Flash Issue: “In the Pocket” Preview Day

In the Pocket

by Alle C. Hall, Senior Nonfiction Editor, jmww


The flash category means many things to many people. According to the great god, Wikipedia, we have flash (<1000 words) and sudden fiction (<750); we dribble (aka: the minisaga, <50), we drabble (aka: microfiction, <100). There is twitterature for—I am assuming—twits who wish to count characters (<280). I’ve submitted to calls defining flash as <500, <850, <1200, and even <2K. (For more on the use of symbols, tune in Wed., Sept. 12, the third day of In the Pocket, for Mark Budman’s crazy sexy math, Stop Everything You’re Doing, and Observe Carefully the Numbers.)

When jmww set out to flash, I had no question as to where we would fall in terms of word count: <350. Our standard submission calls for about 500 to about 3000. I wanted to see what writers could do with <. And do they did. The only problem I had with the intense number of submissions we received was that I had to pass on so many great opportunities. I want to take a moment to thank all who submitted, with a special nod to those who went through the editorial process but did not make it into the issue. You are hard workers and good sports and I hope we can collaborate on future projects.

Great thanks, also, to my Associate Editor, Andrew McDowell, for his consistent good grace in the face of my differing opinion. Finally, a big thank you to Editor-in-Chief, Jen Michalski, for her enthusiasm for the idea of a flash issue, and for, you know, running jmww in the first place.

The eleven pieces that you will read over the next week represent a panoply of topics, opinions, cultural backgrounds, and, simply put, stories. Please join us for:


September 10

  • Saskatchewan by Mindy Haskins Rogers
  • You and I Were Never Going to Trade Spare Keys by H.E. Fisher
  • Philoxenia by Lisa Reily


September 11

  • Maybe in the Fall by Sue Repko
  • A Daughter’s Plea by Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar


September 12

  • Stop Everything You’re Doing, and Observe Carefully the Numbers by Mark Budman


September 13

  • Boys in the Snow by Samantha Claire Updegrave
  • Coronach by Linda Kempe


September 14

  • Fat Black Woman With No Ass But Breasts That Make Up For It by Katherine D. Morgan


By way of a preview, today, please follow along as Walburga Appleseed wrestles with a question that continues to plague this nation, down to the individual.


What It Is

by Walburga Appleseed


“It’s just a blob,” says the counselor on the other end of the line. “Just a blob of cells. It doesn’t even have a heartbeat yet.”

She is trying to be helpful and kind, and I want to believe her, but the thing that invited itself into my womb is not a blob. It is a universe.


Walburga Appleseed is the winner of the 2018 Geneva Literary Prize for Nonfiction and the 2016 Winchester Literary Festival prize for Flash Fiction. Her work has been published online and in print, among others in Fiction Attic Press, Café Aphra, Flash Frontier, The Sunlight PressOffshoots, and Into The Void. She is an associate editor for Vestal Review. In a parallel existence, she also writes for children, with her first picture book The Red Hot Fireball published in 2017 by éditions utopie (Switzerland). Visit her at www.walburgaappleseed.com


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