Home again after a very pleasant four-day trip to Vancouver, B.C., for the Best of Every Day Fiction Two launch event. We took an extra day to do a little sightseeing in and around Vancouver. More on the purely recreational part of the trip tomorrow. Since I’m a professional, I’ll give you the business first.
Every Day Fiction (EDF) is an online magazine featuring a new work of flash fiction every day of the year, just like the name says. Stories span the gamut of styles and genres, and contributors hail from around the world. They’ve published four of my flash stories so far, and selected one of them, “Little Piece of Cloth,” to be part of this year’s print anthology. Schedule, money, and cheap airfares to the northwest came together in a harmonious conjunction, so I was able to attend the launch event in Vancouver on January 30.
The official program started with a roundtable discussion about EDF and flash fiction, conducted over lunch at the Kingston Tap House & Grille, a cozy little pub in downtown Vancouver. This was my first opportunity to meet the EDF staff in-person, and they were very friendly and enthusiastic about their enterprise and about writing. We talked about the appeal of flash fiction in a hurried and increasingly wired world, the challenge of building awareness of flash fiction among the public at large, and opportunities for expanding the influence, reputation, and profitability of EDF.
Editors Camille Gooderham Campbell and Jordan Lapp are exploring ways to increase the level of payments to contributing writers, attract participation by “name” authors, and generally raise the magazine’s profile and prestige among readers and reviewers. They’re working to extend EDF’s publishing activities into print (the annual anthology being the first step in that direction) and other forms of electronic media. The EDF staff is also trying to build a community of writers around their website that will provide opportunities for networking, skills development, and critique of works in progress.
It was a great conversation. These are smart, creative people with a passion for promoting the art of flash fiction. They love what they’re doing with EDF and are in it for the long haul.
About 4pm, we assembled at the Cedar Cottage Coffee House in southeast Vancouver for the book launch. In-between coffee and some tasty hors d’oeuvres provided by the Cedar Cottage staff, fellow contributor Andrew Boden and I read our stories, “Dry Fire,” and “Little Piece of Cloth,” chatted with folks, and signed books. Everything was very cozy and informal, we sold quite a few books, made some new friends, and everybody had a great time.
By the way, Andrew’s story is a great example of the emotional punch a well-written flash fiction story can deliver. If you haven’t read it yet, you should.
Later that evening, we reconvened at the Kingston Tap House for a post-event celebration. I had a nice chat with EDF webmaster Steven Smethurst , who gave me a few tips for upgrading my writing website and leveraging Google and other search resources to generate more hits.
Last, but not least, kudos to EDF Marketing and PR director Kevin Young for a great job setting up the event and coordinating everything with the Kingston Hotel, the Tap House, and Cedar Cottage.
Tomorrow, I’ll talk about the recreational part of the trip, our whirlwind tour of the fair city of Vancouver.