KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
“Flash isn’t a fad, it’s an art; and while I hope people can have fun with it, its pursuit should still be taken seriously.”
— Tara L. Masih, editor of Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction


  Editor-in-Chief /
Clare MacQueen
  Co-Editor: Jack Cooper   Contributing Editors: Steve Davenport Kika Dorsey Cindy L. Sheppard

   As reported by The Weather Experts on page 3 of the 20 July 2007 edition of the St. Petersburg Times:

“If [you are] struck by lightning, your socks and shoes may be knocked off. The reason is the rapid evaporation and expansion of sweat on your skin. You may not be hurt if the current does not enter your body.”

KYSO, pronounced “kye sew,” is an acronym for Knock Your Socks Off, which refers to just the kind of electrified words and images we like to publish and showcase.

KYSO Flash is also distinguished from the majority of web-based literary journals and magazines by these features:

In addition to the Contents page, an index is available which lists works alphabetically by name of contributor and allows quick browsing of content within the website. Also available, a site map, and both of these resources are accessible from the navigation menus at the top and bottom of each page.

In her introduction to each issue, our webmaster Clare MacQueen provides statistics, including the total number of works and the percentage of “reprints.” She also provides the number of women writers (our version of the VIDA Count of top-tier literary publications and press outlets). See Stats for specific data.

Details about each work appear in the upper right-hand corner of the white background of the page. These data list the issue in which the piece appears, its genre and word count, and whether it’s a “reprint” (or more accurately a republication or reproduction), notated by “[R]” after the word count. Such details are included primarily for our own editorial convenience, but our readers may also appreciate having them.

Below many of our contributor bios, readers will find a section called “More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond,” which features links to optional readings. These may include other works by the contributor, interviews, essays on craft and technique, and even related websites of interest—resources provided by our webmaster especially for voracious readers (as she is), who are always curious to learn more.

KYSO Flash was custom designed not as an online magazine, but as a website, with a slight retro flavor. Not surprising that it looks and behaves like a website then—which we think is pretty cool.

Our journal is best viewed on laptops, iPads, or other devices larger than mobile phones. More viewing tips...



Jack Cooper
Photo of Jack Cooper
Photo by Daniela Le Roy
Jack Cooper is author of the poetry collection Across My Silence (World Audience, Inc., 2007). His poetry, flash fiction, essays, and mini-plays have appeared in more than 70 publications, including bosque, Bryant Literary Review, Connecticut River Review, North American Review, Rattle, Santa Fe Literary Review, Slab, Slant, The Briar Cliff Review, The MacGuffin, The Main Street Rag, and The South Dakota Review.

Recent awards include Grand Prize Winner in Crosswinds Poetry Journal’s 2016 poetry contest, and the poem was published in their Spring 2017 issue.
Cooper’s poetry has also been selected for Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” and Tweetspeak Poetry’s “Every Day Poems,” and his work has been nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize. One of his micro-fictions (Options, re-published here in Issue 3) was selected in April 2015 as winner of the annual String-of-10 Contest, sponsored by Flash Fiction Chronicles. His play, That Perfect Moment (with co-writer Charles Bartlett), was a headliner at the NOHO Arts Center in North Hollywood and The Little Victory in the 2009-10 seasons.
Steve Davenport
Contributing Editor:
Photo of Steve Davenport Steve Davenport is author of the poetry collections, Overpass and Uncontainable Noise; and two chapbooks, Murder on Gasoline Lake (originally published in Black Warrior Review and listed as Notable in Best American Essays 2007), and Nine Poems and Three Fictions (available in The Literary Review’s Summer 2008 chapbook issue).

A story in The Southern Review earned him a Special Mention in Pushcart Prizes 2011. In June 2012, Massachusetts Review published three installments from his “Black Guy Bald Guy” series of fictions.

Author’s website:

Author’s Faculty Page at the University of Illinois

Kika Dorsey
Contributing Editor:
Photo of Kika Dorsey
Photo by Jack Greene
Kika Dorsey is a poet, fiction writer, and educator who lives with her two children, husband, and Border Collie in Boulder, Colorado. She wakes up every morning and crafts poetry out of dreams, myths, her body, and her travels. While finishing her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in Seattle, Washington, she performed her poetry with musicians and artists. Her poems have been published in The Denver Quarterly, The Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Comstock Review, Freshwater, and The Columbia Review, among numerous other journals and books.

Dorsey’s writing has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. The author of three poetry collections—Coming Up for Air, forthcoming in 2018; Rust (WordTech Editions, 2016) [reviewed in Issue 6 of KYSO Flash]; and Beside Herself (Flutter Press, 2010)—she is also an adjunct instructor of English at Front Range Community College. When not writing or teaching, she taxis her teenagers to activities, swims miles in pools, and runs and hikes in the open space of Colorado’s mountains and plains.
Editor-in-Chief / Webmaster:
[Lisa] Clare MacQueen
Though she’s been “grown-up” for a decade or two, Clare MacQueen believes Silliness and Laughter are among Life’s greatest blessings and pleasures. In this photo, circa late-1950s, she is three years old, wearing pig-tails, and truly tickled, probably just to hear herself laugh.

Now she finds equal pleasure in the joy and sorrow and outburst of tears that reading a first-rate story can provoke. Thus, her ongoing search for the next fix of fine writing.

Founding Editor at Three Years Old: Life is One Big Laugh!
Photo of Clare MacQueen, by Gary Gibbons
Photo by Gary Gibbons
Clare served as Webmaster and Associate Editor for Serving House Journal (aka SHJ) from its inception in January 2010 through its retirement in May 2018 after publishing 18 issues. During the years of its existence, SHJ was ranked by Web del Sol as among the Top 50 Literary Magazines.

In 2017, Clare began serving on the General Advisory Board for The Best Small Fictions (BSF), published by Braddock Avenue Books.

For the 2016 edition of BSF, published by Queen’s Ferry Press, she served as Assistant Editor, Domestic.

Clare’s short fiction and poetry have been published in New Flash Fiction Review, Firstdraft, Bricolage, and Serving House Journal.

One of her essays was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appeared in Best New Writing 2007, where it earned an Eric Hoffer Best New Writing Editor’s Choice Award. A second essay, “The Fragrance of Levity,” was also nominated for a Pushcart; it appears in Serving House Journal (Fall 2011) and in the anthology Winter Tales II: Women on the Art of Aging.

Once in a blue moon, Clare writes tanka as well. Two of her poems appear in Ribbons, journal of The Tanka Society of America (summer editions of 2015 and 2016), and two appear in the Skylark tanka journal (Issue 7, Summer 2016).

Favorites from her flash fiction: Tasting the New and Dog Days

Web work: Clare’s frustrations as a Web surfer led her to design her first website in 1999. Ever since, she has kept things simple, even “old-fashioned”: design and build user-friendly sites that are easy on the eyes and easy to navigate.

Education and Training: In 1990, Clare was granted a BA degree in English/Creative Writing from San Diego State University. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, under the name of Lisa Marie Smith. She also studied British Lit, publishing, and technical writing at the graduate level. And she worked for eight years as a technical editor at the University of Washington.

Cindy L. Sheppard
Contributing Editor:
Contributing Editor at Six Years Old: I Don’t Feel Like Smiling! Miz Sheppard speaks her mind candidly, even without saying a word, and now later in life still isn’t thrilled about having her picture taken. She much prefers standing behind the camera instead.

Her photographs appear in KYSO Flash and Serving House Journal.

(She is six years old in the portrait at left—and just never you mind when it was taken.)

Contact us via webmail:
KYSOWebmaster [at] gmail [dot] com

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