Spotlighting Another Giant of Short Prose: Wigleaf

24 Apr

On Market Monday I’m turning over an old leaf.

Apologies for skipping Market Monday last week—I was hosting my big sister from Saturday to Saturday, and wanted to devote all my attention to her. Today’s market is worth two Mondays, I promise, so take special note!

I mentioned in my post on Cleaver Magazine that I have now covered all my favorite publishers of very short fiction. I turned the spotlight on Wigleaf in December, when I gushed about this model micro by Deb Olin Unferth. But I haven’t done the standard, thorough, Market Monday post on Wigleaf, so I’m filling in that gap now.

Do I like what they publish? This is another magazine that offers a wide range of voices, so most of us will find work here that we admire. In addition to Unferth’s delightful micro, I am completely in love with “Companion,” by Helen McClory, a story I have been meaning to highlight in a Fiction Friday post (somehow Fridays never seem to dawn these days in DailyShortyLand, but soon, soon). And try this more recently published plain-faced, monotone, dry-voiced story by Ashley Hutson, “Advancements,” a piece that held me spellbound in a way I can’t explain, which might be my favorite kind of happy reaction to a story.

Do they do justice to the published work? For me, Wigleaf’s is the rare site that functions so well as a direct entry to the work itself that I almost don’t even notice the aesthetics, and yes, that’s a compliment. When you click a link on the homepage, the story comes up in a different background color, totally set off from the page and contained in its own window. This has the same power to grab my full attention as opening a book, a rare thing to encounter on a website. They also publish from some of their authors quirky “Dear Wigleaf” bits that serve as a kind of “PS” to the published flash, which is a nice way to add interest to the story. And they bring an enormous amount of attention to their site (and therefore anyone published there) by annually selecting their favorite 50 flashes published online—check out their archives for all their lists.

Do their guidelines speak to me? “Impossible to say what we’re looking for,” they write, which is amply supported by, again, the wide range of voices they publish. I am most attracted by sites that either explicitly invite weirdness in their guidelines or put out an “All are welcome” sign, and Wigleaf has done the latter. They take up to 1000 words in a story, and allow 3 stories in one submission.

Wigleaf is another member of shorty royalty. If you have a strong interest in very short prose, you must become familiar with their site, and don’t hesitate to send along your best pieces. They take submissions in the final week of each academic month (excluding December) then take a break in May, June, and July. Which means you have, what, 6 days before their next break starts, so get going!

8 Responses to “Spotlighting Another Giant of Short Prose: Wigleaf”

  1. cynthia April 25, 2017 at 7:40 PM #

    Well, I had to click right over to see the different color formatting–and I agree. That really works to make the story feel special. And I ADORE the Dear Wigleaf pieces. You may turn me into a shorty writer yet!

  2. Sarah May 3, 2017 at 6:48 AM #

    I missed you the week you were away. Sounds like a lovely time with your sister!

    Wigleaf pops up in the pub credits of so many flash writers I follow. I love their clean layout and the thumbnail art that accompanies each piece. The Dear Wigleaf pieces are great too!

    Is Maine in full spring bloom yet?

    • Claire Guyton May 4, 2017 at 10:11 AM #

      And now I’ve disappointed you again with another missed Monday–tough times over here in DailyShortyLand. Sometimes I have to take a break but I suppose I should post when I do that. Learning!

      Far from full bloom, but my first handful of tulips have opened this morning, and I am so damn excited about that. I’m greedy for more.

      Hope the writing is going well for you, these days–let me know sometime.

      Happy spring!

      • Sarah May 4, 2017 at 2:14 PM #

        Oh hooray for tulips! It’s such a long wait, especially up there. I bought mulch with the good intention of weeding after work today. Have to hustle before the next stretch of rain.

        I must thank you again for the gift of Market Mondays, my DS week, and your enthusiasm and encouragement. You helped me get through April, which always feels less like spring and more like winter’s hangover. I’m happy to report I have a piece that’s live in the May issue of Pithead Chapel, one of my favorite little lit mags. Thank you for encouraging this apprentice writer to send her work out!! xo

        • Claire Guyton May 10, 2017 at 8:58 PM #

          Sarah, I just realized I forgot to reply to this! I immediately went to PC and read your piece–congrats! And what a good, focused reflection, really well done. I posted it at Facebook so my 5 FB friends could see it (you will never get famous knowing me, I’m afraid). It’s been a slow slog up here, but more tulips are out, now, and I seem to be coming out of my funk, thank goodness. All best to you down there in CT!

          • Sarah May 24, 2017 at 8:13 AM #

            Thank you for sharing my Pithead Chapel piece! I’ve been missing Market Mondays. Hope all is well up north! It’s finally green green green here.

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