As the main part of my commitment to help a fellow author keep her name in the limelight in honor of her recent release of Blue Moon House, I’m happy to share with you a guest post by Angelica Dawson:

At a recent writing convention, I was invited to be part of a panel about flash fiction. I participate in daily flash fiction contests, but I was pleased to learn a few things as well. I thought, for Tonya’s audience, I would summarize some of what we covered in the panel.

The most contentious question asked was: what is flash fiction. I had a pretty clear idea in my head. It was a short piece, with a concrete word count (exactly 100 words, 100-250 words, etc.) that was prompted by the person requesting the piece. That was NOT what my fellow panelists and audience defined it as. In fact, the only thing we did agree on was that it was short. Most didn’t use prompts. Many believed that if the story continued after writing the flash piece, it wasn’t really flash fiction to begin with. Many thought my flash fiction was really just free writing.

So what is flash fiction? It depends who’s asking. If you visit any of the weekly flash fiction sites/contests/blogs that I frequent, my definition is pretty apt. If you ask Every Day Fiction or Daily Science Fiction, you might get something different.

Another big question: What do you get paid for writing flash fiction?

I get paid nothing, so far. My flash fiction has been in large part self-gratifying. I get a prompt, I get a kernel of a story and I write it. By posting it in popular places (like #menagemonday) I give other readers a taste for my writing and a link to my blog. The best pieces are those that beg to be continued. The characters I only had for a few words are so real to me, so defined, and with a hint at their plot arc, I have taken flash pieces and turned them into entire novels. (That’s happened twice now with a possible third.)

Looking for the $$? Well, you can get them. Here are just a few links I found in a quick google search, so I’m sure there are many more out there.

Daily Science Fiction
Flash Fiction Online
Creative Writing Contests
Abyss & Apex
Every Day Fiction
Breathless Press (see the Hot Flash anthology)

Want to know where I post? Here’s a list of my weekly flash fiction stops. I don’t make it to everyone every week, but I’m usually found in three or more.

Tantalyzing Tuesday
(tend toward erotic)
#5MinuteFiction (Tuesday)
#55wordchallenge (Wednesday)
Flasher Fiction Friday
(tend toward erotic)

So, do you have any questions about flash fiction? Do you enjoy writing or reading flashes? Let me know!

OK: This is the third time in recent months I’ve been pushed to think about Flash Fiction; I may need to revisit the fun and see where it leads me. In the meantime, if you’re one of the large and growing audience of women who enjoy erotica, check out Dawson’s new books, Blue Moon House and Campus Sexploits 3.

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