A good story-teller can read from a phone book and have me enthralled, if they bring something to the table besides situation

What has made story-tellers believe that it’s a person’s situation that is what makes them interesting? Hospital stories. Cop stories. Time travel stories. Reality shows. Tabloid magazines. It’s (almost) all garbage. An interesting story-teller will never capture an audience if they cannot bring anything more to the table than the circumstances. Writers, bring the reader into the mind of your characters~!


Dear Writer, OMG, That happened?? Most uninteresting, try again. J/K, we’re really just mean editors. Go away.

So many writers draw on what they know and then are trapped by it, failing to use it as inspiration to get on with it–to get to the good part. Successful fiction has thought of any reader questions and already answers the ones that are worth answering.

Let’s say two editors read the new Ken Liu piece from the slush pile and are amazed. They both approve the award-winning author’s latest and, still on a high, move to the next piece. This one is by another of their favorite authors, who (for the purpose of this fictitious exercise) is fictitious. Unlike Ken Liu. Soon the editors are perplexed over this new piece about “Tim, the Boy Who Thought About the Circus.”

The first editor has questions by the end of the piece, about the character. The facts are all here. But when does this take place? Had the circus ever been around before? Was the strong man really gay? Why were there hyenas but not tigers? What did it all smell like? Didn’t Tim get dust in his eye? Did he want to join? Did he have any empathy for the poor animals or maybe the carnies? Did they really have small hands (the carnies)? Would it be better if one escapes (the animals)? Maybe leaves a scar? Maybe a carny leaves a scar? Is it ‘carny’ or ‘carney’…?

So much for the first addled editor.

The second editor reads all about Tim, but instead thinks, “Boy, that Ken guy is an awesome writer… I bet he gets all the girls.” And then he votes Tim off the table completely.

As an author, you got one shot with a reader. Don’t waste it. If you haven’t worked out the reader experience–anticipated reader questions and answer the ones that are worth answering–by the time you submit it, your story is probably a miss.

How do we do eBook Distribution? Glad you asked…

What formats?

Every month we provide new stories, but did you know we compile these into a free eBook for eReaders? There’s EPUB, MOBI and PDF and more.

In stores, too?

We push these to all eReader storefronts. To do this, we use four channels: Smashwords, Amazon KDP, Google Play and Lulu. This covers every eReader, and then some.

How fast?

Note that it can take weeks for our monthly issue to appear in those catalogs, so if you are too impatient waiting for your issue, you do have the option of using the direct links to your favorite format, which you can “sideload” on your own. Once our monthly tasks in the four channels above are completed, then Nook is probably the first thing to show up. If they are not first in the eBook market, at least they can be first to market.

Can you keep it up?

It might not seem worth all the work to distribute monthly, so we make sure that every issue is at least 15,000 words. We’ll need your submissions for that, right? Hint, hint?

More information?

For exhaustive details on these channels please read, About Distribution, at the main site. Here are sample links for March, 2014.


eBook (free)

eBook (free)

eBook (free)

eBook (free)

eBook (free)

eBook (free)


As a writer, why should I care?

Because, when you change from publishing in journals to publishing yourself, you’ll learn a lot about where your work is being read. I love graphs. Don’t you? Here is one about worldwide markets for all eBook sales:
Statistic: Global e-book revenue from 2009 to 2016*, by region (in million U.S. dollars) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

3 Writing Acceptances Sent; Adding Author’s Note; Got more?

Let’s face it, we’re getting stories we like, but we could use more submissions. You writers get personal feedback on every submission. It’s like we’re right there with you telling you, “No,” but holding your hand, while we do it. Doesn’t that sound nice? Creepy, you say? No.

We’d like the authors to have a chance to add a post-script to their piece and have it included. This isn’t original but we like it, so we’ll add it on a case-by-case basis. Just think how nice it is when Robert Osborne comes out and tells us a little context or backstory, before or after a film and it makes the viewer go, “Huh, wow, Bobby’s getting old.”

You know the drill: We’re calling writers for literary fiction short stories and flash fiction submissions at our journal bdlit.com … genre fiction is OK, too.


Anecdote, Reminiscence and other Side Effects

Selecting first-person narrative is high-risk. Will you, the writer, create a first-person story that is anecdotal, reminiscent, exposition-heavy, didactic or …? Odds are: yes. Check out this example:

  • Narrative gives off this tone: “This is important because I remember it.”
  • Readers think: “Stop talking already. I’m trying to hear the story.”

Is this your story? If so, try shifting the narrative power to stealth mode. It more easily transports the reader without speed bumps, without authorial intrusion. Does “first-person” always fail?  Of course not. Just be objective about how your choice in relating your story either complicates or enhances the reading.

March Stories are Out! New from @davelaureate @t_morrissey @seanmmonaghan

March Stories are Out! New from @davelaureate @t_morrissey @seanmmonaghan

The Way to Shangri-La
David W. Landrum
“Your calling to live in an ashram and pursue a certain type of spiritual attainment is at an end. You have come on this pilgrimage to find new direction. Your calling has changed.”

Scent of Darkness 
Ted Morrissey
It seemed to absorb the dark of night so that in dawn’s twilight it appeared more than merely black but an actual void, an emptiness in the air that one might step through into another place altogether, like Alice’s rabbit-hole.

Sean Monaghan
It is an old thing. The kind of machine that was innovative a hundred years ago, but now is pretty left behind. I like to keep it on hand just to see how the old markets are doing. They never do very well, but I still have money out there, locked away.


David W. Landrum teaches Literature at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. He has published over a hundred short stories in various journals and anthologies. His novel, The Sorceress of the Northern Seas, is available from Netherworld Books, UK, through Amazon; his novellas, Strange Brewand The Gallery are also available fromAmazon. The BDLit Stories by David W. Landrum: “The Way to Shangri-La – Issue #2, Mar, 2014. Also on: Goodreads. @davelaureate
Sean Monaghan works as an educator in a busy public library. His stories have appeared inPerihelionAurealis and The Colored Lens, among others. Website: SeanMonaghan.com. The BDLit Stories by Sean Monaghan: “800” – Issue #2, Mar, 2014. Also on: Goodreads. @seanmmonaghan
Ted Morrissey holds a Ph.D. in English studies and is an adjunct lecturer in English at University of Illinois Springfield and in the Writing and Publishing Program at Benedictine University Springfield, where he’s a reader for Quiddity international literary journal and public-radio program. He is the author of the novels An Untimely Frost and Men of Winter, as well as the novelette Figures in Blue. His short fiction has appeared in nearly twenty journals, including Glimmer Train StoriesThe Chariton Review, and PANK. He’s also published the monograph, The Beowulf Poet and His Real Monsters. Please see TedMorrissey.com for further information. The BDLit Stories by Ted Morrissey: “Scent of Darkness” – Issue #2, Mar, 2014. Also on: Goodreads. @t_morrissey