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What We’re Reading: Fiction Fix

2011 December 22

What We're ReadingFiction Fix is an online-only literary journal, based out of the University of North Florida. It approaches fiction as an addictive experience, hence the name. It started as a print journal, but like many journals in these changing times, went exclusively online in 2009 to save money. However, the issues are still presented online as they would be in print, with page layout and the like, which I find interesting. They use ISSUU to display their issues, and readers can download them from there.

The most recent issue, Issue 10, is a lengthy one, with 205 pages. Take your time digesting the work. The ebb and flow of the issue are paced well, and the work is varied and dense. You can really see the addictive nature of fiction as each piece does its best to pull you in deep. The art is placed unobtrusively, and the avant-garde, abstract nature of most of it works really well with the literature next to it: not too matchy, holds its own, while not being too loud. The current issue starts off with a short story called “Nesting” by Lindsay Oncken (also the Editor’s Choice Award), which was one of my favorites. Here are the opening lines, to give you a taste:

He liked to toss her name around and feel its resistance on his tongue. It had legs, like a good wine; the L’s would linger, her name full-bodied and swimming beneath surface tension. “Lily,” he said.

Opening with such an impactful image is sure to grab the reader’s attention. The story continues, and you realize it’s exploring a dicey subject, stalking. Yet the author makes stalking almost…beautiful. As creepy as that is. The story, however, lingers a little too long on the images in some moments, trying too hard to be poetic at all times, which in turn occasionally detracts from the story’s forward movement.

Yet another unique aspect of Fiction Fix is their annual Gypsy Sachet Award in letters and biographies, which started for its first year this year. On the Fiction Fix website, it says, “Fiction Fix recognizes particularly creative, beautiful, funny, and poetic letter & biography submissions with this new and unique award.” I found many of these especially hilarious and intriguing, such as Alex Miller’s biography: “I’m an editor at a small newspaper in the hills of Tennessee. I could use a vacation.” Or this excerpt from Anna Pennington’s cover letter: “Sorry I always get so weird in these things, I start with such good intentions and next thing I know I’m four beers in and telling you I think you[‘re] pretty. So pretty.”

As a writer who has written many a cover letter myself, I can truly appreciate the craft to make even a usually standard, run-of-the-mill cover letter leap off the page. Kudos to Fiction Fix for rewarding that!

Think your fiction would be a fantastic fit for Fiction Fix (mmm, listen to that fanciful alliteration)? Submit here. We’ve even got their spring submission deadline here on our Calendar of (Un)Deadlines.

What’s the funniest or most moving cover letter you’ve ever written/read? What other online journals do you find especially unique?

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