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August 20th, 2008

I'm happy to report purchases three and four for Cinema Spec: Tales of Hollywood and Fantasy:

"Obmutescence," by Paul Abbamondi, a dark fantasy story about a quest for silence in the City of Angels.

"eventual, i," by Greg Beatty, a speculative poem about what happens to a video store as one letter disappears each night from its neon "Videos" sign.

I've now answered submissions (rejection, acceptance, or hold notice) through August 10.

In the tips department, I've got several:

I thought this went without saying, but I've now received evidence via a number of submissions that it needs saying, so here goes. I'm not interested in stories or poems that use characters created by others, even if they're movie characters. While parodies might be considered fair use, they also might not, and I'm not up for getting entangled in copyright issues. Please stick to characters of your own invention. The one exception would be fictional/poetic tributes to real actors, especially deceased ones, although there'll be a limit to how many of those I will accept.

Second, I'm not receiving enough real flash fiction, i.e. stories under 1000 words. I went with the 2000 word limit because it's sometimes hard to know, when you conceive a flash story, exactly how much room you're going to need to achieve the desired effect. But the idea (in my head, at least) with paying only for the first thousand words (for new stories) was that the author would still be thinking "flash," but have a little extra room to play with if it became necessary. The preponderance, though, of 1800-2000 word stories might seem to indicate otherwise. In any case, please think "flash": tight writing, grabbing the reader on the first page, etc.

Finally, for reprint submissions, I prefer stories/poems that appeared in print or haven't been online for at least a couple of years.

Thanks. Keep 'em comin'.