The Collection: Flash Fiction for the Flash Mind is a new collection of flash fiction and photography designed specifically for those who struggle to retain memory of longer narratives, but love to read. Editor Anne Anthony describes the experience she had with her own mother:
“Imagine then, her consternation when her memory began to fail her in her early seventies. During one visit, I noticed she had switched from reading novels to collections of short stories. When I asked about it, she laughed. ‘Well, I can remember the plot of a short story long enough to finish.’ Toward the end of her life, my mother had the ability to read, but could no longer retain the memory of the narrative.”
You can read more about the inspiration for this collection on their web site: http://anchalastudios.weebly.com/.
I love the idea of this collection and wanted to know more, so I asked Editor Anne Anthony and she kindly replied. See my interview with Anthony and submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory.
ANTHONY: This anthology is intended for adults with memory impairments which make remembering characters and plot lines difficult, if not impossible. The idea is that these flash fiction pieces accompanied by intriguing black and white photos are short enough to enjoy in the moment.
HOPKINSON: How/why was The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory originally started?
ANTHONY: After my mother died in February, I found myself repeating the same conversation with several friends who asked about her. I retold the same stories. How she loved to read. How by her example she taught her six children to love to read. How she stopped reading novels and turned to short story collections when her memory grew worse. How toward the end of her life she finally could no longer hold on to the narrative thread of those short stories and lost the pleasure she took in reading.
At one point, I heard my words as if I were telling them to myself. I heard them crisply and clear. Canadian writer, Charles de Lint speaks of “moments of synchronicity…” when we hear “the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.” The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory grew out of that moment of synchronicity. I wondered if my mother would have enjoyed reading flash fiction or would have enjoyed me reading flash fiction to her in her final years.
I ran the idea by my friend and writer, Cathleen O’ Connor, who immediately recognized the goodness of creating such a collection. We agreed to co-edit the anthology together.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
ANTHONY: We are looking for flash fiction stories (word count between 500 and 750) and black and white photographs that depict goodness in humanity. We’re asking writers and photographers to show us the strength of the human spirit when faced with hardship and setback. Show us people who are not superheroes or saints or angels. Show us strength in frailty. Give us upbeat plot twists. Give us images of hope and joy. Give us stories that thrill, stories of first love and undying love, stories of mysterious strangers arriving in town, and stories that make us laugh out loud. Create magical worlds where trees walk down Main Street or where cheeky children meet late at night to conspire against parents and teachers. Stories that make us want to read all the way to the end. Most of all, entertain us.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite journals?
ANTHONY: We’re fortunate today to have so many excellent literary magazines and journals. Although I keep discovering new ones every day, my favorites are three where I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with their editors: Brilliant Flash Fiction, Firewords Quarterly and Easy Street.
The publisher and editor of the online journal Brilliant Flash Fiction, Aurore Lebas (aka Dawn Lowe), aptly characterizes flash fiction as “all about having fun.” She periodically runs themed contests with no entry fees which always produce excellent pieces.
Editors Dan Burgess and Jen Scott from Firewords Quarterly produce hardcopy journals coupled with beautiful artwork. They also offer excellent advice to writers on their blog and in their podcasts. As a writer, I appreciate their literary citizenship.
Finally, Easy Street editor, Camille Griep, pulls together an online journal filled with fabulous poetry, fiction and non-fiction. But what makes this journal one of my favorites is Camille herself, the owner of a gracious, encouraging and giving heart, one that inspires writers daily.
HOPKINSON: Where can poets/writers send submissions?
ANTHONY: All submissions may be uploaded via our Submittable site:
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
ANTHONY: Questions may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEADLINE: September 30, 2017
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: flash fiction, black and white photography