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  • Issue Number Issue 8
  • Published Date Fall 2005
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
From the moment you pick up Quick Fiction, something tells you it isn’t a standard literary journal. There’s the diminutive size, the quirky cover art, and, most notably, the refreshing and innovative selections of flash fiction. Each piece clocks in at five hundred words or less, the subject matter ranging from a surreal sexual encounter to sea turtles to an overdue library book to an interview with the CIA, featuring styles both lyrical and gritty, with some entries blurring the line between prose and poetry.
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  • Issue Number Volume 7 Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This Spring/Summer 2014 issue of Quiddity is ambrosia to modern writers and readers alike. It values brevity, and wraps life’s enigmas in eloquent vocabulary. Three-quarters of the issue is dedicated exclusively to poetry, but even the prose is concise, and yet all of the pieces are dense with dimension and meaning. This issue is broken into four categories: poetry, prose, interviews, and art. Each section is carefully pieced together like patches to create a beautiful quilt.
  • Issue Number Volume 11/12
  • Published Date 2004/2005
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Quarter After Eight describes itself as publishing “some of the most innovative and significant experimental prose in contemporary letters.” This issue contains plenty of prose poetry and flash fiction, but the pieces that strike me as most unusual and interesting are the longer ones. Karrie Higgins’s essay, “State Lines,” about her epilepsy, is a standout.
  • Issue Number Issue Four
  • Published Date October 2003
Measuring in at 6”x6”, this is a great little journal to tuck in a bag, purse, glovebox, computer bag, under a pillow or wherever you can think to stash it for truly quick reading. Keeping entries at under 500 words, this publication offers a zen approach to reading literature – just as we can remind ourselves to breathe during hectic days, this publication is an accessible reminder to read.
  • Issue Number Volume 15
  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Quarter After Eight publishes prose-poems, short-short fictions, essays in-brief, etc., all of which must be contained within 500 words or less. The highlighted criterion encourages an “innovative address to the prose form…dedicated to blurring the traditional lines of prose and verse.” This issue features 28 short pieces including the 2008 Robert J. DeMott Short Prose Contest winners, with First Place going to Cynthia Reeves for “Naming the Dead.” As stated in a preface by contest judge Sean Thomas Dougherty, Reeves manages “In barely a page…[to] offer us [an] elegy for the loss of a friend, the gaining of sexual knowledge, and the subsequent hurt that follows years later through the ghost of memory.” “Naming the Dead” is so beautifully rendered it’s difficult to decide if its lines should be quoted in prose or verse, such as in the following:
Flash pieces are often my favorite to read (and write), so when I came upon this brand new magazine, I simply had to review it (after delightedly sharing it with my fellow flash fiction lovers). Quickly publishes pieces unbound by genre or form, so long as they can say what they need to say in 703 words or fewer.
  • Issue Number Issue 13
  • Published Date Fall 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The form par excellence for online journals, flash fiction is quickly establishing itself as a form to be reckoned with. Quick Fiction has become the premier venue for flash fiction as well as one of the few outlets that devotes itself entirely to fiction under 500 words. Since the stories are so short, it’s hard to put down – unlike longer journals where one needs to come up for air every once in a while.
  • Issue Number Volume 3 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This issue of Quiddity is simply delightful. Beginning with Fani Papageorgiou’s poem “The Welder,” it goes about its business of entertaining the masses of literary fandom:
  • Issue Number Issue 59
  • Published Date Winter 2005
Quarterly West consistently turns out sparkling pieces of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, and this issue is no different. Steve Fellner’s notable essay, “Are You There Judy? It’s Me, Steve,” is a bittersweet reflection on the impact of Judy Blume on the author’s adolescence. The fiction ranges from experimental to realism, and teenage thieves, dying in Israel, and raising exotic animals are among the wide-ranging subject matter. 
  • Issue Number Number 57
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2003-4
A bizarre admission: I write and, much more often than not, read fiction and poetry, and Quarterly West, seemingly without intent, has made a nonfiction convert out of me. It’s not that I am not enthralled by the two novellas from the biennial contest within this issue (and pity Kevin McIlvoy for having to choose between these two, let alone however many countless others).
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  • Issue Number Volume 6 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Quiddity has the variety anyone can enjoy: the new works of poetry, prose, art, and interviews are drawn from around the world. And the results and advantage of combining a literary and art journal with public radio programs is always intriguing. I don’t know how the radio station handled the paintings, but here we can view George Colin’s nine untitled pieces as support, counter-point, accompaniment, or just plain enjoyable.
  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date Winter 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Themed “Beginnings & Endings,” this is a slim but tightly packed journal. Though fiction takes precedence, the overarching editorial preference is for strong character development, regardless of genre. This also lends itself to exploring relationships, but thankfully, the theme does not draw upon clichéd beginnings and endings. Instead, editors have selected works that blur these boundaries, reach for them but fall uncomfortably short, and force the reader to accept that there are rarely clean starts and finishes in life.
  • Issue Number Volume 2 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This is a delightful combination of poetry and short fiction, both in English, and in such languages as Urdu and Portuguese, with English translations on the faced pages. This is a wonderful device, and I found it to be irresistible. Seeing literature in its original form only enhances the translations of it. Could I, I wondered, learn a bit of Urdu this way? Only time will tell on that one, but it’s high time that Quiddity gets a shout-out from the review community.
  • Issue Number Volume 1 Issue 1
  • Published Date May-June 2007
  • Publication Cycle annual
A new journal appearing both in print and online, Quay offers a crisp collection of fiction, non-fiction and drama. The print issue's format (almost square) is unusual without trying too hard, and the same is true for the content. One of my favorites among the fiction pieces was J.P. Briggs's "American Debut," in which an agent and a producer discuss a starlet called Eva, "the next big icon of a generation," while "[t]he snakes darted and skimmed in the swimming pool with their arrow heads flexed above the blue water." I was also impressed with Myfanwy Collins's "Cowless, Rainbowless," a sequence of vignettes revealing the narrator's hurt in nightmarish slow-motion. The beauty of the writing is an almost perfidious contrast to the narrator's pain and loneliness. Completely different in style: Scott Humfeld's "Capt. Spaulding and the Missing Motor," a tale set in the Peruvian jungle, delivered with the authority and wit of first-hand experience.
  • Issue Number Number 30
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2006/2007
The 30th Anniversary Issue of Quarterly West is, from cover to cover, consistently and astonishingly good. This issue features AWP Intro Award Winners in fiction and poetry, and the Writers@Work Fellowship Award Winners in nonfiction and poetry. It opens with two stories that examine moments of grace: Steve Almond’s short-short “Phoenix” in which a john is redeemed by a thieving hooker, and Quan Berry’s story “Daily at the Gate of the Temple Which is Called Beautiful,” which, with just its title, promises to deliver us to a hallowed place, perhaps even to offer a moment of transcendence. I tried to decide what other of the six remaining stories to mention in this review, and could only come to this: you should read them all. The Writers at Work award-winning nonfiction piece, “16 Doors” by Brenda Sieczkowski, is structured in 16 numbered segments, each a door into the author’s memory and dreams, traveling from ancient China to modern-day Vermont, examining everything from family genealogy to cell structure.
  • Issue Number Issue 16
  • Published Date Fall 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This journal captivated my interest from the beginning with its colorful and surreal cover art of a boy drawing while a fez-wearing turtle directs him (“Boy and Turtle Drawing” by Judy A. Muscara-Orfanos, acrylic on cigar box). At only 6” x 6” and about 40 pages in length, even the physical size of the journal captured my attention and begged to be taken along for an enjoyable read on the go. It held me through to the end with the imaginative prose, much of it written so beautifully it borders on poetry. Kirsten Rue writes in her piece “Spelling,” that “she is the child born between others. She is the one with the sandy-sprouting skull, pink-shelled fingertips, snowflake collars . . . She rides a bandy-wheel and counts the glitter in the sky.”

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