Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Metazen: Online Flash Fiction Zine Review

"On behalf of Metazen, and my own disdain for double negatives, I've chosen your piece 'Cull' for publication on the site. I'll write you soon with the exact date that it will go up, but in the mean time, I send my congrats!"

Metazen is the perfect second flash fiction magazine review, since it has just accepted one of my flash fiction stories for publication. The reference to "double negatives" is one relating to my short story: the main character, a retired English teacher, disapproves of a former student's behavior--and the fact that he never moved past speaking in double negatives.

The first review of this series was of the online zine Every Day Fiction. I characterized that publication as having "an orderly, conservative appearance," adding "and that's fine by me. I prefer the 'flash' to be in the fiction."

Metazen is more whimsical, quirky, eccentric. I like the feel of the publication and the unexpected humor, both visual, literary, and editorially self-inflicted. The magazine isn't afraid to poke fun of submission/publication rituals, and the editors aren't leery of poking fun of themselves. I'm still "poking" around the publication itself, finding little nooks of information--decoding little nuggets such as "metazen began in March 2009 on a small coffee table with Frank staring at a bluish screen. Frank was drunk and hopeful" and "metazen does not believe in non-fiction, both in a literary sense and an existential sense."

I'm still thinking about that last example.

Metazen publishes both short fiction and poetry, following a daily schedule. "On Saturday- a ‘literary saturday morning cartoon’ is published," and "on Sunday- a “best of metazen” is (usually) published."

A visual is provided to increase one's understanding (see rocketlady).

 Submissions: You need to read this page because it's a joy.
  • Here's a flavor: "We will accept stories no longer than 3000 words. If your story is longer, please query first. Send a snippet. If it is batshit good then of course we will bend." 
  • And here's another: "Here come the tired the best way to know what we want is to read what’s on our site line. Though this is very, very true, if you are one of those A-holes that doesn’t like to read the site before submitting then maybe the list below will help you out a bit."
  • I feel like I should comment on the publication's stance regarding metafiction, but feel self-conscious about doing so.
These lines begin the Submissions page, though--words that show a respect for literature and writers: "Metazen accepts pieces of fiction, poetry and art. We look forward to reading your submissions and we treat every piece we recieve with a respect for its potency. We publish daily and therefore are (as of this update) never closed to submissions."

 Go to Metazen, enjoy yourself. Read some stories before you submit. That way you won't feel guilty for being one of those shameless "A-holes."

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Copyright 2010 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved


  1. Thanks for the info. I will check it out!

  2. Be sure to share with others, too! (I almost said 'be shure to share'!

  3. I like that "be shure to share"!! and I will right now. It looks like a wonderful magazine.

  4. And it was very fulfilling that about a week before posting (without their knowing I was writing a review), the zine accepted a flash fiction story from me.