Archive for the WRITING TOOLS AND TIPS Category

Submission opportunities

Posted in OPPORTUNITIES, WRITING TOOLS AND TIPS on September 14, 2016 by Richard Holt

deskWriters of microfiction have never had it so good for opportunities to get their work ‘out there’. Apart from the many viable self-publishing options there are numerous calls for submissions for both publications and competitions.

Some writers find the inevitable ‘rejection’ (it’s an inaccurate description) of submitting work dis-heartening. But every submission is someone else who will read the writers work. Every submission leaves a smudge on the literary landscape.And every now and then a work will resonate and its author will feel the satisfaction of short-listing, selection or more.

But success is not why writers should submit their work. They should do so because the process will force them to think like a reader and will require them to polish their work so it is the best it can be. And it will legitimise, in a small way, the claim that writers want to make, that writing is ‘what they do’.

The best way to keep track of opportunities is to subscribe to groups and lists. I’d recommend membership of your local Writers Centre, and subscription to Aerogramme Writers’ Studio and Submittable’s Submishmash as great starting points.

The other opportunity, which flash writers don’t always appreciate, is that they write in a format that is ideal for performance. So after shooting off a few stories to prizes and publications I’d recommend checking out spoken word open mic events. Writers who write because they want others to read, or hear, what they have to say, really have no excuse.

Finding Stories

Posted in FLASHING THE SQUARE, NEWS & INFORMATION, WRITING TOOLS AND TIPS with tags , , , , , on March 19, 2014 by Richard Holt

Writing colleague and friend, Ann Bolch, has just published an interview she conducted that explored my ‘story a day’ project, ‘Small Stories About Love‘. It’s full of timely information given the Flashing the Square microfiction competition, which is currently open for entries. You can watch the interview at Ann’s blog A Story to Tell. Thanks to Ann’s fantastic editing skills I actually make a fair bit of sense. Thanks Ann.

Interview / microfiction insights

Posted in NEWS & INFORMATION, WRITING TOOLS AND TIPS on July 29, 2013 by Richard Holt

Spineless Wonders have just published an interview with me regarding my writing process and my contributions to their excellent collection, Stoned Crows and other Australian Icons. You can check it out at Responses explore subjects including finding inspiration, beginnings and endings, and overcoming the inevitable writing ‘blocks’.

A new story and a format somewhere between microfiction and verse

Posted in NEWS & INFORMATION, stories, WRITING TOOLS AND TIPS with tags , , , on April 19, 2013 by Richard Holt

I’ve just published a new story, Seven, on It’s an example of a format I’ve played with a lot in recent months. If I had to call these stories something I guess it might be 36ers, because each story is composed of six six-word lines. I developed the format after considering the classic six word microfiction example attributed to Ernest Hemingway. I’ve never found the six word format very satisfying but wanted to explode it just enough that it would work for me. Six by six is what I finished up with. What I like most about this format is that, regardless of the number of syllables or where the emphases fall, line by line, they tend to resolve a pleasing meter of their own and read very much as poetry.

A few quotes for when things get long-winded

Posted in WRITING TOOLS AND TIPS with tags , , on March 21, 2013 by Richard Holt

Very short fiction celebrates the concise. Following, gleaned from a number of internet quotation archives, is what a range of writers and commentators have had to say on brevity.

It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. ~Robert Southey

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. ~Thomas Jefferson

I have made this [letter] longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. ~Blaise Pascal, Lettres Provinciales, 1657, translated from French

That writer does the most, who gives his reader the most knowledge, and takes from him the least time. ~Charles Caleb Colton

If any man will draw up his case, and put his name at the foot of the first page, I will give him an immediate reply. Where he compels me to turn over the sheet, he must wait my leisure. ~Lord Sandwich

If you can’t write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don’t have a clear idea. ~David Belasco

It wasn’t by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. ~ Ernest Hemingway

I will be so brief I have already finished. ~ Salvador Dali

Brevity is the soul of wit. ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Brevity is the soul of lingerie. ~Dorothy Parker

20 things I’ve learned about writing microfiction

Posted in WRITING TOOLS AND TIPS with tags , , on March 13, 2013 by Richard Holt

20 things I’ve learned about writing microfiction is a document created for workshops for microfiction writers. It represents some of the most important lessons I have learned as a writer of microfiction.