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

Writing Competition Now Closed;
Results of The DavenTree

KYSO Flash Logo
Logo trademarked 2015-2019

Online journal KYSO Flash (Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature) seeks to publish memorable literature and visual arts. Celebrates short forms (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and hybrids), up to 1,000 words each, including title. Original, unpublished works only. (Reprints by invitation.) Also offering The DavenTree Ekphrastic Writing Challenge with cash prizes and publication, online and print. Entry Period: 2 December 2018 thru 31 January 2019. Entry fee: $3 (USD) for up to 3 pieces. See guidelines below...


The DavenTree Ekphrastic Writing Challenge

Entry fee:
$3 (USD) for 1–3 pieces
2 December 2018
31 January 2019
To be announced end of February 2019

Works must be in response to our visual prompt, poet Steve Davenport’s drawing, which we’re fondly calling “The DavenTree.”

For a chance to win $100 (USD) and publication: Submit up to three (3) previously unpublished ekphrastic works, for a single entry fee of $3 (USD). Four Finalists will also receive $50 (USD) each, plus publication.

Only one prize awarded per person. KYSO Flash co-editors will select the Winner and four Finalists in February 2019. The following month, all five will be published in Issue 11 of KYSO Flash online, and then reprinted in the soft-cover anthology at the end of the year. Steve Davenport has also granted permission for his drawing to appear in both publications.

Hints from our publisher, Clare MacQueen:

“We humans are hard-wired to look for and recognize shapes and patterns, especially human forms. Pull up a chair, contemplate The DavenTree, and see what you discover....”
And for more clues about the kind of ekphrastic works we like to publish, be sure to see our tips for word artists, Ephective Ekphrastics: A Guide to Verbalizing Art.

The DavenTree Contest Guidelines:

Submission Period: From December second, 2018 through January 31st, 2019. No entries will be accepted or considered after 11:59 p.m. PST on the 31st of January.

Electronic Submissions Only: Entries in the English language will be accepted from writers worldwide, via Submittable.

Entry Fee: $3 (three USD) for up to three pieces. All pieces must be submitted within a single document via Submittable (see link at the bottom of this page). The submission must be in .doc or .docx format. Only one entry of up to three pieces will be considered per person.

Submission Document Must Be “Anonymous”: Do NOT include your name, address, and other identifying info within the document. The same is true for the file name itself, NO author info. Instead, please name the file with the title of the first piece in your submission. This will help ensure that all entries will be considered “blind” and as impartially as possible.

Author name, contact info, and bio should be entered in the boxes provided at Submittable.

Basic Formatting: 11- or 12-point, easy-to-read-onscreen font such as Verdana. At least one-inch margins. Double space most prose works; prose poems, haibun, and tanka prose may be single-spaced. Please single space lineated poems, with line and stanza breaks as you wish them to appear on-screen and in print.

Please, No Simultaneous Submissions! We’re committed to announcing results as soon as possible, which will be three or four weeks beyond the closing date of the contest.

Original Works Only: Entries must be unpublished, and must NOT have been chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest. Works that have appeared on an author’s website or blog, and/or on social media and sites such as Fictionaut, are considered published.

Word Count: No more than 1,000 words per piece, including a mandatory title which is at least one word in length, and any footnotes from the author. The thousand-word max per piece applies to all genres, including hybrids and poetic works, since we count words only, not individual lines and line breaks.

Cover Letters: None needed, since we have so little time to read or respond to letters. We especially dislike letters that explain the works upfront or give away any surprises—we strongly prefer that works speak for themselves. If you have specific questions or concerns about this contest that are not addressed in these guidelines, then please leave us a note at Submittable.

Genres: We’re looking for polished and evocative literary works that balance “music and meaning” (to borrow from poet Richard Hugo) within a max of 1,000 words (including the title and any author notes), and using forms such as these:

* Prose poetry
* Micro-fiction (up to 500 words)
* Nonfiction (essays, CNF, memoir)
* Flash fiction (501–1,000 words)
* Poetry (structured, as well as free verse)
* Poetic hybrids such as haibun, haibun stories, tanka prose, and tanka tales

For this Ekphrastic Challenge, we will also consider individual micro-poems such as haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, and cherita, as well as sequences and hybrid combinations of such poems. Please note that we do not count lines and line breaks, but only words. Each poem, or sequence of micro-poems, must be no longer than a thousand words, including the title.

Have Fun Mixing It Up: An entry of multiple works may be all one genre, such as prose poetry, or may include, for example, an essay, a micro-fiction, and a hybrid poetic piece.

Tip: As we consider submissions to our journal, awards such as the Pushcart, Best Small Fictions, and Best of the Net loom over the decisions we make. We look for works that Knock Your Socks Off, that is, prize-worthy material. Regardless of the genre, we cherish a unique voice, fresh language, and the sly use of literary devices such as metaphor and irony. We hope to be side-swiped, poked in the ribs, and otherwise smitten by an arresting idea, a compelling narrative, an exquisite lyric, or a moving account—all of which thread the perfect line between the personal and the universal.

[And for more clues about the kind of ekphrastic works we like to publish, be sure to see our tips for word artists, Ephective Ekphrastics: A Guide to Verbalizing Art.]

For this ekphrastic challenge only: We cannot accept visual artworks, works in translation, and collaborations. (But we would be happy to consider such works under our General Submissions categories.)

Other restrictions:

  1. No gratuitous violence (remember, less is more).
  2. No gratuitous obscenities; judicious usage is acceptable.
  3. No children’s stories, but we will consider fables or fairy tales for adults.
  4. No pornography, although literary erotica and works containing sexual themes will be considered.
  5. No political screeds and/or religious rants—however, literary works from all spiritual traditions are welcomed.

Publication Rights: Authors whose works are selected will be asked to approve an agreement which grants exclusive first-time worldwide publication rights to KYSO Flash, as well as non-exclusive reprint rights to KYSO Flash Press.

Print Anthology: The Winner and four Finalists will be published in KYSO Flash online (Issue 11, Spring 2019), and in our print anthology scheduled for release in December 2019. Each author will receive one complimentary copy of the book (postage paid).

By entering this contest, you certify that: the work(s) you’re submitting are your own original writings, they have never been published electronically or in print, they have not been submitted nor accepted for publication elsewhere, and they are not in the public domain.

Results: Winners of the KYSO Flash “DavenTree” Ekphrastic Challenge will be notified by email just before results are announced officially, which will be at the end of February 2019. All decisions by the judges are final.

Payment of Prizes: Winners and Finalists will receive electronic payment via PayPal in USD (United States Dollars). Only one cash prize per person. Any taxes due on contest winnings are the sole responsibility of the prize winners.

This competition is void where prohibited by law.

Thanks so much for considering KYSO Flash! We look forward to reading your entries. Best wishes!

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