Driftless Review literary magazine sponsors flash fiction contest

September 24, 2013

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PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Have you ever dreamed of becoming a published author? The Driftless Review literary magazine is sponsoring a flash fiction contest for new and emerging writers as well as published authors. Flash fiction is a style of fiction that tells a story with a very limited number of words – in the case of this contest, no more than 500.

The Driftless Review, an online literary magazine started several years ago by Drs. Russell Brickey and Samuel Snoek-Brown, was relaunched in a new format this spring. Published by Platteville Poets, Writers and Editors LLC, an organization dedicated to showcasing the works of emerging and established writers whose creative journeys have brought them through the Driftless Region of southwest Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa, the magazine showcases local writers, but accepts submissions from anyone. The magazine also includes the works of national writers, many of whom have been in Platteville as part of the UW-Platteville humanities department’s Creative Writing Reading Series.

“Writing flash fiction can be challenging because a writer must tell a story that has emotional resonance in a very limited space,” said Dr. Bill Yazbec, Driftless Review contest co-editor and editor-at-large and English lecturer at UW-Platteville. “The story must be more than an anecdote and have a beginning, middle and end. It's all about economy of language. Every word must move the story forward, which requires a good command of storytelling. Writers must try to develop a story in about two pages.”

“Writing for the Driftless Review gives university students, faculty and staff and community members in the Driftless Region an opportunity to publish their writing regionally, nationally and internationally,” continued Yazbec. “We publish emerging writers in every issue and want to promote UW-Platteville’s English department and its creative writing students.” The number of students taking creative writing classes at UW-Platteville has increased from 71 students in 2007-08 to 104 students in 2012-13; most creative writing students attend the reading series and participate in student readings.

“Of course having an active reading series featuring nationally known writers helps the Driftless Review, as does having a growing writing program,” said Dr. Terry Burns, English professor and chair of the humanities department at UW-Platteville and fiction editor of the Driftless Review. “In turn, having a literary magazine in the area that features emerging writers helps our students. There’s a real synergy going on between the Driftless Review, the English program and local creative arts.”

“Creative writers on the English faculty and staff have recommended student readers and interns, brought nationally recognized poets and writers to the university for readings and worked with their students on creative writing, and those students are producing some amazing work,” said Burns. “We are also thankful to UW-Platteville's Writing Center and the editors of the Stylus writing anthology who provide their expertise in development and production of the magazine. In addition, the magazine would not have been possible without the help of our webmaster, Victor Castro, who devoted many hours to help us get this first issue designed and launched.”

Submissions will be reviewed and judged by Elizabeth Stuckey-French, professor of fiction writing at Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla. Stuckey-French attended Purdue University as an undergraduate and was one of the founders of the Sycamore Review literary magazine. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her titles include: “The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa”; “Mermaids on the Moon”; and 2011's critically acclaimed “Revenge of the Radioactive Lady,” which was named one of the best books of 2011 by the Chicago Tribune.

In addition to Yazbec and Burns, the Driftless Review staff includes Dr. Kara Candito, poetry editor, editor-in-chief and professor of English at UW-Platteville; Colin Lessig, contest co-editor, editor-at-large and English lecturer at UW-Platteville with a master’s degree in fine arts; Antonio Bouxa, intern and senior English and philosophy double-major at UW-Platteville from Burlington, Wis., Julian Robinson, intern and senior English major at UW-Platteville from Milwaukee, Wis., and Victor Castro, webmaster, graphic artist and sculptor from Madison, Wis. The magazine is funded largely by its patrons and subscribers.

Writers may send up to three flash fiction stories per submission to contest@driftlessrreview.org by Dec. 31. There is a $15 reading fee.

Contact: Bill Yazbec, Humanities Department, (608) 342-1826, yazbecw@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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