Fiction

On Her Skin

Goose bumps are taboo; her skin must be smooth and even. Last summer, he cracked open the windows for a breeze and let two fans chase away the heat….

Claire Polders is a Dutch author of four novels with a debut in English on the way. Her short prose appeared in Denver Quarterly, TriQuarterly, Green Mountains Review, Okey-Panky, Folio, Tin House (The Open Bar), Prairie Schooner (Blog), and elsewhere. You can find her at clairepolders.com.

Stepping on a Corn Flake

Marty realized that he had never once purchased a box of Corn Flakes, not ever in his life. The thought was very frightening. He wondered how he could’ve stepped on a Corn Flake in his own apartment without ever having purchased a box of Corn Flakes before….

Michael J. Coene’s short stories have been published by Barrelhouse Magazine, The Canary Press, Your Impossible Voice, and more — including an upcoming piece in The Fem Lit Mag. He lives with a blind dog above a duck-pin bowling alley in Baltimore. He does not sleep. He intends to write until he dies from it.

The Adventures of Macho the Dwarf, Or an Allegory of Epic Proportions about a Little Person

It was not uncommon for babies to show up at the door of the church. Whenever a woman had a baby she did not want, it appeared here so the Sisters could take it in the orphanage. Most mothers of these children, unable to care for them, took them personally to the convent or the orphanage. From many other similar drops, Cristobal knew that the fine basket, the blanket and the coloring of this little boy meant that a wealthy woman had had relations with a dark-skinned man, perhaps a servant, and the well-to-do family had deposited their shame on the doorstep of the church….

J.L. Torres is the author of The Accidental Native; The Family Terrorist and Other Stories; and the poetry collection, Boricua Passport. He has also published stories and poems in many journals and magazines, among them North American Review, Denver Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Crab Orchard Review, The Connecticut Review, The Americas Review, The Bilingual Review, Palabra, and The Tulane Review. Born in Puerto Rico, raised in the South Bronx, he teaches American literature and creative writing at SUNY, Plattsburgh. He is the Executive Editor of the Saranac Review.

Women in the Wild

They wear devilish waders and fly-fish in the creek at its most dangerous flow. They mainline Art, sip rattlesnake venom in the nude. They balance tea cups on their bosom and dare you to notice. They borrow your boombox and never give it back. Father says I can track them, but I must never touch. Wild women are brittle despite their strength, like iron with too much carbon….

Stephen V. Ramey’s work has appeared in various places, including The Doctor T. J. Eckleberg Review, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, The Journal of Microliterature, and Daily Science Fiction. He lives in beautiful New Castle, Pennsylvania, where the fireworks are always wonderful. You should visit sometime.

The Ex

You can’t remember the name of the guy sitting to your left, but you’re pretty sure the girl in the back is Jenny. When you told them about the boat and that the rest of the trip consisted of someone else’s directions, they assumed that someone else would be here in person. The tape recorder is better, you assure them, not wanting to get into the what-ifs and could-haves and the complicated sexual positions you and your ex circle around when you meet….

Charlie M. Broderick graduated from Hamline University with an MFA in creative writing. More of her writings appear in RevolverSleet Literary Magazine, and Red Bird Press.

Sleeping Beauty in Five Parts

When she last slept, she dreamt of a great lizard taking shape from the side of a building, a dinosaur that started out as a mural but which roared to life from the brick facade. Or did dinosaurs hiss? The poor monster couldn’t sleep either, she supposed….

Cezarija Abartis’ Nice Girls and Other Stories was published by New Rivers Press. Her stories have appeared in Per Contra, Pure Slush, Waccamaw, and New York Tyrant, among others. Her flash, “The Writer,” was selected by Dan Chaon for Wigleaf’s Top 50 online Fictions of 2012; and “To Kiss a Bear” was selected for Wigleaf?s Longlist 2016. She teaches at St. Cloud State University. Read more at magicmasterminds.com.

The Fedora

The following day, he hung himself in the guest bathroom of the Deardorf’s two-story, five-bedroom house. Because he was so tall, it was perplexing to the police how he managed to accomplish this in such a small space. The conclusion was that he must’ve bent his legs or touched his chest with his knees as he inhaled his final breath….

Garrett Socol is a former cable television producer and episode writer. He created “Talk Soup” for the E! Network. His stories have been published in several dozen literary journals. His collection, Gathered Here Together, was published by Ampersand Books. He has a slightly twisted sense of humor.

The New Playboy Club

Pretend you’re on a dating show not because you want to be (unless you’ll get a book deal, that happens sometimes) but for ulterior motives, say as a government spy or as a budding sociologist with a thesis deadline. Argue with your not-too-gruff-to-cry spy boss or with your stern-but-hip professor that this is, in fact, the new Playboy Club and you’re Gloria Steinem. (Don’t mention the substantial cash prize that will help with your student loans….)

Kathryn McGranahan goes by Katie but out of habit, not stylistic choice. This is her first piece of fiction to be published. She’s fresh meat.  {Disclaimer: She’s fresh, but not pristine fresh. Eckleburg claims her, :). We promise we haven’t damaged her. She’s real good. You should read and publish her.}

The Debate

He prepared well for the debate: waxed the skin of his face, his mustache and the bald spot on the top of his head, trimmed his beard, and rubbed frankincense essential oil on the bottom of his feet and on his neck to help alleviate nervous energy and for the pleasant smell….

Mark Budman was born in the former Soviet Union. His writing appeared in American Scholar, Huffington Post, World Literature Today, Daily Science Fiction, Mississippi Review, Virginia Quarterly, The London Magazine (UK), McSweeney’s, Sonora Review, Another Chicago, Sou’wester, Southeast Review, Mid-American Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, the W.W. Norton anthology Flash Fiction Forward and elsewhere. He is the publisher of the flash fiction magazine Vestal Review. His novel My Life at First Try was published by Counterpoint Press to wide critical acclaim. He co-edited flash fiction anthologies from Ooligan Press and Persea Books/Norton. He is at work on a novel about Lenin running for president of the United States. Read more at markbudman.com

Dream Work

Weird dreams are Angie’s favorites. Dreams about eggs jumping off frying pans and skating around kitchens. Dreams of waltzing with long-dead aunts on bright cruise ship decks. Randomness was easy. It can mean anything….

Nathan Tavares writes fiction, sometimes about benevolent frauds, young immortals, and the terrible and/or wonderful things people do for/to each other. His writing has appeared in PANK, Necessary Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, and elsewhere. You can find more of his work at nathantavares.com.

Eckleburg Workshops in Fiction

Short Story Workshop

Short Short Story Workshop

Novel: From Start to Finish Workshop

Magic Realism Workshop

Writing Sex in Literary Fiction: Are Your Sex Scenes Essential or Gratuitous?

View All Fiction Workshops

About Eckleburg Fiction

Eckleburg runs online, daily content of original fiction and hybrid including work from Richard Peabody, Cris Mazza, Eurydice, Rick Moody, Steve Almond and more…. Read hard. Write hard. “Being a good lit citizen means supporting lit pubs. Donate. Buy. I’m going to show some #AWP17 mags that you need to support…”

FICTION SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

We accept previously unpublished and polished prose up to 8,000 words year round, unless announced otherwise.  We are always looking for tightly woven short works under 2,000 words and short-shorts around 500 words. No multiple submissions but simultaneous is fine as long as you withdraw the submission asap through the submissions system. During the summer and winter months, we run our Writers Are Readers, Too, fundraiser when submissions are open only to subscribers. During the fall and spring, we open submissions for regular unsolicited submissions.

Note: We consider fiction, poetry and essays that have appeared in print, online magazines, public forums, and public access blogs as already being published. Rarely do we accept anything already published and then only by solicitation. We ask that work published at Eckleburg not appear elsewhere online, and if republished in print, original publication credit is given to The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review. One rare exception is our annual Gertrude Stein Award, which allows for submissions of previously published work, both online and print.

 

ANNUAL GERTRUDE STEIN AWARD IN FICTION

1st Prize $1000 and publication. Accepting entries year round. Eligibility: All stories in English no more than 8,000 words are eligible. No minimum word count. Stories published previously in print or online venues are eligible if published after January 1, 2011. Stories can be submitted by authors, editors, publishers, and agents. Simultaneous and multiple submissions allowed. Each individual story must be submitted separately, with separate payment regardless of word count. Eckleburg editors, staff, interns and current students of The Johns Hopkins University are not eligible for entry.

 

ANNUAL FRANZ KAFKA AWARD IN MAGIC REALISM

1st prize $1000 and publication. Accepting entries year round. Eligibility: All stories in English and magic realism no more than 8,000 words are eligible. No minimum word count. Stories published previously in print or online venues are eligible if published after January 1, 2011. Stories can be submitted by authors, editors, publishers, and agents. Simultaneous and multiple submissions allowed. Each individual story must be submitted separately, with separate payment regardless of word count. Eckleburg editors, staff and interns are not eligible for entry. Submissions for the Franz Kafka Award are currently closed.

 

NOVEL AND STORY COLLECTION MANUSCRIPTS

We publish short works at Eckleburg. At this time, we do not publish novel, long memoir, essay collections, story collections or poetry collections. We do offer manuscript workshops at The Eckleburg Workshops. If you are looking to place a manuscript, we can suggest several excellent small and large presses whose excellent books are promoted through our Eckleburg Book Club — i.e., Random House, Graywolf Press, Coffeehouse, Tinhouse, St. Martins Press and more. 

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Supporter of VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts