Summer Flash Showdown: Mad Summer Science Grand Prize Round!

Welcome to the Grand Prize Round of the Summer Flash Showdown. Up for grabs is blog fame, publication, and a whopping FIVE FREE SUNDRESS TITLES OF HIS OR HER CHOOSING!!!

Here’s the all-star lineup of worthy competitors:


Gordon Buchan is Philadelphia based writer. His work has recently appeared in Sugar House Review and BE Literary. He co-edits the online journal, Pretty Owl Poetry.


Donna Vorreyer is the author of A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as six chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish (Red Bird Chapbooks). Her fiction has previously appeared in Storychord, Extract(s), Cease, Cows, and Boston Literary Review. She is a poetry editor for Extract(s), and her second collection Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in late 2015. She resides in the Chicago area with two large dogs and a regular-sized husband.


Penny Pennell received an M.A. in English in 2003 from The University of Illinois at Springfield. Her short fiction has previously appeared in Eureka Literary Magazine (ELM), The Journal of Microliterature, River Poets Journal, Foliate Oak, Underground Voices, Barnstorm and The Illinois Times.

Barb Harroun photo-2-1

Barbara Harroun is an Assistant Professor at Western Illinois University. Her most recent work is forthcoming or appearing in Circus Book, Empty Sink, Per Contra Fiction, Fiction Southeast, Watershed Review, and Spelk. Her favorite creative endeavors are her awesome kids, Annaleigh and Jack. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she can be found walking her beloved dog, Banjo, or engaging in literacy activism and radical optimism. Her website is and she blogs about all things mysterious with her friend, colleague, and running partner Rebekah Buchanan at


Shawna Mayer’s first short story was called “All about Aardvarks.” It was three pages long and illustrated in red crayon. This was followed up by the less popular sequel, “A Family of Aardwolves.” Disappointed, Shawna abandoned the “A” section of her animal encyclopedia and went looking for other subjects to explore in her writing.After decades of practice, too many creative writing classes to count, and a couple of college degrees, she still writes regularly, submits to contests occasionally, gets published sporadically, and has a hard time keeping track of all her writing credits. If you’re curious: google her. She lives in Springfield, Illinois.


Sam Slaughter is the author of the chapbook When You Cross That Line, the forthcoming short story collection God in Neon and the forthcoming novel Dogs. He is currently working on his MFA at the University of South Carolina and works as, among other things, a spirits writer for The Manual. He can be found online at and on Twitter @slaughterwrites.


Amy Sayre Baptista lives and writes in Chicago, Illinois. She is a co-founder of the community arts program, Plates&Poetry. Her most recent publications can be found in The Butter, Alaska Quarterly Review, Ninth Letter, and Chicago Noir.


Jennifer Schomburg Kanke is a visiting faculty member at Florida State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Pleiades, Fugue, and Stirring. She previously served as the poetry editor for the Southeast Review and was an editor at Quarter After Eight.

What judge will decide the fate of these final stories?

None other than T.A. Noonan!

T.A. Noonan is the author of several books and chapbooks, most recently The Midway Iterations (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2015), Fall (Lucky Bastard Press, 2015), and The Ep[is]odes: a reformulation of Horace (Noctuary Press, 2016). Her work has appeared in Reunion: The Dallas Review, Menacing Hedge, LIT, West Wind Review, Ninth Letter, Phoebe, and others. A weightlifter, artist, teacher, priestess, and all-around woman of action, she is the Vice President and Associate Editor of Sundress Publications.

The Challenge: Mad Summer Science
We challenge you, our magnificent eight finalists, to compose your best science-infused flash fiction. This will require each of you to step outside your comfort zone and break out the beakers for some literary experiments. Whether it’s Linnaean taxonomy, the periodic table, mathematics, or dialogue infused with cause/effect analyses, we are looking for not only a plot commitment to a theme of science, but a crossover work. We are encouraging hybrids, ones that skirt the lines of prose poetry and flash fiction. Send us stories that transform cold calculations into unstable, potent emotive forces. We want your work to foster new kinds of reasoning, harnessing the potential of variant methods of communication.
May the best stories win! Limit two stories per author. 750 words maximum. Send all stories to RTF or DOCX file format preferred. Stories must be submitted by Friday, August 21st at midnight EST! Best of luck, and thank you for the work to come!

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