KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 1: Fall 2014
Nonfiction: 697 words

Introduction: Issue 1

by Clare MacQueen

Welcome to the debut issue of KYSO Flash! Thank you for joining this celebration.

Our mission is three-fold:

  •  Publish memorable art and flash literature across genres.
  •  Promote writers and artists whose works we publish.
  •  Compensate contributors financially for their work.

At first glance, KYSO Flash is all about the contributors.

Yet where would they be without a hungry audience? Without those who are desperate to devour the pieces their creators have slaved over 24/7, refining and polishing—while in the meantime, dirty dishes overflow the sink and countertops, and even the Dragon Tree has wilted from neglect.

For ravenous readers, KYSO Flash offers a feast of well-chosen words in petite packages, from cinquains and haibun and prose poems, to essays and fictions and even dark comics, truly a smorgasbord of miniature forms crafted by masters. I hope you will find a platter-full of tiny delicacies to relish from this menu of cornucopian proportions.

Including a few which knock your socks off as they did mine.

To relish is the art of melting into the moment, of reining in that rush toward The End, of slowing down to savor, of remaining vigilant for the very molecules shimmering within each piece. And then, to look even closer. The reward on the limbic level: a delicious flood of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens that could hook the most committed abstainer.

No wonder I crave flash!

Fortunately, KYSO Flash has been blessed with an embarrassment of riches. In fact, they exceed by 100% the initial goal of 35-40 new pieces for your reading pleasure. I’m delighted to report that you will find published here for the first time a total of 78 written works and eight images (three of which were created just for KF).

What a profound pleasure to present works by a range of talented folks, several of whom are multi-genre adepts. The roster of our first issue includes 53 names, from emerging artists whose careers I believe you will want to watch, to acclaimed masters with decades of experience.

These literary luminaries include recipients of a range of distinguished honors, such as:

  •  the AWP Award for Fiction
  •  inclusion of work in Best American Poetry
  •  the Eric Hoffer Award
  •  the Guggenheim Fellowship
  •  IndieFab Book of the Year
  •  National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) fellowships
  •  the National Magazine Award
  •  the Nebula Award
  •  the O. Henry Prize
  •  PEN U.S.A. Translation Award
  •  the Pushcart Prize

On a different (and less exalted) note, KYSO Flash distinguishes herself from other web-based literary journals 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, accessible from the Index and from the navigation menu at the bottom of each page.

Stats of each work appear in the upper right-hand corner of the white background of the page. Listing the issue in which the piece appears, its genre and word count, and whether it’s a reprint or reproduction (notated by “(R)” after word count), they are included primarily for editorial convenience. Our readers may also appreciate knowing upfront the length of each piece.

Submission Statistics, though included primarily for the convenience of editors, offer potential contributors useful data about acceptance rates and response times.

Below the majority of contributor bios resides a section, “More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond,” which features links to optional readings. These include other works by the contributor, interviews, essays on craft and technique, and even related websites of interest—resources provided especially for voracious readers like me who are always curious to learn more.

Of course, just as no one is expected to load a plate with every single item from the country’s largest smorgasbord, no one is expected to consume every piece in this journal. Perhaps you will be enticed to satiate yourself today, and then visit us again soon for more.

I hope you will agree that works you read here confirm that “Flash is not a fad, but an art form,” as Tara L. Masih says. And one well worthy of any lit lover’s appetite for excellence. Please enjoy...

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