March 19th & 20th – Best of Friday Flash stories and ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ by Jodi Cleghorn.
My reading of short fiction for the last two days has consisted of stories sent to me to edit, five pieces of flash fiction due to appear in the Best of Friday Flash anthology later this year, and a short story by one of the editorial masterminds behind the Chinese Whisperings anthologies, Jodie Cleghorn.
Having spent two days reading through work by emerging authors, I am amazed that so many of these people are unpublished outside small online journals and self-published collections. Reading these stories has proved, if there were any doubt, that there is a massive amount of talent out there, producing work of equal (and in most cases better) quality than a lot of what is seeing publication in paying markets. The breadth of genre in the Friday Flash anthology editing package was refreshing, while the opportunity to read a small body of work by my peers was gratifying.
Editing all of these pieces gave me something to think about in my own writing. All of the six writers provided me with examples of other ways to tell a story than the one I would perhaps have chosen. They say that good writers ready contemporaneous published work. I would extend this. If you want to improve your writing and get the chance, I recommend reading work in progress by your peers. The change of perspective can only help your approach to your own writing.
Check out the #fridayflash tag on twitter for great emergent writing. Or, if not on twitter, head over to the Mad Utopia #fridayflash report, a comprehensive weekly list of all the #fridayflash stories.