By David Henson
As with all journals, our next publication will be our last. It will be a themed issue on, as you would expect, Comet Obliteration.
We’ll consider stories of any length but, let’s face it, there are only three weeks left, so shorter is better.
Given the extraordinary circumstances, we also will consider poetry and creative nonfiction. But make it creative! A regurgitation of sobbing journal entries might make you feel better but won’t get far with our team. Most of us have our own sobbing journal entries.
Though all genres are welcome, remember: Truth is stranger than fiction these days.
Stories that revolve around pop culture normally become out of date but won’t now so have at it.
Give us engaging characters, a strong narrative voice (but no talking corpses) and a complex but accessible plot that will occupy our thoughts and help keep them from spiraling more deeply into the dark abyss.
We normally frown upon stories about suicide, but recently have had a change of heart.
We’ll consider absolutely nothing that promotes hate (unless directed at the laws of physics and initial conditions that sent Obliteration our way).
Otherwise, hard sells for us will include:
— Stories where God intervenes and causes Obliteration to disappear or swerve at the last moment.
— Writings about cults whose members’ spirits ride the comet to a different dimension where they live happily ever after. (If they suffer in the new dimension, we’ll take a look.)
— Stories about falling in love during the last days.
— Stories about breaking up during the last days.
— Stories about you having a fatal disease, a loved one having a fatal disease or a pet having a fatal disease during the last days. (Things are depressing enough as it is, eh?)
— Stories about being a serial killer during the last days. (See note above.)
— Stories set in bars. We’re damned tired of stories set in bars.
— Stories about writing stories during the last days.
— Surprise endings. Nothing surprises us anymore.
— Stories about zombies taking over the planet after Comet Obliteration hits. Come to grips: There will be no planet after Obliteration hits.
Reprints are fine even if you no longer have the rights. (What’s anybody going to do about it?)
We’re not paying for stories this time as there’s no longer a need for money.
If you haven’t heard back from us in two weeks, give a nudge. (Be nice.)
If you haven’t heard back in three weeks, no one will know the difference, will they?
Simultaneous submissions are fine, but be sure to inform us if — never mind.
Formatting: We no longer give a shit about formatting.
Proofread your work. We don’t have time to try and make sense out of nonsense.
Send us your best. We’d normally say Good luck! but that ship has left the barn … uh, horse has sailed … Aw, fuck it.
David Henson and his wife have lived in Belgium and Hong Kong over the years and now reside in Illinois. His work has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, Best Small Fictions and Best of the Net and has appeared in various print and online journals including MoonPark Review, Pithead Chapel, Gone Lawn and Fictive Dream. His website is http://writings217.wordpress.com. His Twitter is @annalou8.