Monthly Archives: January 2021

FLASH BATTLE SIGN UPS NOW OPEN

Don’t you wish there was an easy free way to be exposed to new readers, find feedback on your work and show off your awesome skills? It would be really great if it was fun and foster writer friendships too. Good news—everything I just said is open for sign ups right now. It’s called Flash Battles. Can’t wait to find out more? Find out all the details here.

How do you participate in this magic? It’s easy. Sign up to be on a team. You can choose from the MALAPHOR MINOTAURS, GRAWLIX GROWLERS, SYNTAX SERPENTS or the PARADOX PANDAS. Once you sign up you get randomly chosen to participate in a Flash Battle. Don’t worry if your invite comes at a bad time. You will have a week to let us know you are ready to battle. If you aren’t, your name just goes back into the pool and you can play at a better time.

If you are ready to battle you will be paired with three other writers. You will all be given the same prompts, word count and time to write up your bit of speculative 500 word flash fiction. Then voting is opened up to readers. Readers can vote once for every story they like. Every vote is a point. Points get awarded to your team. Simple.

Now here’s the really cool part: some of these stories will be chosen to be published in the magazine and read by Ryan Aussie Smith on Space and Time‘s YouTube channel here—with your permission, of course.

One of the most important things you can do to make a name as a writer is to get published. Here’s an easy, fun and free way to do just that regularly. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a team to sign up with. I’m thinking I might join the Syntax Serpents…

What are you waiting for? Find out all the details here.

THE EXQUISITE CORPSE RETURNS

Remember our poor exquisite corpse? Last spring it was thriving, well fed on all the bits of poetry we fed it as a community. Then the pandemic kicked in and, like many things in 2020, it went into hibernation. But here it is… proving you can’t keep a good corpse down—or is that kill what’s already undead? Regardless, January 2021 brings our friend back to life.

Don’t worry if you missed it. We will build a new corpse beginning next February 13th and you can add your bit until the 19th. Can we keep a new corpse coming each month all year? This is the challenge, and it’s up to you. This corpse can’t build itself.

Read (and download) the whole exquisite corpse here.

Edge of Hope—Exquisite Corpse January 2021

WELCOME TO THE NEW SPACEANDTIME.NET

We’ve been busy behind the scenes… but we can finally reveal what we’ve been working on. A revamped Space and Time website—but wait—there’s more! Spaceandtime.net is now more than just a place to park the latest issue. The new website features ways for writers to interact in both team and solo competitions. And of course, the Exquisite Corpse has been revived to come play with us again. Visit the fresh new site here.

What is the point of this? To do our part to energize and add a dynamic element to the speculative genre. These competitions offer new ways for writers to interact, show off their skills, gain credibility and build a spirited, united literary community. But that’s all the warm fuzzy stuff that keeps me up at night. You might be more interested in how ink will be spilled in the paper arena. Keep reading…

What are the Flash Battles like? Think of the most ferocious gladiator battle you can imagine… four demon warriors, drenched in sweat and blood as they eye their opponents ready to fight to the end. Now imagine four writers creating these four warriors in 500 word flash stories and ready to write to the end. That’s a flash battle. Four writers go head to head to write their speculative fiction story in three days. They will all be working from the same three prompts.

How do you begin? Sign up for a choice of four teams. You will be notified when we have a match available and given a week to decide if you’ll be able to compete. No matter what, you earn points for your team. Readers vote on their favorite stories, which is where the points come from. Some stories will be randomly selected to showcase in Space and Time magazine. Ready to learn more? Find our all about Flash Battles here.

But what if you are more of the Max Max, lone wolf type of writer? You don’t play well with others and prefer to go it alone? Then you may be suited to try out for Iron Writers. Each month writers will pit their skills pen to pen in 1,000 word flash fiction inspired from four prompts in seven days. The piece with the most reader votes (each reader may vote once for each piece they like) wins that month and can’t compete until the quarterly challenges. Finally, the quarterly champions will compete to earn the title of Iron Writer Champion 2021. This challenge will begin in June 2021 and run until June 2022. All winners receive recognition and get to showcase their flash in Space and Time magazine. Find out all about the Iron Writer Challenge here.

But what if you don’t want to compete at all? Then come help us build an exquisite corpse. Not a new event, the Exquisite Corpse game has been played either here or at spaceandtime.net for about two years now… and exquisite corpses as a form of poetry have been around far longer. Like the Stone Soup of poetry, come with your half baked thoughts, toss them in the pot and see what magic we conjure. Each exquisite corpse is honored in Space and Time magazine with the new prompt going up on the 13th. Exquisite Corpse submissions are open from the 13th – 19th of every month. January’s poem is up now. Find out all about the Exquisite Corpse here.

I invite you to come poke around the new Space and Time. This is just a little of what we have planned for the next year with more being announced in the coming months. I believe that the responsibility to change the future rests with those who can visualize it. Those that can visualize it are those who can write it.

#4 POETRY LIVE WITH HIPNESS_AND_OUTRAGE

Poetry has been read! Amy Zoellers invited me over to her channel on Instagram at Hipness_and_Outrage here. There was much poetry and many mayhems. Thanks to Amy archiving these, you can watch all the happenings here.

“Altars and Oubliettes” Best of 2020 From Tor’s Nightfire

While I have been busy in other realms in cyberspace (we are behind the scenes building two websites plus) I just found out that Altars and Oubliettes was named a Best Poetry Collection of 2020 by Tor’s Nightfire. Did I expect this? Not at all. I have barely even mentioned the book since I released it last October. Am I in shock? Why yes, yes I am.

Altars and Oubliettes was the poetry collection that I started two years ago and then trashed when I realized I didn’t like much of it. Marge Simon was my mentor during that time. I knew I didn’t like it but I couldn’t tell if I was being overly critical or if it was mostly crap.

I asked Marge her thoughts. She kindly critiqued it for me and super nicely confirmed my worst fears: it was mostly crap. Consequently, she became one of my very good friends that I turn to often for input. I’m honored she has given me a foreword for Altars. If you have a professional friend that will be honest with you about your work, you have found gold. Marge Simon is gold.

Which is why I’m so excited to see Mary Turzillo and Marge Simon’s collection also on that list! I’ve read Satan’s Sweethearts and I loved it. The voices of female serial killers slide off the page to lodge in your mind. You won’t soon shake off their delicate and deadly influence. One of my pet peeves is that no one much mentions the female serial killers. I suspect there aren’t as many reported because women don’t tend to get caught. Perhaps it’s poets rather than police that should be after them. Marge and Mary did an excellent job of capturing these killers.

There are other names on the list I’m familiar with and consider friends. Ashley Dioses, K. A. Opperman, Michael Bailey and Christina Sng are all poets whose work I’ve read and recommend. I’m ordering many of these books off Tor’s list after I recover from the shock of being included.

On a side note… in the first paragraph I mention that we are working on two websites. Very soon we will be showing off a new Space and Time website that has some crazy amazing new opportunities. We’ve been working hard back here (by we I mean Kyra Starr, web genius). The other website will remain a mystery for a little longer.

And speaking of Kyra Starr, we will be releasing a poetry book together this April to celebrate National Poetry Month. Called Kraken Fever, here’s the blurb:

Two poets, trapped in the suffocating depths of 2020. From them came poetry, bubbling to the surface, seeking the light. Two drowning voices, an ocean between them, buried their fears in the monsters they created together. Kraken Fever is the golem they built from ink, paper and a sea of tears. But more on that later as well.

For now, here’s the write up Aigner Loren Wilson did for her “Best of” list. The complete list is definitely worth checking out here. All I can say to conclude is wow… thank you Aigner Loren Wilson for noticing my little collection. And speaking of poetry… there’s one more day left to get a line in this month’s Exquisite Corpse over at (the old) SpaceandTime.net.