Archive for the ‘!Short Story Contest!’ Category

Meet the 2018 !Short Story Contest! Finalists

Sunday, July 15th, 2018


Nathan Alling Long lives in Philadelphia and teaches creative writing at Stockton University.  His work appears in various journals, include Tin House, Glimmer Train, Story Quarterly, and Crab Orchard Review.  His fifty-story collection The Origin of Doubt (Press 53) is being released Spring 2018.  He can be found at


Martha Hubbard’s students tell her she’s led an interesting life. The evidence seems to support this. Teacher, writer, mother, life-long student, promiscuous experience seeker, Martha has run a parking lot company in NYC, a Greek restaurant on Crete, been a dramaturg & stage manager in New York City’s Off-Off Broadway theatre community, English language teacher to culinary students and now is semi-so-so retired on an island in the North Baltic Sea off the coast of Estonia where she agitates for shorter supply chains between local food producers and consumers, and guides unwary visitors around her island, mostly in summer. Somehow in the middle of all this she finds time to write.


Salvatore Difalco is the author of 4 books. His short story collection MINOTAUR is due out in 2019. He currently lives in Toronto, Canada.







Eneasz Brodski lives in south Denver, and has a number of meaningful relationships of many varieties. He was raised in an apocalyptic Christian sect, and while he’s left that behind, it still colors much of his writing. In his ever-dwindling free time, Eneasz produces an audio fiction podcast at He’s always willing to strike up a conversation with anyone in dark clothes and eyeliner.



Jessica Dalton’s work has been published in Postcard Shorts, HOOT, Pure Slush, The Copperfield Review, CommuterLit, and Kzine. She lives in rural Virginia, and makes a living, of sorts, in the local agriculture scene.





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2018 !Short Story Contest! finalists now announced

Sunday, July 8th, 2018


We are most proud to present

the Finalists for

the 2018 !Short Story Contest!

only on .




— you may pass go, if you so choose,

but only one finalist will collect our

Top Cash Prize– 75 smackeroos




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Submission now closed for 2018 !Short Story Contest!

Sunday, July 1st, 2018

July is upon us,

meaning two things:

ravaging heat across the Northern Hemisphere, but more excitingly,

the 2018 !Short Story Contest! 


Submission has closed, and our team is now reviewing all the wonderful potential finalists.  We will announce these finalists early next week.


But remember, there is no judgement in defenestrationism reality.  No story can fail, it can only be made more finished.


So slather on the sunscreen, lovers of literature, don’t forget to breath, and keep surfing through for the

2018 !Short Story Contest!

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Guidelines for the !Short Story Contest!

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Judges Confirmed for 2018 !Short Story Contest!

Sunday, May 27th, 2018

These are not the Judges for the Winter FLASH SUITE Contest

view the 2019 FLASH SUITE Contest judges


We are most pleased to announce that our four returning Judges

have re-confirmed for

the 2018 !Short Story Contest!



Meet the Judges:

2013 !Short Story Contest! Winner,

Christian McKay Heidicker

Christian McKay Heidicker has two books you can check out. His first, CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE, is about a kid trying to escape video game rehab. His second, ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WALLFLOWER, is the story of a girl trapped in a 1950s monster movie marathon. It hits shelves September 11th, 2018 but is available for pre-order now.

He’s been dreaming of foxes lately.

Learn more here:



Lady Moet Beast

the Beast From Southeast

What can’t be said about this interesting lady? Godmother of D.C. Rap, multi-genre lyricist, producer, poet, musician, writer, singer, actress, and the list goes on. Performing live since the age of 5, determined to be heard, adored and admired, Lady Moet Beast has performed all over the U.S. for the past 25 years. Not your average HipHop Femcee she has grown along with her husband obtaining her own band The Cruddy Crankerz, Beast & Monster Ink,  Drama City Records/Draztick Measurez., Cruddy Rite Publishing, Cruddy Rite Radio, Monster Graphix, and Lioness Filmz. Lady Moet Beast has set a lot of trends from green dreadlocks to hardcore femcees in Washington, D.C. and abroad.




Glenn A. Bruce, MFA, was associate fiction editor for The Lindenwood Review. He has published eight novels and two collections of short stories. He wrote Kickboxer, episodes of Walker: Texas Ranger and Baywatch— for an anecdote on pre-Pamala Baywatch, and what happens to homeless people on the show, click here—  and was a sketch-writer for Cinemax’sAssaulted Nuts. His stories, poems, and essays have been published internationally. He won About That’s “Down and Dirty” short story contest and is a two-time finalist in the annual short story contest. He has been a guest speaker and panel participant at many writing and film events over the years. He has judged shorts film contests, art shows, and was the final judge for Brilliant Flash Fiction’s 2015 annual short-fiction contest. Glenn has been teaching Screenwriting and Acting for the Camera at Appalachian State University for the past 11 years.






Suvi Mahonen is a freelance writer and photographer based in Surfers Paradise on Australia’s Gold Coast. Her non-fiction has appeared in various newspapers and magazines in both Australia and Canada including The Weekend AustralianThe Sydney Morning Herald and Practical Parenting. Her fiction has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies including in The Best Australian Stories and Griffith Review. A portion of a longer work-in-progress was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Be sure to check out her online shop of all things arty at:






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Contest Submission Now Open

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018


Welcome, or welcome back,



We are pleased to announce our

6th annual fiction contests

only on


Submission is now open for both our

!Short Story Contest!

and our



The !Short Story Contest! is not a subtle contest.

Submission is open until the end of June, 2018.

Finalists will post in August, and

winners announced Labor Day, which is September 3rd.


The FLASH SUITE Contest combines 3 or more flash works into a suite.

Submission is open until November 1st, 2018.

Finalists will post in late December, and

winners announced MLK day, which is January 21st.


Read our guidelines, !Submit Now!

and keep surfing through




!What’s New!



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Winners of the 2017 !Short Story Contest!

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

This is not a subtle contest.  This is a contest of sudden change.


We are proud to present the winners of this summer’s contest.

The judging panel was completely divided, with very little overlap.  The fan voting had three clear winners, but only tied-up the overall winner.  It ultimately came down to a tie-breaking vote by the owner, Paul-Newell Reaves.


Now, the winners–


Fan Voting:

with 19% of Fan Votes, Bearcat

with 20% of Fan Votes, Delocation

with 23% of Fan Votes, Blank Faces



Delocation by Andrew Livingston


Blank Faces by Jess Costello


And our Grand Prize Winner:

Bearcat by Lisa Clark


view How the Judges Voted

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Exciting News for 2017 !Short Story Contest!

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

Welcome to defenestrationism reality.


Well, all votes are in from our Judging panel, and they completely disagree!  !Hoorah!


This is great and exciting news.  With such a split from the judges, Fan Voting becomes more important than ever.


So rally all your friends, supporters and internet junky acquaintances– because you, of course, dearest readers, never spend your working hours surfing the web– rally them all to vote for the

2017 !Short Story Contest!

only on .



Vote Here

Read the Stories

Contest Guidelines



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The Collector

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

by Gustavo Bondoni


“Mr. Stanlow, do you have a second?”

The millionaire art collector stopped just outside the door, turned and smiled at the reporter.  He hid his surprise that they’d tracked him down so quickly, but it just went to reinforce that things happened at lightning speed in the internet age.  “Of course. How can I help you?”

“Have you heard about SuperEdie?”

A note of sadness crept into Stanlow’s voice.  “Of course.  I suppose the entire art world has by now.  A terrible tragedy.  She was a true star, of course, but more than that, that’s a terrible thing to happen to anyone.”

“Did you know her well?”

“Probably no better than your average reader.  I’d met her once or twice.  Before you ask, yes, she looked remarkably like Edie Sedgewick in person, which is why she cultivated the persona, I guess.  She seemed like a good person – but I was just a collector to her, a means to an end.” He shook his head.  “I guess my days of collecting SuperEdie are over.”

“Do you have any idea who would want to do a thing like this to her?  It was such a brutal murder, a lot of people are speculating that she might have been involved in something illegal.  Do you know if she was involved in drug dealing?”

“As I said, I didn’t know her all that well.  I saw her at a couple of parties, and that’s it.”  He paused for a second.  “Having said that, the parties were what you in the press would call ‘wild’, I guess.  I’m a bit too old for that kind of thing, but I can imagine how a young girl could get involved a little too deeply with a supplier.  Although if I had to guess, I’d look for a jealous lover – she was beautiful, and she lived life to the fullest, so I’d start there.”

“Were you her lover?”

Ah, thought Stanlow, this guy was from one of those papers.  But he knew how to deal with that kind of thing.  “As I said, she was a bit out of my league.  I think you should be looking for Hollywood actors, not sixty-year-old men.”  He winked at the reporter.  “Money can only get you so far.”

“Nut you have the biggest SuperEdie collection in the world.  Maybe she chose to express her gratitude for your patronage.”

“Sadly, no.  My motives for stockpiling her art are purely financial.  I pride myself on being able to spot superstars in the making.  Buying when no one else is is a good way of getting a good price.”

The reporter nodded.  Everyone knew that Stanlow had gone from penniless immigrant in the early nineties to art magnate twenty years later thanks to a golden eye for talent.  Focusing on a few young up-and-comers, buying low and selling high, had netted him an eight-figure fortune.  “Too bad they all seem to die so young.”

Stanlow shrugged.  “The stars that shine brightest often burn out the quickest.  Think of Hendrix.  Or, in the art world, think of Keith Haring.  If he were alive today, maybe I’d have had the opportunity to buy his art.  Even Warhol survived his youth only by the slimmest of margins and because his would-be assassin had little talent for murder.  From what I’ve seen, artists lead pretty disorganized lives.”

“So, do you know who the next big thing will be?”

“Now that would be telling, wouldn’t it?”

“And what would you say about the value of SuperEdie’s work now?”

He nodded sadly, even though this was the question he wanted.  “In my experience, this kind of thing turns artists into immortals.  You should see a big rise in SuperEdie prices.”

“You should make a killing.”

“I only wish the opportunity didn’t arise.  I don’t really need another few million, and not having any new SuperEdie art to look at will be a terrible loss to the world – and to me personally.”

He saluted the journalist and got into the waiting car, a dark blue Mercedes-Benz limousine.  Stretched, of course, but not obscenely so.

His driver, as always, had the partition lowered.  A silent partner in his business, the man was also about to become rich due to the demise of the young artist.

“Hello Walter.”

“Hi Boss.  They asking about SuperEdie?”

“Of course.  It’s the only thing we’ll hear about for the next few days.”

“Poor girl.  She was just a wisp of a thing, it almost makes you cry,” the driver said. 

Stanlow smiled inwardly, thinking how sentimental streaks seemed to arise in the least likely of places.  “She was beginning to slip.  Her art wasn’t what it once was. In a few years, no one would have been buying her stuff, and our collection would have been worthless. I blame the cocaine.”

“I suppose you’re right.  I really wouldn’t know about that sort of thing.”

They drove in silence for a few minutes.  There was a small gallery at a strip mall where an unknown artist from Peru was making her first big exhibition.  He’d seen her stuff, and it spoke to him.  Perhaps she wouldn’t be the next big superstar, but it would be worth betting a few thousand dollars on her.  It only took one of those small bets to pay off, and the early work would be worth millions.

“Are you going to offload her art tight away?”

“No.  Remember what happened last time.  When Carlos died, we sold everything too soon.  We’ll wait six months.  We should get spectacular prices then.”

The driver nodded.  “I guess you’re right.  Reckon we lost a few million last time.”

“You lost a few million.  I lost tens of millions.  We won’t make that mistake again.”

The driver nodded.

But Stanlow wasn’t finished.  “And Walter?”

“Yes boss?”

“Next time, could you make it look like an accident?”

“Sure boss.  Whatever you say, boss.”


Fan Voting is now open

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The Hunter

Sunday, August 6th, 2017

by Isabella Hernandez

She hungered. Day in and day out, night to night and screen to screen- she repeated the search. By the hour, by the minute, by the second her fingers flurried names across the familiar keys. In her head they made a chant, a cult gathering. She could recite their crimes with hateful glee. A pedophile for one, in fact for another too- in fact wasn’t the first one also into fucking animals? Yes, yes they were she recalled with pain. That one had her hunt cast first, always first.

Who cared if she had been exposed for it before? The Hunter would prowl and pace, stalk, slink, wait with bated breath. Fangs bared and tongue salivating; the Hunter would seize the fantasy of tearing out her throat to restore her heart. The Hunter could feel her pulsing neck between her teeth, taste the gushing metallic blood quenching her thirst. It passed effortlessly through the pixels of her dimly lit cell phone screen (The latest iPhone before they put that cheap Seven shit into production- she liked to say). Memories painfully clawed their way to the surface as she savored this daily bread. Like daggers or a nail chiseled in by a hammer, came the photos of drawn underage girls spreading their puffy, growing vaginas- hair tousled and their eyes brimming with shame.

Then there were naked women taken in public with nothing but a leash round their necks as they were made to bend over into a dog bowl; their exposed asses and taints free to be imposed on all. It made the Hunter choke, the blood in her veins to boil. Her jaw chattered and burned furiously, her glazed over eyes bursting with red and big as saucers. An iron taste flooded her tongue; she recalled the incident involving the desire to stick in a fetus between a human and a bee up a woman’s uterus. Suddenly she violently lurched forward, clutching her stomach- careful to move her thumb away from the taunting follow button. The rising slivers of bile infected her throat; her tongue tied to plead her brain to stop. This prey was guilty, so guilty.

Slowly, the Hunter shifted her eyes once more toward the screen. A report droned to life in her mind; above the chaos of haunting imagery. The prey’s habits hadn’t changed, neither had her adamant lack of self-awareness. A walking contradiction, she had maintained the lure of accepting all and defending children. The Hunter wanted to dryly laugh in horror at the irony. Despite her efforts however, the sound did not come out. Instead there came the usual nauseating pit of sickness in her gut.

On slimy hands and feet it swaggered up her innards, around her organs, and up her spine. From head to toe her body rattled and her head buzzed. Clear as pain came the comforting fantasies. She’d corner the bitch in her home, her lumpy, malformed face (This type tended to be the ones typically responsible for these sorts of things, the Hunter thought plainly. It was always society’s diseased undesirables who couldn’t see what they truly were.) would drip and slobber tears down her uneven skin. In this manner, she would gaze up at the unflinching Hunter; her drooling mouth pleading in earnest for her life. A self-proclaimed Christian, her trembling sausage fingers would clasp into a motion of prayer. Begging and screaming, crumpled on the floor into a sniveling ball, she would helplessly watch as the Hunter’s unfeeling stare coldly brought down a metal bat to her skull.

The echoing contact would be slick and ring in one’s ears (Just the same way those young girls pussies were meant to sound, the Hunter’s mind added-). Over and over the bat would rise to fall. Wham! One strike for deceiving the Hunter. Wham! Another for her false friendship. Wham! Yet another in the name of justice. Wham! Wham! Wham! It was cathartic, the tangy stench of blood, the shrieking, the moment the prey fell silent, the grey spongy brains that spilled out with the ease of tomato sauce, the caved in bits of bone-

Softly there came a pitiful whimper that penetrated precisely as a surgeon’s scalpel. It scraped around her brain through her ears; the fantasy shattering like glass into fragments. Looking over as she sat in her spinning chair (age had torn it to shit along with her twirling), she set down her phone. Limping through her open doorway, the Hunter’s face softened at the sight of her small, lanky dog. His whiskers were all but gone, grey fur dyeing his once brown face a silvery white. With his wounded gait he soldiered on as far as the second chair before her scratched dresser.

His head was hung and his face long as he lumbered toward her feet. He whimpered again, looking up with big and beady brown eyes. In the rear, his right hind paw hovered stiffly in the air; the rest firmly planted on the dingy floor tiles. Nervously and with a pang of grief the Hunter asked,

“What is it old man? Wanna sit with me?”

The dog wagged his tail half enthusiastically in response. Giving him a gentle smile, she stood and bent over to lift him. Planting a kiss between his pointed ears, she rested him on her lap. Cradling his torso sized frame, she gave him another flurry of kisses. Tenderly she touched his wounded paw, releasing it as he recoiled. Shivering, he licked his thin lips and stared at her acne splattered face. Patting his head, she coddled the dog as if he were a newborn. Her youthful voice oozed concern, wobbling as she slowly rocked the chair back and forth.

“I know it hurts, we’ll take you to the hospital tomorrow morning ok? No jumping in the meantime and you should be resting more than walking.”

The dog turned his face away and adjusted himself in her clutches. Lazily he curled up, staring quietly into the air.


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Sunday, July 30th, 2017

by Andrew Livingston

The universe has walls, but not the kind of walls you’re probably thinking of. They’re more like the walls of a plant cell than the walls of a building. They enclose the universe’s working parts, they give it some temporospatial rigidity, and they’ve got membranes in place to control what comes in and what goes out. Don’t act all surprised about that last part; first of all, such transfers are rare, and also the physics of it eventually all balance out. If matter or energy comes in, the demands of equilibrium usher something else to the exit.

Which is what began to happen sometime toward the end of May or the start of June. Whatever it was that entered our universe, it represented the matter and/or energy equivalent of roughly two-thirds of the three-story corner townhouse of a certain human being in suburban North America. This person happened to be named Sal Fenster, who was, aside from being a townhouse owner and retired schoolteacher, was a collector of antique keys, an amateur complaint letter-writer, and had since childhood suffered from a recurring dream of being a child on one end of a seesaw, watching helplessly as a giant approached and pushed the other end with one colossal finger, sending Sal flying. The entirety of Sal’s existence was a series of astounding coincidences, but the same was true of everything else.

Anyway. The universe’s equilibrium maintenance selected approximately two-thirds of Sal’s townhouse for displacement. The choice was at random, from among nearly infinite candidates. The selected portion was not the upper two floors of the unit or anything respecting the unity of human perception, though. Technically, the chosen chunk of matter and energy extended from about three meters beneath the building to two above it, sliced right through the townhouse’s interior, and reached out about three more meters into the thin air on two of the building’s sides.

This chunk included the side of the unit that faced an adjoining vacant lot. Sal’s desk was in the center of the second-floor living room, facing out on it through a sizeable window. Sal appreciated the vacantness, feeling that it promoted in some indescribable way the writing of complaint letters and the examination of antique keys. It facilitated a pleasant unpensive vacantness of mind as well, now and then.

Once the inscrutable laws of the universe’s equilibrium had made their selection, the process of removal began immediately, albeit slowly. There was no change in spatial relationships between matter that was to remain and matter that was soon to depart, at least not in ways that any human being could detect. Great changes were taking place in the underlying structure of the universe nonetheless. A pore in the membrane between IN and OUT aligned itself with that unfortunate chunk of Sal’s townhouse and the surrounding air and soil.

Sal felt an unfocused strangeness wash through the interfacing points of body and mind. Sal did not think much of it, though; old age could do—and had done—far worse. It wasn’t even unpleasant, like the arthritis’s groans whenever there was a drop in atmospheric pressure. Just strange. That’s an unsatisfyingly vague description, yes, but unfortunately there aren’t better words for the sensation in any human language, because anyone who experiences it does not have long as a member of a speech community, so there’s never been a lasting lexical need for a term describing the feeling.

What was really happening beneath the surface of the observable was simple enough: the chunk of matter and energy, now at the cusp of its exit point, was being engulfed or encased. It was rather like a molecule about to be pushed out of a cell’s membrane, ensconced first in a vescicle to allow its passage.

Sal was sitting at the desk, trying to concentrate on penning a letter to the manufacturer of a brand of plastic ballpoint pen that displayed an unacceptable tendency to lose its flimsy plastic clip whenever, as Sal put it, ‘one so much as looks at them slantwise.’ Had Sal tried to go to the staircase at the other end of the room, or even to so much as look in its direction, a sort of distortion and misdirection would have impeded any such efforts. But Sal made no such efforts.

However, once a particular turn of phrase had turned itself to Sal’s satisfaction, a glance upward and out the window revealed an impossible sight and demanded a much closer look. Rising to protesting feet, Sal shuffled to the window and confirmed, without perhaps totally believing, that the scene was more than a mere trick of the corner of the eye.

The vacant lot had been replaced by vacant nothingness. Out the window, the barest suggestion of grass ended at the abrupt point where it met…nothing.

To be clear, this type of ‘nothing’ is not like the medium of deep space, which contains sparse wisps of hydrogen with the barest hints of helium even in its emptiest reaches. The type of ‘nothing’ that Sal looked out on was not black. Close both eyes in a dark room and you may think of what you “see” as black; close only one eye, and what do you see out of it? Nothing, or at least a form of it. What Sal saw combined this aspect of nothingness with a sort of grey-purple static that rioted at the edges of Sal’s vision and receded when focused on. It was ontologically terrifying and also frightfully beautiful to behold.

The view through the window faced out of the pore in the membrane of the universe. With no frame of reference to measure by, there was no visual indication that the bubble of matter and energy was growing ever closer to the point of no return. But Sal, transfixed by this final incredible sight could nonetheless feel a final, gentle push that sent the two-thirds of a townhouse and its sole occupant soaring free, for one eternal contextless moment.




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