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Submissions for the Spring 2022 Issue of The Dribble Drabble Review are open. This carefully curated, biannual (Spring and Fall), online literary e-zine is staking its claim among major players in today's big push toward all things little-ature. A solid group of international writers continue to respond proving a worldwide response to our ongoing call for exceptional quality short-form compositions.  (Note: we are not accepting Covid-themed pieces.)

     Dribbles should be written at exactly 50 words with Drabbles written at exactly 100 words (not including titles). Send your original, unpublished entries to the editor via the contact tab provided; send up to five entries in each category formatted as you like with your name and brief bio (all in the body of your email). Your bio should not exceed the length of your submission, please. Submit prose, poetry, or prose poetry for that matter! Deadline: midnight, CST, on September 30, 2021. Regrettably, only accepted submissions will be notified within 60 days of delivery due to the sheer number of entries. Too, entrants agree that submission in and of itself will serve as an author's permission to publish (with first electronic and non-exclusive archival rights) as well as the right to publish in future print anthologies.

     Simultaneous entries are permissible, but notify us if your piece is selected elsewhere in order to pull it from our pool of prospects. Rights revert back to the author upon production of the next sequential edition of TDDR. Too, we do require, upon ensuing printings, that TDDR be indicated as your piece's original publisher.

     We will do our best to accommodate special formatting, while we also reserve the right to edit upon need. Note: in forms as short as these, we do encourage active / present tense, but it is not a mandate.

     Please abstain from sending any erotica, politically infused or hate-related themes.

     This is a non-monetary opportunity; but, there is also no cost to submit. Compensation will consist of supporting our writers with quality presentations of their work, a strong artistic community, and individual promotion.

     We look forward to reading your Dribble(s) and Drabble(s)!

 

Flash Fiction: The Importance of a Good Title  by Chris Tattersall

Titles are important in all types of writing, however, in flash fiction they have a greater significance.

Firstly, in the majority of cases the title is not included in the total word count of a story, and as it is the word count that defines flash fiction as flash fiction, the title can be considered as ‘free’ words.

In a 1,000 word story a five word title isequivalent to 0.5% of the word count, this percentage obviously increases as the word count reduces (for example in writing for competitions or anthologies). A five word title in a story restricted to 100 words is 5% of the word count. If you extrapolate this to a 70,000 word novel, the title would be 3,500 words long!

If used well, this increased word count can be used to:

  • Misdirect the reader. This helps to set up the reader for the final twist/reveal which is a common approach in flash fiction.

  • Help explain or give context (eg period of time, season, genre, character etc) without having to state it in the text.

  • Be a fun pun.                                                                                                                                                                             

Unlike longer works of creative fiction, in flash fiction the misdirection or pun is often not obvious until the reader has finished the story, or even read it for a second time. This is not a bad thing, a clever title won’t distract from the story but may not be immediately obvious to the reader or it may be realised days later, maybe never.

The following two flash fiction stories are examples of well-considered titles (if I do say so myself), and are of my own creation.

Title: Reincarnation.

I was once full of life, I felt healthy but in a devastating turn it ended too soon.

My death came quickly and thankfully without pain but it saddened me that nobody cared. I grieved for my own demise with the journey through the five stages of loss being arduous — Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance that my life was over. Yet again.

I had to wait. Soon I would be rewarded with a new life. Candy Crush does that.

(Christopherfielden.com 81 word challenge).

This title is simple yet unknown to the reader it is immediately misdirecting them and setting up the final twist.

Title: Poles Apart

His test results were good. Despite years of smoking heavily and drinking far too much, it appeared that there had been no negative impact on his health. The doctor, with all the resources of a twenty first century health service at his disposal had confirmed such. Life would go on. Thank God.

The longstanding cough which he and his wife struggled to remember the genesis of, combined with increased breathlessness and a more recent symptom of occasional blood in his sputum was evidently just a result of old age. Maybe he had an immunity to carcinogens? Maybe he was just very lucky? He resolved to change his ways for their future, just in case. He had dodged a bullet and he knew it.

The doctor sat in front of his desk not behind, like a counsellor rather than a physician but the anomaly didn’t register with him as the relief of his results took precedence. He smiled at the doctor, a wry smile that said ‘Yeah I’m a lucky bastard, and I know it.’

Yet the expression on the medic’s face was contrary to his — solemn and awkward. He noticed a quick glance and eye contact between the doctor and his wife.

“The results, I’m afraid it’s not good news Mr Walsh.” Reiterated the doctor.

“But, my results, they’re positive, you said yourself doctor, my test results are pos…..”

It was the squeezing of his hand by his loving, long suffering wife which told him to stop talking. He had felt such communications from her before, usually at family meals when she sensed he was about to say something inappropriate. However, this squeeze was slightly different from his previous experiences, this was lingering, tight, slightly trembling. A touch that told him he was wrong, very very wrong.

His gaze lowered, settling on a ridge of dust on the corner of the desk. All he could hear was his own breathing, all he could feel was his heartbeat, all he could focus on was the dust. Surely he couldn’t have misunderstood at such a crucial time? The longest of pauses lasting mere seconds allowed a replaying of the conversation in his mind but he couldn’t trust his memory, he could only recall a sensation of relief.

Any hope disappeared as his wife squeezed harder and simply asked: “How long doctor?”

(Potatosoupjournal.com, December 2020)

This title sets a context in that there will be a disparity of some sort in the story, however there is also a pun in the word ‘poles’ for example as used in magnets — the positive and negative poles which relates to the main character having confusion over a positive and negative result. This pun may never be noticed but the title still works well.

To conclude, the title is crucial and a great deal of consideration should be taken in crafting it, as it may well make the difference between a good story and a great one (or a mediocre one and a good one).

Enjoy this 4th/Fall Issue, and submit for our Spring 2022 Issue today!

 

 

 

A very worthwhile read.

Kevin Russell, USA

OMG, I love the name and concept...

Abby Rose Manis, USA

 

It's a pleasure to see such a quality debut; there are so many wannabes.

John Mannone, USA

 

Thanks for giving little-ature, as you cleverly put it, this wonderful platform.

 

Blake Kirkland, USA

 

Beautifully presented.

Lynn White, USA

"Releasing of a Peace Dove" — Dedicated to the people of Afghanistan and all peoples fighting for freedom in our troubled world.