Wake Up and Write!

Starting Monday, November fifteenth, I will be starting a brand new newsletter that will send out a daily writing prompt. The newsletter is, as you might have guessed, called Wake Up and Write!

Whether you are a seasoned or fledgling writer, writing prompts are an effective approach to help get words on the page (and stir up those ideas in your brain). They can be timed exercises or simply used as a warm-up before you dive into a lengthier project.

If you are interested in receiving a daily writing prompt to your inbox, please check out my Substack newsletter, found here. Once on the homepage, all you need to do is add your email address.

I hope to see you there!

All the best,

Justin

New Story Published!

Hi everyone,

I have some exciting news!

Spillwords Press published my short fiction titled “A Mile Away” on November 5th, 2021. The story is about overcoming obstacles, not giving up, and the importance of being a steadfast parent.

If you’re interested, please follow the link here. (It’s a sixty-second read!) Thanks a bunch.

Wishing you all the best,

Justin

An Overdue Update & Story Acceptance

Hello…?

To whoever is reading this, it’s been quite some time since I’ve had a chance to post any updates. Thanks for sticking around and for being here! This past year has been one of my worst in terms of writing, but one of my best in terms of living. My son turns one in eleven days, and my daughter is right around three and a half years old. What a blessing it is to be a parent of two wonderful children.

Where do I even begin? Recently, I accepted a teaching position much closer to home. I was making a round-trip commute of three hours per day, so it eventually drained the life out of me. I only spend ten minutes to and from work now, so I’m in a much better situation all around. The new gig is awesome (and my students, too), so I’m thankful to have landed in such a great place.

Alright, let’s talk writing and publishing. After giving it my best shot, I decided to throw in the towel with my microfiction publication, Friday Fix Fiction. It was a bummer to many loyal writers and readers, but I knew in my heart the publication had run its course. The venture began on Medium back in 2019. Last year, I attempted a standalone publication but was quickly overwhelmed with the logistics, design, and development of a website – not to mention the waves of submissions that rolled in. If I had more time, it might have been possible for me to continue the journey, but I know I made the right decision to shut it down while I was ahead. I am grateful for the experience and for the connections it allowed me!

I’m happy to say that I have resumed publishing through my Substack newsletter, Micro 2 Go. I write two short works of fiction (microfiction) on a weekly basis and email them to anyone who signs up. I also send a weekly writing prompt. The stories are sent on Mondays and Fridays while the prompt is sent on Wednesdays. If you have a minute, please feel free to stop by the site and check out some of my stories and prompts – and if you enjoy what you see, consider signing up!

My first story submissions of 2021 went out very late – not until mid September. However, I’m happy to say that a micro-memoir of mine will be published in Five Minute Lit in January of 2022! The piece is titled “Phantoms” and it’s exactly 100 words. I won’t give out any other details about it other than it’s an experience from my teenage years.

Well…I think that’s it for now. Thank you, reader, whoever you are, for taking the time to read this post. I hope all is well with you and that you are safe and healthy!

All the best,

Justin

“New Attendance Codes” has been published by The Daily Drunk Magazine

Happy New Year, everyone!

I’m a little late getting around to posting this, but I wanted to share another publication update. The Daily Drunk Magazine published my hybrid flash fiction story “New Attendance Codes” on Christmas Eve. I was excited to add this to my list of publications for 2020.

I wrote “New Attendance Codes” in an attempt to capture the pure absurdity of this school year. Schools and families are doing the best they can – I mean that earnestly – but this year has been unlike anything we have ever faced before. Each day poses a new challenge, and the challenges are far from what we used to typically experience.

Writing this story was simply one teacher’s way of having a laugh to help find his way through an obscure time.

I hope you enjoy it!

– Justin

Friday Fix Fiction: The Next Chapter Begins

At long last, I’m excited to announce the launch of Friday Fix Fiction, a standalone, online literary journal devoted to fifty-word microfiction. If you enjoyed reading or writing for The Friday Fix over on Medium, I hope you’ll consider taking a look at the new publication.

The overall concept is the same, but the model is a bit different. Instead of posting weekly prompts, a monthly theme will be shared, and accepted stories will appear on the last Friday of every month. My goal is to publish twelve issues for 2021. Each issue will publish up to twenty stories.

Here are some of my other long and short-term goals for Friday Fix Fiction:

  • Publish high-quality fiction alongside captivating photography.
  • Select a “featured” story for each issue.
  • Accept photography submissions for the cover of each issue, as well as the featured story.
  • Become a paying market. My first objective will be to pay the featured writer.
  • Host one or two annual contests with payouts for first, second, and third place. (Guest judges, too.)
  • Have two annual “mega” issues in June and December that either includes contest submissions or original stories.
  • Build an inclusive community that is accepting of all members.
  • Accept and promote the work of both emerging and experienced writers.
  • Create annual print anthologies, showcasing some of the best submissions from the year.

I won’t ramble on. Head on over to fridayfixfiction.com to get a feel for the new layout, submission process, and to scope out the site. Feel free to leave some feedback or ideas below, if you’d like. And please spread the word!

I hope to see your stories roll in soon. More importantly, I hope you’re excited. I know I am.

Wishing you all the best,

-Justin

“Charlie” has been published by Emerge Literary Journal

Good news!

On December 6th, my short story “Charlie” was published by Emerge Literary Journal in their sixteenth issue. I am grateful to have been included with so many other excellent writers.

“Charlie” originated from a Writer’s Digest photo prompt. I never ended up submitting my story to the magazine (missed the deadline, oops), but I used the prompt as a starting point for what would ultimately become “Charlie”. The photo depicted a young boy in a field of sunflowers, a smile stretching wide across his face. I studied the picture for several minutes before a thought struck me: This is the last time anyone ever saw this child. Thus, Charlie was born into my imagination.

The story captures one of my greatest fears, and probably that of every parent: losing a child. The manner in which how Charlie becomes lost leaves my stomach in knots, but I knew there wasn’t any way around it. Not for this story, at least.

I’m happy the editors at Emerge Literary Journal agreed.

See for yourself! Give “Charlie” a read here.

Take care, everyone. I hope your writing ventures are going well.

– Justin

Micro 2 Go

Microfiction readers:

  1. Are you constantly on the go?
  2. Do you enjoy snack-sized stories?

If you answered “Yes” to either question, it sounds like you might enjoy subscribing to Micro 2 Go. Here’s what you’ll receive if you decide to sign up:

  • Original microfiction delivered twice a week to your inbox.
  • Expect to see stories Monday/Friday mornings.
  • All posted content will remain free, forever.

Please feel free to check out my Substack page here.

I hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading,

Justin

“The World is Ending and I Forgot My Grocery List” is now published!

I have some exciting news!

The World is Ending and I Forgot My Grocery List” was published earlier today by Free Flash Fiction. I’m incredibly excited that this dark, quirky story has a home. If you have two minutes, please give it a read and let me know what you think!

All the best,

Justin

Medium and Microfiction

view of floating open book from stacked books in library
Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash

I write a fair amount of content over on Medium.com. Admittedly, I used to post more work during 2019, but I still create weekly writing prompts over at The Friday Fix – and serve as the editor of the publication.

Recently, the publication has been receiving over fifty prompt-based stories on a weekly basis, and somewhere around twenty to twenty-five original works of microfiction. In total, I’m seeing seventy-five submissions roll in every single week. It’s both incredibly fun and daunting at the same time!

As the person behind the scenes doing a lot of the nitty-gritty work, I’ve realized I haven’t been writing as much microfiction lately. It also feels a bit strange to post my own stories on The Friday Fix, which has evolved into a niche community on Medium with almost 1,500 followers – not to mention over 200 writers.

For this reason, I’ve decided to create my own personal publication on Medium called Story Well. I’m in the process of transferring all of my old fifty-word stories from The Friday Fix archives (wiping some cobwebs and grime off them, too) to Story Well in an effort to rejuvenate my love for this genre. Maybe this will get some new eyes on my work, as well.

As I go about this, my plan is to simultaneously share my stories here on my recently polished WordPress site. I’m interested to see if this will bring on new readers. More importantly, I hope to create more fans of the microfiction form of writing. Who knows, maybe by this time next year I’ll have a collection of my very own stories to shop around to publishers.

Hmm…might there be a chapbook in the not-so-distant future? Only time will tell.

Get ready for a wave of microfiction!

Happy writing,

Justin

Two Recent Acceptances

Good news! I recently had two of my flash fiction stories accepted.

“The World is Ending and I Forgot My Grocery List” will be published over at Free Flash Fiction later this month. I’m happy the story found a home.

I’m even more excited about my story, “Charlie”. It has been accepted at Emerge Literary Journal and will appear in their November issue!

I’m grateful for these publications and their kind editors.

That’s it for now. Expect to see some Friday Fix posts soon, as exciting events and developments are on the horizon.

Happy writing,

Justin

fountain pen on black lined paper
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash