet you too.

April Brown announced the release of six, count ‘em – six, books last week. April has been very busy indeed. The titles include four cookbooks and two novels. They are:

Coffee, Tea, and Gluten Free: Desserts and Grains (in print only)
Coffee, Tea, and Gluten Free: Meats
(print only)
Coffee, Tea, and Gluten Free: Vegetables
(print only)
Coffee, Tea, and Gluten Free: The Cookbook (print and digital)
Trails 1: Trails Through the Fault Lines, (print and digital) and
Crosswinds: Past, Present and Future Combine (print and digital)

All six of the books are available from Amazon and Smashwords.

This is the last week you can enter the Halloween Humor and Horror Contest. All entries must be in by midnight, Saturday October 11th. The winner will be announced on Halloween. Good luck, everyone. May the best man, or woman, or android win.

Catherine Russell continues with her series on the darker side of fairy tales with a feature on Snow White. Be sure to drop by tomorrow (Friday) to give it a read.

Continue to amaze me, folks. You are wonderful.


NewsFlash – Vol. 6 # 15/16

September 16, 2014 in Book Launch, Community News, Contests, News Flash by JM Strother


David W. Robinson has an online launch party set to kick off on Saturday, September 27th for his newest release “A Killing In the Family,” published by Crooked Cat Publishing. You can join in the Facebook fun here. Congratulations on the new release, David.

Adam Byatt has a featured post at The Good Men Project website, titled “Why I Write.” Drop in and say “hey,” and share your thoughts with him.

Natalie Bowers’ blog, Story Scavenger, has a nice review of Dan Powell’s short fiction collection “Looking Out Of Broken Windows.” He says it’s “The sort of review all authors hope for.” The post also includes a link to another of his works, “Song of the Graffiti Head,” previously published on the UK flash fiction site, 1000 Words. Go read the nice things she says about Dan, and leave a few nice things for him yourself.

Thanks to some help from my friends, Susan Chambless on coding and Angie Capozello on graphics, the The Halloween Humor and Horror submission form is now live at Submittable. You may now officially enter your story for the #HHH contest. Just click on the sidebar button to be magically whisked away to it. When there, please read the submission guidelines as a few of them may have changed or have been clarified. Compliments on Angie’s graphic, which comes in two sizes for your blogging convenience. Isn’t it adorable? Feel free to add it to your posts, or as a badge on your blog. Thanks, Angie and Susan!

Cartoon FrankenstienCartoon Frankenstein.

Keep doing great things, folks.


Fall Is (Almost) In the Air

August 28, 2014 in Contests, Halloween, Submission Guidelines, Writing Fun by JM Strother

A blow up Frankenstein monster in a back yard.As summer begins to wind down our thoughts turn to autumn, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the arrival of autumn can only mean one thing – Halloween draws near.

Now if you think I’m jumping the gun just visit any nearby drugstore (I believe called Chemists in some parts of the world) and take a look at the Candy and Seasonal aisles.

OK, I’ve just lost half of you as you run out to the nearest pharmacy, but for those of you remaining, I want to let you know about our upcoming Halloween Writing Contest – Halloween Humor and Horror.

Halloween Humor and Horror will be a bit different from our previous contests in that it will be judged anonymously, the winner will receive $50US, to be paid via PayPal, Amazon gift card, money order or cashier’s check; whichever the winner prefers. We picked $50 as the prize as it reflects the pro rate of 5 cents a word for a 1000 word story. The winning story does not have to be 1000 words long, but will be compensated as if it is. In addition, the winning story will be published right here on FFDO on Halloween, which conveniently falls on a Friday.

Here’s how the contest works:

  • The contest begins on September 5th and will run through October 10th. That should give the judge(s) a few weeks to read the stories before choosing a winner.
  • Write a new original story of 1000 words or less with a Halloween appropriate theme. Sorry, no retreads. The story can be horror, paranormal, slice of life, or even humor, as long as it deals with typical Halloween tropes such as monsters (including the human variety), the supernatural, trick-or-treating, or even Halloween parties. Just remember, you are trying to make the judge think, “Now that’s a great Halloween story.”
  • Polish the story as best you can – spelling and grammar will matter.
  • Post your story to your blog as a regular #FridayFlash.
  • Add your story to the Collector.
  • Share it via your favorite social media with both the #FridayFlash and #HHH tags.
  • Submit your story for the contest no later than October 11th, via Submittable, sans any identifying personal information. Stories with author’s names or blog titles will not be considered. Upload the stories as either plain text(.txt), open text (.odt), or MS Word (.doc) format. Do not upload MS Word (.docx) files as they can be very problematic. Use Save As and change to the older format. Microsoft .docx files will not be considered.
  • Do not use fancy fonts or colors. The text must be back. Moderate use of bold and italics is acceptable. Please don’t hurt our judge’s eyes.
  • Members of the staff, judges, and their immediate families are not eligible to enter.
  • As always here at FFDO, there is no entry fee.
  • FFDO will be granted nonexclusive on-line rights and nonexclusive anthology rights, should we ever want to include the winning story in an anthology. That means you may place your winning story elsewhere, as long as it, too, has nonexclusive terms.

Please note, the Submittable site still needs to be set up, so you can’t enter your submission yet, but you can still post those stories. We will let you know when the submissions site is ready to go.

While you may only enter one story into the contest, you can write as many #HHH stories as you like in the run up to the deadline, post them on your blog, and enter them in the Collector. Just be sure to submit your best via Submittable on or before the deadline.

If you are interested in being a judge please let me know.

Have fun with this, folks. Happy Halloween. Now, pass the candy please.

NewsFlash – Vol. 6 #12/13

August 26, 2014 in Challenge, Contests, eBooks, Proofs by JM Strother


We sort of missed last week’s News Flash, so this one should serve double duty and keep our issue numbers intact. Sorry for any confusion.

We found this via C. M. BrownParanormal Cravings has posted a Dangerous Hero(ine) Challenge to read 10 books in either Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy genres featuring a dangerous hero as either a main or supporting character. While it is a reading, not a writing event, we tought it sounded like fun. The challenge runs from August 1st 2014 to December 31st. Visit the Dangerous Hero Challenge sign up page for the rules. Thanks for the tip, Carolyn.

Mathew Williams announced that he has received the proof for his Sci-Fi anthology, Flash Forward. The anthology is a collection of 19 short Sci-Fi stories mostly dating from April of 2013. A few older and more recent stories are also included. The book will run at 140 pages, and around 51,000 words. You can read more of his news on his blog Stories by Williams here. We look forward to its release.

Estrella Azul forwarded several opportunities for writers from The Lascaux Review.

The Lascaux Prize in Poetry contest is presently open for submissions. The winner receives $1,000 and publication in The Lascaux Review. Poets may enter more than once, and as many as five poems may be submitted per entry. Note: There is a $10 entry fee. The deadline is September 23rd. Visit for more information.

The Christine E. Eldin Memorial Fellowship is also an inaugural contest intended for unpublished middle-grade fiction writers. It opens on September 1st, and features a $1,000 prize. Again, there is a $10 submission fee. Christine E. Eldin Memorial Fellowship will open for submissions 1 September. A prize of $1,000 will be awarded to an unpublished middle-grade fiction writer whose work-in-progress reveals potential for a successful writing career. Visit for details and guidelines.

And the Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction opens October 1st. Worth note to members of Friday Flash, the stores may be previously published. They must not exceed 10,000 words. The winner receives $1,000 and publication in The Lascaux Review. Visit for more information. The deadline is December 31st.

Debra Easterling is thrilled to announced the release of her latest ebook, “MOSHE’S WAR.” She gives us this brief synopsis:

The novel is about a Nazi hunter, 22 years after WWII, who is called out of retirement to hunt for the Demon of the Belzec Concentration Camp, whom they believe may be killing again. Ilsa, Moshe’s new landlady, is inexplicably drawn to the hunter, although she hides a secret that her German step-brother was once a Nazi guard. Fearing Moshe will soon be after her brother, she must now choose between protecting him or surrender him to the man she loves. As her brother hitchhikes across the country to return home, she’s unable to warn him. Every mile he travels, brings him closer to a man who could destroy him. As Ilsa and Moshe struggle with their faith and their attraction to each other, Moshe’s true prey, Horst Bress, a vile, freak of a prison guard, has decided to turn the tables on the famed Nazi hunter, and anyone close to him is fair game.

Cover of Moshe's War

Sounds exciting. It is now available via Amazon. Best of luck with the release, Debra. And, I might add, that’s a very nice cover.

Teaser Tuesday — Drop by FFDO on Thursday to read about our upcoming Halloween Contest. 

Congratulations to Debra and Mathew, and good luck to anyone entering the contests or participating in the challenge.


Fourth Anniversary Blog Hop

May 23, 2013 in Blog Tour / Blog Hop, Celebration, Contests by JM Strother

Anniversaries are important events around the world for individuals, organizations, even nations. They mark important dates for almost any imaginable occasion. It just so happens that May 29th will mark a significant anniversary for us here at FFDO. Four years ago to the day, on May 29, 2009, #FridayFlash was born. Back in the early days there were but a handful of participants, no website, no Collector, NewsFlash, nor News Hound. Just a bunch of curious writers trying to figure out the whole Twitter thing.

Now, four years later, we have grown into quite an international community. We are not only on Twitter each and every week with the #FridayFlash hashtag (or #fridayflash, if you prefer), but have a strong presence on Facebook and Google Plus. Not to mention this website, home of the aforementioned Collector, NewsFlash, and NewsHound, and our weekly Thursday Writing articles, as well as two published collections of the best of Friday Flash from the community at large. All in all, not bad for four years of effort.

Why do we do this?

The entire premise of #FridayFlash is to give writers a venue in the social media realm to find their voice, and perchance their audience. It is not as much of a pipe dream as it may seem. Several Friday Flash authors have gone on to win, place, or show in major awards, been published – both traditionally, and via self-publishing – and develop a loyal following. While we cannot claim credit for their success, we are proud to have been part of their writing journey. Four years on, our goal remains the same, to help you find your own way toward your writing goals, be they professional or not.

So, to mark our 4 Year Anniversary, and to help celebrate Short Story Month and Flash-Fiction Day, we are sponsoring a blog hop. To enter in on the fun simply follow these 4 simple guidelines:

  • Write a story of four-hundred words or less that deals with a fourth year anniversary. It can be any kind of anniversary – four years of marriage, cancer survival, landfall on a new planet, survival as a zombie – the possibilities are fairly limitless. (While we picked 400 for obvious reasons, we won’t be sticklers.)
  • Download the 4 Year Anniversary blog hop badge, designed by our own Angie Capozello.
  • Post your story, along with the badge and a link back to this post on your own blog.
  • Enter your story details in our new blog hop Collector, brought to you by our technical guru, Tim VanSant.

The hop begins now, as this post goes live and will run thru the end of the month, at which time the blog hop Collector will be closed to further entries. Your story does not have to be a Friday Flash, you can post it any day from now until closing. If you do use it as a #FridayFlash remember to also add it to the standard Collector so it will show up in the weekly listings. Above all, have fun with this.

To add to the excitement we will offer two prizes, one for writers, and one for readers.

For participating bloggers we will choose one of you randomly from the entries in the blog hop Collector to receive a Duotrope 1-year gift membership. It is our hope that this prize will be useful to you in finding the right market for your various writing projects over the coming year. If it does prove useful to you, we’d love to hear about it.

For those of you who take the time to visit the various blogs and comment on the stories, we will choose one blog at random and then one comment at random from that blog post (spam and troll comments as well as auto link backs excluded) and send you a $20 (or equivalent) gift certificate from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository or Better World Books (your choice). We believe the BD and BWB options may be more appealing to some of our international readers.

Out of curiosity: have you ever written a piece of fiction based on a real world anniversary in the past? Did anyone recognize it for what it commemorated? If so, how was it received? While there are no prizes, we’d love for you to share any such anecdotes in the comments below.

Sign up here:

The collector is now closed

Visit these participants:

Home Again by Elise

Greenspirits by Samantha Redstreake Geary

The Ghost of Uncle Bud by Lee-Ann Khoh

Death Day by Beverly Fox

One Good Friend by Janet Aldrich

The Setting Sun by JM Strother

Galactic Traveler by L.G. Keltner

‘Little Miss Know-All’ by Natalie Wood

King-sized Bed by Deanna Schrayer

The Librarian by Angie C.

Both the Future and the Past are Unwritten by Katherine Hajer

Four Years by Catherine Russell

How often…? by Estrella Azul

STARDATE 3025 by Helen A. Howell

Sweet Potato Revolution by John Wiswell

When you gotta go… by KjM

Fourth Birthday Parade by Sonia Lal

Quaternary Life by Marc Nash

The Revenge Engine by Tony Noland


Something Happened Four Years Ago by Tim VanSant

Thanks to all our Friday Flash family.

Contest Wrap Up

November 11, 2011 in Community News, Contests by JM Strother

Time to put the final wraps on the Name That Horror Movie Contest. Out of the ten stories officially entered only four had their titles guessed correctly. Congratulations to Don, Chris, Tim, and Deanna for correctly working out the puzzle of the prose. We are waving the frist three correct part of the rules and awarding prizes to all four of our intrepid readers. Please contact me via Twitter or Facebook direct message, or via email to indicate which of the prizes you prefer. I will be contacting the winning authors to arrange delivery of their prizes.

Below is the complete list of movies along with their hidden titles. I have to admit, I was only able to guess one. Thank you all for playing along. I hope you had as much fun with this as I did. ~jon

A Time to Talk, by Chris Gladis
movie: Manos, the Hands of Fate
No correct guesses

Breaking Olivia, by Lisa McCourt Hollar
movie: Lady In A Cage
No correct guesses

Destroying the Citadel: Part 2, by Harry Tennison
movie: The Hills Have Eyes
Ding! Congrats to Donald Conrad

Forbidden, by Kari Fay
movie: The Ring
Ding! Congrats to Chris Gladis

La Cage, by Timothy Collard
movie: Angel Heart
No correct guesses

Streetlights, Donald Conrad
movie: Last House on the Left
Ding! Congrats to Tim Collard

The Children of Cinema Lane, by John Wiswell
movie: The Monster Squad
No correct guesses

The Storm, by Ann Marie Gamble
movie: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Ding! Congrats to Deanna Schayer

The Rose Slasher, by Deanna Schrayer
movie = Dawn of the Dead
No correct guesses

News Flash – Vol.3 #23

November 8, 2011 in Community News, Contests, News Flash by Estrella Azul

Jodi MacArthur’s flash, “Free Mercury”, was featured over at Beat to a Pulp. She’s been a busy girl and also has a piece up, “Black, White and Red All Over”, at In Between Altered States. Congrats on both accounts, Jodi!

Helen Howell had a drabble for Halloween, “The trick and the treat”, published in the e-zine The Were-Traveler. Congratulations, Helen!


I (Estrella Azul) will be performing on someone else’s Stage, guest posting on Vie Hebdomadaires this week. My first guest post is up now, and you will be able to find the rest of my posts as well if you click right here.


Halloween Writing and Reading Contest  Winners Announcement

1st Place goes to The Children of Cinema Lane, by John Wiswell
2nd Place goes to Streetlights, by Donald Conrad, and
3rd Place goes to Forbidden, by Kari Fay

Congratulations to all the winners!

Thank you all for participating. This was a fun contest, both to organize and to participate in as a reader. We at FFDO hope all the writes enjoyed the challenge as much as we did and hope to see all of you, and more, in our next contest. ~ Jon


This week, the Friday Flash Report will be up on Wednesday, so check back for that tomorrow – it will include more details on the Halloween contest as well.


~ Estrella Azul


Keep the good news coming! You can send in your news items concerning the Friday Flash community to Estrella at or by contacting her on Facebook or Twitter.

The #FridayFlash Report – Vol 3 Number 22

October 31, 2011 in Contests, FridayFlash Report by JM Strother

We had 51 stories this week including 4 debuts and 9 entries in our Name That Horror Movie Contest. On the debut front, please welcome Drew Payne, Veronica Kegel-Giglio, Ann Marie Gamble, and Graham Peter to the #FridayFlash community. Then be sure to read the contest entries and vote for your favorites over at this link. The contest entries are followed by NTHM in the listing to make them easier to find. And remember, readers can win too by guessing the right movie titles. Good luck! ~jon

Read the rest of this entry →

News Flash – Vol.3 #21

October 25, 2011 in Community News, Contests, News Flash by Estrella Azul

The Bristol Festival of Literature has posted one of Deb Rickard’s #FridayFlash stories, “A glimmer of hope”, on their site.

As a part of Deborah B’s Blog Briefs: On Burnout, Alan Baxter answers the question: What strategies do you recommend to writers & artists for creative exhaustion?

Tony Noland’s #FridayFlash story this week, “Pumpkin Brains, Forever”, appeared over at the #Amwriting.Org website last Friday.

Congrats to all!


Join in the launch party of Eighty Nine on Facebook and find out all about this new Literary Mix Tapes collection. You can buy Eighty Nine on by clicking here; or from by clicking here.

Jon Strother’s  third and final Name That Horror Movie Contest example story is 36 and Holding. Go see if you can spot the horror movie title embedded in his story somewhere.

We hope to see you all participate in the Name That Horror Movie Contest this coming Friday. All you need to do is drop by the official contest announcement and read the guidelines, some suggestions, then submit your story on October 28th via the  Halloween Contest Entry page where you can access the contest entry from. Fill in the details regarding your story. Then click Enter the Contest to join in the fun.

~ Estrella Azul


Keep the good news coming! You can send in your news items concerning the Friday Flash community to Estrella at or by contacting her on Facebook or Twitter.

The #FridayFlash Report – Vol 3 Number 21

October 24, 2011 in Contests, FridayFlash Report by JM Strother

This week we had 50 stories in the Collector including 2 debuts. Please welcome Joanne Clancy and Neshamah to the #FridayFlash community. If your story is not in the listing below please visit the fore mentioned Collector and add the details. We’ll include it in next week’s Report.

I hope you all have been researching horror movie titles and are polishing off some great stories for the Name That Horror Movie Contest. Be sure to enter your story in the official entry form if you want to be considered for the prizes. I won’t have one in the official contest, since I have access to the entry from tables, but I will be working up something to play along with the theme. I hope you all have great fun with it. Remember, don’t eat too much candy. I know from experience, it’s not a good idea. :o
~jon Read the rest of this entry →