Tag Archives: Karen Donovan

Cleaver Magazine Wants Your Flash

3 Apr

Market Monday’s got me racing through the digital litworld with A CLEAVER!

I found Cleaver Magazine in one of the Best Small Fictions anthologies but hadn’t checked it out until tonight. As of last week, I’ve covered my entire list of favorite very-short-fiction publishers in my Market Monday and Fiction Friday posts. Now I’m slowly working through unexplored journals on my long list, and as I find one I want to submit to myself, I’ll spotlight it here. Tonight I read the work of five journals that didn’t spark my interest. Then I landed at Cleaver Magazine.

The disadvantage of my current approach is that I might not have time to fully investigate the richness a site offers before I have to write it up. And this is definitely one of those times—mea culpa, but don’t let my flagging resources stop you from jumping in over there. In addition to art and all the usual genres, the site offers interviews, craft essays, book reviews, an editors’ blog, an advice column, travel essays, a podcast, and … *wait for it* … radio plays! Can I personally recommend each of these features? No I cannot, not yet. Am I going to romp around that site, sampling everything they’ve got, as soon as I have a bit more time? Hell yes.

Do I like what they publish? This is another journal to celebrate for the wide range of voices represented in their flash. The power of Nadia Laher’s low-key “Snake” sneaks up on you, Kaitlyn Burd’s delightful “Fictitious Forces” feels like it was born of the urge to reassemble a family of words in a new place, in a different order, with more color, and I’m plain in love with the indescribable “Seven Pieces” by Karen Donovan.

Do they do justice to the published work? I love the art paired with each story, which makes the flash feel so well tended. And some of my reading tonight reminded me that we shouldn’t take the professional, typo-free, nicely formatted presentation of the published work at CM and my other spotlighted markets for granted.

Do their guidelines speak to me? The guidelines are straightforward (but include the quirk of requesting that prose pieces be single-spaced, which is a good reminder to ALWAYS read these notes carefully), which I always appreciate, and there’s a warm, writer-friendly vibe, for sure. But they don’t say anything that attracts me in particular. It was the special attention to flash and then the aforementioned range of voices and plethora of accompanying features that got me excited to submit.

Seriously, if you’ve got some great flashes, this magazine has to be on your list. Just read the pieces they’ve put up in their last few issues and you’ll see that they aren’t looking for any particular kind of voice or approach. There’s nothing more writer-friendly than that.

Let me know if your work lands on this site so I can offer my congrats!