Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2023

Flying Island Journal 3.23

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 3.23 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! In this edition, we announce our first, second, and third place winners of our Short Fiction Contest! In this edition, we also have three poems and another craft corner piece by our CNF editor, Michael Gawdzik. Inspired to send us your fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction? For more info on how to submit, see the tab above. Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors and Readers FICTION CONTEST WINNERS Thank you to IWC Writer-in-Residence, Barbara Shoup, for judging the contest. Thank you also to our anonymous donor for the first place prize and Half Price Bookstore of Avon for donating gift cards for our second and third place prizes. Congratulations to T.M. Spooner who is the first place winner of the Short Fiction Contest for his story, "Fireworks." You can read his story here . Congratulations to Roberta Barmore who is the second place winner of the Short Fiction Contest. Barmore&

First Place Short Story - "Fireworks," by T.M. Spooner

Fireworks by T.M. Spooner With dusk settling, the day nearly extinguished beyond the horizon, the boy hustled to the barn. He breathed deeply through the violet haze, through the slim tail of day fading into night. Gazing off to the North, across the cornfield, he was concerned they had waited too long and would miss the fireworks. He threw the latch on the barn door and inside, stacked beside a compost bin, were the aluminum lawn chairs. When his grandparents emerged from the farmhouse, they all started along the two-track at the edge of the prairie. A rusty barbed wire fence guided them on the far side of the trail. On the path, lined with skinny trees, purple thistle, and the sour scent of black walnuts, the boy’s grandparents walked ahead. The boy trudged behind them, dragging the lawn chairs, leaving peculiar scribbles in the dirt.  The destination was a little clearing at the edge of the cornfield where they could see the fireworks launched from a nearby town. About two miles as

Your Own Eclipse, a poem by Mary Sexson

Your Own Eclipse We waited for the eclipse’s darkness together, me running in and out with our grandson to peer through the homemade viewer we’d fashioned from one of his cereal boxes. You stayed inside, still tending to your heart, fresh from an eclipse of its own, some dark moon lumbering through your bypass grafts, shadowing the host, and bringing us all down to our knees. They say we won’t see a total eclipse for another seven years, far enough away for me to wonder if I’d view that one alone. Or would you persevere, hold back the tide that pushes closer to your shore, even as we both ooh and aah over the crescent shadows  dancing on our sidewalk. Mary Sexson is author of the award-winning book, 103 in the Light, Selected Poems 1996-2000 (Restoration Press), and co-author of Company of Women, New and Selected Poems (Chatter House Press). Her poetry has appeared in Tipton Poetry Journal, Lion’s Den Press, Laureate, Hoosier Lit, Flying Island, New Verse News, The Indianapolis Revie

Through the Peephole, a poem by Joshua Kulseth

Through the Peephole I thought it might be sex noises: high pitched squeals, sounds of banging furniture; and then higher, louder, a different shout outside the door: two children, nine or ten, a boy and girl playing tag, up and down the hotel hallway in their pajamas, giggling,  hitting each other, and disappearing again,  this time into their own room next door.  More slamming, and they’re back at it again,  kneading the red carpet with bare feet. It’s lovely, this unexpected running barefoot  in pajamas down halls, a welcome disturbance where sleepers grumble in their numbered  beds, away from games played; straining at the door to keep in view something daring disruption, distorted in distance. Joshua Kulseth earned his BA in English from Clemson University, and his MFA in poetry from Hunter College. He is currently a PhD candidate in poetry at Texas Tech University. His poems have appeared and are forthcoming in Tar River Poetry , The Emerson Review, The Worcester Review, Rappaha

Her Mother, a poem by Nancy Botkin

Her Mother I’m at it again    35 years later folding and flattening    little shirts and tiny  little socks, all of it     fitting in the palm  of my hand  Look! if what     they say is true,  and the heart is    as big as your fist Look! Look! a tiny beating     heart underneath a tiny shirt, something    that floored me  when her mother     was born, her mother  who is sleeping upstairs,    her breasts making  milk so that her little one    can puke and piss and shit creating more     laundry, more sudsy  water, more wonder    and endless cycles Nancy Botkin ’s newest full-length collection of poems, The Next Infinity, was published by Broadstone Books. Her poetry has been widely published in journals such as Poetry East, december, Gyroscope Review, and Third Coast. She lives in South Bend, Ind

Craft Corner with CNF Editor Michael Gawdzik

You should not fear writing; writing should fear you. Look at you. Reading this article. You rock. Why? Because you want to be a better writer, so you clicked on this article, and here you are: making the first step. Nice. Let me tell you this, the resolve it took you to click will always be needed in your writing journey. But now you have momentum, try not to lose it, but if you do, it's ok because setbacks happen. We all have reasons that keep us from writing. I'll skip the list. You need to get back to writing, especially if it's jotting down a kernel of a story inside a book jacket, because you already know the best readers make the best writers. Well done. There are always reasons not to do really anything. Sir Isaac Newton said something like that, but resistance grows strength. Humans are shaped through suffering. All you need to do is scribble down a few sentences, which can seem like a Herculean effort, but only because the gains are fit for no mere mortal. All rig