Foliate Oak, the literary journal for University of Arkansas-Monticello, has published my essay, "Salvation," today. It's a quick and (I hope) funny read. Click here to take a look.
My nonfiction essay, "Bon Jellico," was published yesterday by Hot Metal Bridge. You can read it here. It's also available on the My Work page now.
The essay is the Featured Nonfiction piece for the Fall 2013 issue, and appears with this elegiac painting, "Forgotten Lands," by the talented Ryan McDowell, a BFA student at Bradley University.
I am very excited to share that Hot Metal Bridge, the magazine run by the University of Pittsburgh's MFA program, is going to publish my essay, "Bon Jellico."
I write little nonfiction, but this piece was important to me because it tells the story of my grandmother's childhood. She grew up in a coal town that inspired the setting of my first novel, Cedar of Lebanon. Self-sufficiency became vital to her early on, since her mother was a deafmute. She struggled through poverty and her father's refusal to acknowledge her, emerging as the woman I admire today.
The essay had received a couple of rejections in the last few months, and on a lark I sent it to HMB three days before their deadline. Their editors' suggestions have been terrific. I'm celebrating that this story has found a good home.
I will post the essay under the "My Work" section once it is published online.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I pray that your all's writing receives the same (undeserved) blessings that mine has. -AO
The publishing industry has birthed a new redundancy: the “short-short” story. Another common name for the genre is “flash fiction,” yet I don’t like this phrase as much. To “flash by” means to appear briefly and vanish without much of an impression, but if done well, stories of this kind can pack as much force as a tightly clenched fist—denser and more powerful for their brevity.
Short-shorts are traditionally less than 1,000 words. Some say 300, some 500; the devil says 666 is the limit. Usually the story focuses on one significant event with a small group of characters. Notice, though, that all this academic chatter leaves a wide gap for the writer to fill. As a self-appointed Grand Poobah of short-short fiction—I have, after all, published two whole pieces of it—I’ve worked out a few guidelines for the flash-by story:
I wanted to drop in a quick post that my short story, "Wheelchair," was published today in Wind Magazine. Founded in 1971, Wind is Kentucky's longest-running literary journal. I'm honored that they took the story, which is about a man who tries to get his ailing wife to a hospital in the aftermath of a blizzard.
You can read the story here: Wind Magazine
There's also now a link to the story under the "My Work" tab.
Have a wonderful day. If you get a chance to read the story, I'd love to hear your reactions.
Anthony Otten has published stories in Jabberwock Review, Valparaiso Fiction Review, Wind, Still: The Journal, and others. He has been a finalist for the Hargrove Editors' Prize in Fiction. He lives in Kentucky.
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