FFM Updates

10 min read

Deviation Actions

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Hello Flash Fiction Month Followers!

July is near! Which means our Official Flash Fiction Month 2016 Sign-Up page, and delectable 2016 Prompt Bank will be posted at the end of this week, so be ready! are here! We shall also be assaulting your inboxes with various polls etc over the remainder of June, so be ready for that too.

Feeling out of flash fiction shape? Want to get back in the game? Have a look at DamonWakes Flash Fiction Day which will be taking place on the 22nd of June. Participants are challenged to write as many flash fiction stories as possible within 24 hours, and we happen to think it looks like a really fun event, not to mention a great way to warm up for you know what. Ninja 

Now, on to business. Changes have been afoot, and so before FFM 2016 gets into full swing we thought we'd take the time to discuss certain things with all of you*, as well as send out a (slightly) desperate plea for help. It's a big 'un, we know, and more than slightly serious in tone, but we hope you'll take the time to read it through. 

*Most of the information below will only really apply to past participants, so if you're a new addition to our mad little club, don't worry.

Party Topic 1: Volunteers

The 2016 FFM Hydra currently consists of one Head, and two (possible) part-time tentacles. Obviously, being a semi-immortal multi-headed inter-dimensional fiction monster, we are capable of anything, and we could conceivably pull this off alone, but a little help would be nice. 

So, if you have at least one year of full FFM experience under your belt, and you are willing to assist with Challenges/judging/admin/etc over the course of July (or even just for a few specific days), please send us a note:pwease: 

Applications are welcome for both lesser tentacles (every bit helps), and full mind-bendy quasi-godlike Headhood (though you might first be subjected to a Herculean trial, an Arthurian Quest, and/or a Sphinx's riddle).

Alternately you could just bribe us with cookies. We are known to be very partial to chocolate-chip.

Reading Topic 2: Group Submissions

You might have noticed that for the last few months we (by which I mean I) have been adding the entire back-catalog of FFM stories from year 2009-2015 to the Group Gallery Folders. It has been a herculean task (and honestly if we had known just how herculean we probably wouldn't have started the group in the first place), but the end is nigh, and we only have years 2014 and 2015 left to submit.

"But why should I care about any of this, you may ask?

Simply put, the Group exists to ensure that your flash fiction stories are easily available to be read by as many people as possible. When the FFM 2016 stories start rolling in, all of your new, wonderful Flash Fiction will be delivered straight to peoples inboxes to be read and enjoyed, and we need that to happen without a mountain of old stories getting in the way. We're doing our best to make this happen, all that we ask is that you do the same. And in order to do this we need all (or at least most) of the past FFM stories to be in the gallery before July 1st,

A small handful of you have submitted your stories to the group as we requested in the group announcement journal, and to these wondrously lovely individuals we give our profound thanks. You may be few in number, but you've still saved us many long hours of additional work, and for this you have our eternal gratitude and adoration.
On that note: If you participated in FFM 2014 or 2015 and you haven't yet submitted your deviations to the FlashFictionMonth Group Gallery, please do so now. 

As it stands I'm currently spending 2-3 hours (or more) every day just continuously adding past stories to the gallery in an attempt to have it finished before July 1st. So really. Please. I cannot grovel enough on this subject. If you're alive, and plan to participate in FFM 2016 then there is no excuse not to do this yourself. 

If you aren't sure how to do it, just send us a note and we'll walk you through it, but please, please, make the effort to try. What takes me several hours will only take you several minutes, and I really miss having free time. Sad dummy 
Once all past stories have been added please note that we will not be submitting any more stories to the group on your behalf. So from this July onward it will be up to YOU to submit your own deviations to the group.

(Whew, so many BOLD LINES. But this is important stuff. There is one's life and one's full time job to consider. So avoid our eternal displeasure by submitting your own damnable flash fiction. Also. We know who you are... Just saying. *cough cough* Selective PILISH challenges anyone?)

Sherlock HolmesTopic 3: Group Gallery vs Group Favorites

Have you received a notification over the past few months saying that one or more of your stories has been added to the  FlashFictionMonth favorites? That's probably because we thought you were missing!

When we set up the group our intention was to collect ALL the FFM stories in one place so they could be browsed at our leisure. But we've been at this Flash Fiction business for a long time now, and since 2009 many deviants have put their deviations into storage, deactivated their accounts, or just vanished into the ether. There isn't much we can do about the first two, but what about those deviants who haven't logged on in 124 weeks or whose last known activity is simply "unknown". 

Well, we've added all those deviations to our Favorites folders. For posterity.

In order to feature a deviation in our group we need the owner's consent. Unfortunately the upper limit on these requests is one month, after which the submission request expires. We've been trying to keep track of who is gone for good, and who might just be lurking, but for the most part it just comes down to guesswork. So if you've been away for a while and notice a bunch of expired group feature requests in your inbox, or a copious amount of FlashFictionMonth favorites notifications, please let us know you're back, and ideally go ahead and submit your old FFM stories to the Group Gallery where they belong.

On a side note: At the moment we are noticing a lot of expired group submission requests for some of you that we know to be active, which means we are having to re-do a lot of them. We understand there may be various reasons for this, and that sometimes these messages do get swallowed by DA accidentally, but please take the time to accept all the requests as and when you see them. Likewise if you don't want your story in the Group gallery please just "Deny" the request and contribute several extra minutes to the lifespan of your local Hydra.

Winner  Topic 4: FFM Prizes & Judging 

Last year (for only the second time since FFM started in 2009) we managed to announce and send out prizes to ALL four weekly winners of FFM. Alas, little did we know that all those prior aborted winner's announcements were actually sheltering us from an awful truth.

We really don't receive enough donations to allow us to give out four prizes each July.

It's sad, we know, and we've wrestled with it for some time now, but for the moment we will be condensing the prize giving into one glorious uber-prize for the month of FFM. Everything will run as before, and the prize winner will be selected from one of the four startlingly talented individuals who have won a Weekly Challenge.
 EDITSince posting this journal we've received enough donations for at least three prize mugs. You guys are amazing. Worship 

That said, to everyone who has donated so far (and indeed over the years), thank you. You've made so many things possible with your generosity, and we are still counting on you for that yearly prize! Who knows, things might change, and we're open to suggestions!

New Which brings us on to the topic of JUDGING. As previously mentioned, our judging track record is abysmal. With all the other demands of running FFM and the inherently flaky nature of volunteers we can only imagine the struggles our predecessors had to go through. We managed it last year, but only because we are preternaturally stubborn and decided to forego sleep for several weeks. 

And so this year we will be OUTSOURCING the judging to all of you! 

What was that, a groan of despair? We really thought you'd be more excited, but let us clarify. This only applies to those of you who wish to take part in the weekly challenges and be eligible for the grand prize. It only seems fair to share the load, and we promise not to overwhelm you with an avalanche of words, so don't worry. All it will require is reading the challenge entries of three fellow participants each week (most of which you were probably reading already), after which we'll narrow things down on our own.


Now that all of that is out of the way, let us bring this journal to an end. If you made it this far, we salute you, and hope you'll take certain information to heart. If you haven't done so already ensure you are ready for JULY 2016, and make sure you have joined FlashFictionMonth as one of it's members, and that you are  Added to my devWatch! watching Flash-Fic-Month for the daily prompts and challenges.

FFM is near and dear to all our hearts, and we hope that you will continue to help us make it bigger, and better with each, and every year. Ours is a special community, and we feel privileged to have been a part of it for so many years.

w00t! VIVA LA FFM!
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DamonWakes's avatar
I've just got my stories submitted to the relevant gallery folders: sorry I didn't get onto that sooner, but I don't really do much with groups usually and wanted to take the time to be sure that I was doing it right.

Outsourcing the judging sounds like a good idea. Personally, I think this will be a good incentive to keep up with at least a few writers when otherwise I might just get my own story done for the day and leave it at that. It would also take some of the strain off the hydra: with the number of stories coming in for the event, I'm not surprised that so many challenge entries have gone unjudged. I'm also happy with the idea of just one FFM challenge winner, though (coming to this late) it's good to see that the donations are still coming in regardless.

Finally, thanks for spreading the word about Flash Fiction Day! The event got a truly astounding number of participants this year and I think the bulk of its success is down to people sharing it (especially people who've already attracted a huge following of flash fiction writers themselves).