flashquake GUIDELINES

Volume 7 Issue 1
Fall 2007
ISSN: 1546–3540



About flashquake

flashquake is an independent, quarterly, web-based publication that focuses on works of flash fiction, flash nonfiction (memoirs, essays, creative nonfiction, humor) and short poetry.

flashquake is a quality paying venue for literary writers, and we award stipends to all chosen contributors in each category. We reserve the right to withhold some or all of the stipends to be awarded depending on the quality of the work submitted.

flashquake defines "flash" as prose (fiction, nonfiction, or prose poetry) of less than 1000 words in length. However, we admire brevity and will receive shorter works favorably. For poetry, our maximum limit is 35 lines per poem. We have no specific guidelines for prose poetry; it must be under our 1000 word limit.

We accept submissions in each of four categories:

We're open to almost any type of writing within those categories. Specifically, we're looking for original work with fresh ideas and strong, clean, concise writing. We will consider reprints of previously published work, as long as the author has retained all rights. We want to see pieces that readers will think about after they've finished reading them.

NOTE: We would prefer not to see romance stories, work with excessive gore or violence, "goth" vampire tales, hard-core science fiction, rhyming poetry (unless you're skillful enough to effectively balance rhyming and meter and still convey something meaningful) or work of a religious nature.

flashquake seeks the following permissions from its authors and artists:

River Road Studios is the parent company of flashquake.org and retains the copyright on the publication as a whole (name, design, configuration, etc.). Individual artists retain the rights to their own work.


We accept electronic submissions ONLY during the reading periods specified below. If you send work during the months we do not read (February, May, August, or November), it will be returned unread.

Fall Issue - to be published September 1 — The beginning of our publishing year

Winter Issue — to be published December 1

Spring Issue - to be published March 1

Summer Issue - to be published June 1



We only accept plain text enclosed in an e-mail message. We do not accept hard copy submissions.

PROOF YOUR WORK THOROUGHLY! Typographical and grammatical errors distract the reader. Such errors may disqualify your submission, and will certainly make a less than favorable impression on our editors. WE MAY INSTANTLY REJECT ANY SUBMISSION CONTAINING MULTIPLE SPELLING OR GRAMMAR ERRORS. Please make sure you provide all of the information required. Failure to do so wastes both our time and yours.

We do accept simultaneous submissions. Please be sure to tell us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.


We do not accept multiple submissions. Submissions are restricted to one piece of work per author/artist in any single category per reading period. This means that one writer could send us one short story, one memoir and one poetry submission (of up to three poems) in the same reading period, and that we would consider all three submissions. However, if one writer sent us two short stories, we would only accept the first one received.

Further, if your submission is rejected or withdrawn, you may not resubmit it, or any other work in the same category until the next reading period.

If you are new to electronic submissions, please read our Notes on Preparing Your Work.

Make sure that you include the following information in your submission:

Paste your submission into a PLAIN TEXT e-mail message addressed to submit@flashquake.org.

We Will NOT Open Attachments to E-Mail!

Label your message with the category in which you're submitting and the title of your work (e.g., Fiction Submission: My Story Title).

Be sure to use a standard font, such as Courier, and omit "smart quotes" and other specialized punctuation. Do NOT cut-and-paste from your word processing program into your e-mail message. Doing can garble your work and often produces strange symbols that detract from the editors' impressions of your work.

Separate your paragraphs with a blank line. Indicate italics by inserting underscores around the passage to be italicized.

Check and double-check your message before hitting the Send key.


We will send you acknowledgement of your submission when it is forwarded to our editors. If you do not receive an acknowledgement from us within two weeks of submitting, then it is likely we did not receive it. If you have one of those annoying e-mail filters that requires the sender to register before their mail will be delivered, you can rest assured that you will NOT hear from us.

Writers whose work is not selected for publication will be notified via e-mail about the status of their submissions within one week before the publication date, or sooner if possible.

flashquake uses a two-stage reviewing process. Our editors are working in three teams of two editors each. Each submission is assigned to one of these teams. If one editor votes "yes" or both editors vote "maybe," the submission will advance to be reviewed by the other four editors.

When we notify you about our decision on your submission, we provide feedback from our reviewers (comments from 2-6 editors) about work considered so that writers will know why we've accepted or rejected a particular piece. These are not in-depth critiques, but subjective comments from our editors and may not be positive in nature. The comments returned from our editors are unvarnished and have offended some who receive them.

Reviewers' comments about the work will automatically be forwarded along with your notification. The majority of feedback we've received about supplying our editors' comments has been overwhelmingly positive. However, if you are apprehensive about receiving honest comments about your work, please indicate in your submission that you would prefer not to see the comments.


Submissions in each writing category will be judged by our editors, whose decisions are final. All published authors will receive payments ranging from $5 - $25, which will accompany the contributor's CD copy of the issue, within two weeks of publication (delivery to non-U.S. contributors may require longer than two weeks). The actual amount to be paid will be decided by our editors' ranking of the work. All authors and artists whose work is accepted for publication will receive a CD version of the issue in which their work was published.