600 Words for The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts

30 Jan

Market Monday reminds me to focus, and then, when I resist, has the nerve to interfere with my angry stupor. Election Dejection, Take II.

More writing cure, that’s what I need. Maybe you need it, too?

On December 5, I marked my return to Daily Shorty with the declaration that in the face of undispelled election dejection, “I would prefer to be animated and productive while I shake with anger and fear, rather than depressed and dithering.” Let the record show that “depressed and dithering” didn’t rear their ugly heads until Sunday. I didn’t overreact—I just went dark as I quietly absorbed the awfulness in the news. But today depressed and dithering tried to take root.

matterMarket Monday, my weekly spotlight on a magazine worthy of your very short fiction, asserts itself. It’s our reminder of my one superpower and yours: Words. The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts would like to see no more than 600 of them. Randall Brown, founder and managing editor, will treat your words well, as he did mine.

Do I like what JCCA publishes? That site is a treasure trove. Just a few gold coins to get you started here, here, and here.

Aesthetics? I like JCCA’s minimalist presentation, and I love the way the site’s organized, with easy access to archives on its homepage.

Do they nominate authors for awards? Why yes, yes they do! Check out that righthand side of the homepage.

Do the guidelines speak to me? This is one of those rare times when guidelines that articulate a vision beyond “send us your best” resonate with me. A strict word limit of 600 demands the kind of focus writers of very short fiction learn to master, but it’s the call to compression in particular—short doesn’t necessarily mean compressed—that shapes the voice of this journal. And I love it.

Let’s change the world for the better by publishing more truth with our stories. If you grace JCCA with your work, please let me know so I can congratulate you.

In the meantime, if you’re fighting continued election dejection, too, here’s the smartest political piece I’ve read in a long time. And I’ll sign off with a quote from America Ferrera, from the Women’s March on Washington, that gives me hope:

If we—the millions of Americans who believe in common decency, in the greater good, in justice for all—if we fall into the trap by separating ourselves by our causes and our labels, then we will weaken our fight and we will lose. But if we commit to what aligns us, if we stand together steadfast and determined, then we stand a chance of saving the soul of our country.

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3 Responses to “600 Words for The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts”

  1. Sarah February 1, 2017 at 8:39 AM #

    Election Dejection–yes! I’m feeling it big time today. And as I stumble to write, I have to tell myself, keep going. Thank you for noting JCCA’s word count limit, which is noted on their Submittable page but not in their basic guidelines, and tripped me up the first time I considered submitting there. “And Yearning Still” is such a beautiful piece. Those last lines, *swoon.* “We do not see that overlap, and in the space between the seeing and the not-seeing, the world sits properly on its axis, the special over there in that one slivered place of privilege and blanket forgiveness, and the ordinary over here, scraping the dried remains of scrambled eggs from the skillet, counting out the exact change for the bus to town, falling into bed too late and too tired, speaking softly into the black night, into the musty, misshapen pillow, Where are you now? What do you see? Wish you were here.”

    • Claire Guyton February 1, 2017 at 11:42 AM #

      Oh, you warm my heart, you really do, thank you. As for Election Dejection, what I have to remind myself is this: I truly never feel more whole than I do when I’m writing. There is so much power in it. And what do we need to withstand such dark times? Power, as much as we can muster. Yeah, I noticed that discrepancy in the guidelines, too. And I’ve seen it at a number of other places–I had to get used to clicking the submit button just so I can read the guidelines at Submittable, too, before deciding if I should submit. Anyway, take care of yourself when you stumble, then, yep, just keep going. Onward!

      • Sarah February 2, 2017 at 9:17 AM #

        Yes to all of this! And thank you. I really needed these reminders this morning!

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