Monday 5 December 2011




Now, it is no secret that I have a rather passionate dislike for Flash Fiction Collections—the reasons for this are irrelevant and may not be “philosophically sound” as some have pointed out to me, but I don’t care. I really, really dislike Flash Fiction Collections.

In shooting off my mouth about this in some company where I probably oughtn’t to’ve, I made the claim (a very passionate claim) that I could write a better collection of flash fiction inside of 8 hours than any other writer could in any time limit. Further, I stated that these 8 hours did not have to be “isolated writing hours” but that, indeed, sniping the writing in during any consecutive 8 hour period during my day-to-day life I could produce a fully finished, edited and finalized Flash Fiction Collection of higher quality than any other writer—either a new collection or any collection already in existence, published or not.

So, challenge me. And I will put my money where my mouth is to the tune of $200—that is, if I do not win the challenge, I will pay the challenger or the author of the collection that defeats me (or any other party named) the sum of $200 US dollars. There is no risk to the challenger—if I win I have simply proven my point and will forever piss on Flash Fiction Collections from an even haughtier and more irritating platform than I currently do.

I propose a blind judging from 20 readers—I request no input on who the judges are (except they should be previously unfamiliar with whatever collection challenges me).

The Challenger may set any parameters, obstructions, rules etc. so that it can be assured that my collection is generated—from conception to full realization—inside the 8 hour time frame. It is a point of pride for me, so I will take whatever restrictions and hold myself to the letter (though I warn in advance, the more specific an obstruction is, the better I will be able to write).

Once a challenger has been selected, the final rules will be settled on and this will go down.

Come on. Let’s do this. And spread the word because I want my triumph to be known!



  1. Lots of folks stepping up to be mad at me, lots of folks stepping up to challenge me square. So just want to clarify that there's just $200 total, not $200 per challenger (I wasn't expecting, you know, so many)--I'm scrounging up a bit more, so that if multiple people beat me (ha!) the pot can be split between them.

    While my main gnashing was at Literary Flash, I've decided I'll take on Genre, too. Not so all up in genre's grill (and a little bit more worried about having my ass handed to me) but I can't back down, now.

  2. Hey pablo. A question.
    How many words does the "flash" definition consist of? 50. 100. 500. 1000? Or does shorter count?
    Across the alley, in the back of the junkyard, a man was beating a dog. The man’s arm rose and fell slowly. The dog—a pit bull mix—stood still, staring at nothing in particular. The drizzling rain had soaked them through. Neither seemed to notice. Both looked bored. They said that, once, the dog attacked a guy. Almost killed him. They said the man had helped.

    I got a plate of leftovers and a gun.

    “Hey,” I called.

    They both looked up.

    “One of you can change,” I said.

    I shot the man and fed the dog.


    Father Conner got gunned down on the corner of 19th Street and Grand Avenue yesterday.

    I knew it was coming and maybe I should have warned him.

    But his small, sweaty hands had taught me years ago to keep my mouth shut, so I did.

  3. AJ,

    As far as I know, it's up in the air but...less than 1000 I think is what most folks say (both of those excellent bits attached would qualify, anyway). I'm open to anyone's definition, no tricks here. I've seen folks call 100 and less "micro" and then there's like "seven word fiction" or things like that--I'll do it all, it's up to my challenger to decide. And I will let total collection length be chosen (obviously don;t get too silly, I don't lose if someone says "Write a 100,000 total word collection of flash pieces") and I will let style or theme and, well, as I say any definition, rule, restriction, obstruction, stipulation etc.

    I am fairly certain I'll lose a Genre fight, I will be honest, but I'm gonna come out swinging.

  4. Thanks Pablo. As I told Nigel I'm laughing my head off at some of the outraged responses you must be be getting. Some people just plain have no sense of humor or fun. I totally agree with you that the "literary" scene has for the most part self-destructed, hence Tom Wolfe's famous castigation of the form in favor of genre in, I believe, The New Yorker (?). My money would, incidentally, be on you in a knock down drag out scrap.

  5. AJ, those two pieces are top drawer, bud. The second one would win hands down v anyone.

    Pablo, WHAT have you started here? :-)

    BTW, who judges?

  6. Col,

    Haha--well, I'll give a brief summation of what's happened thus far--as brief as I can manage :)

    My beef is really with Literary Flash (as mentioned to AJ) but in my fervor composing the email that got overlooked. So, an inbox full of angry (and hilarious) emails made me realize a lot of people wanted a piece of me (my thought was that one challenger would be nominated by fans of flash, but these were folks wanted at me with their own collections)--or so it seemed, because after, of course,my haughtily accepting all comers, these Lit folks (I name no names) who were sooooooo about knocking me down have turned pussy pussy pussy, backing out!

    Now, a lot of folks did not get upset and understand this challenge for what it is (my unreasoned dislike of Lit Flash aside) and arrangements are being made to properly publicize and conduct this--I'm trying to get a bit more than $200 together, as in the off off off chance that I am bested (and bested by more than 1 lad or lady) the pot will have to be split amongst winners (in the off off off chance, I arrogantly reiterate).

    Most interestingly though, genre writers (especially Crime/Noir writers I will add) seem to just be in it for the earnest crucible of competition so, honestly, I am thinking to (with less a mean spirit) separate and/or jointly to the lit flash challenge, issue the same challenge flatly to Noir/Crime writers--all of these folks (the ones I've had contact with) seem enthusiastic and that is how it should be. And I think I have less of chance there--I say that honestly, not modestly because I have none of that--but I'm also kind of hungry to have a go (same 8 hour restriction on me, just because that's my style) because, well, I wouldn't mind having Nig or AJ or whomever hand me my ass, a little the worse for wear, you know? It'd be "amongst thieves" so to speak and so have a dignity to it (and if I won, oh, I'd be over the moon, but not in a dickish way, just a kind of shocked way)

    So, within the holidays and my generally hectic schedule, I am getting a central site up and should have the final method and all in place soon. At that point, it'll all be set and I'll throw down.

    As to judges--some folks have stepped up for that and some have even recruited others, but I want a Judges Table and then a secondary Random Reader Table (public vote, open to all)--all entries are read blind and its just that simple (I also add that, though some rules will be in place to make sure no tampering goes down, it'll be an honor system--with Noir/Crime writers/readers, I have no worries, it's those Lit folks and their sensitivities who might try summit shady).

    I'll be sure to update as things form. cheers.