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Desiree Wilkins’s “Leap Year Baby” is a finely crafted story told in five paragraphs organized by year, each one four years later than the last. In those increments, the speaker of the story reveals through precious hints the closeness she shared with her grandmother, and struggles to reconcile that intimacy available now only in retrospect.

Photo courtesy of Michael Alexander Chaney

Blogger Michael Alexander Chaney lists Cleaver among his “Top Ten Literary Magazines To Send Your Best Flash Fiction (and maybe get accepted)”.  Chaney writes,

“Submitting isn’t just about rejections, though. There’s a lot to learn about your own writing in the process and so much other great writing to read and to learn from in the magazines you target. There’s nothing quite like finding the long lost twin or soulmate of some flash you’ve written. Look for broad family resemblances and see if you can’t scoot up to a bench at the next published picnic–a flash family reunion–so that you can get your piece acknowledged next to its kinfolk. After all, writing is about community. And reading is our primary means of practicing our belonging.

“The markets I’ve assembled here represent another batch of great and relatively accepting venues for a range of writers, from the emerging to the expert…”

Of Cleaver’s recent flash, he says,

Desiree Wilkins’s “Leap Year Baby” is a finely crafted story told in five paragraphs organized by year, each one four years later than the last. In those increments, the speaker of the story reveals through precious hints the closeness she shared with her grandmother, and struggles to reconcile that intimacy available now only in retrospect.

George Dila’s “That Summer” is less subtle in its commemorations, detailing the tragic moment the speaker’s life-long partner falls to her knees on the kitchen floor. The banality of life as they know it, the gardening, the cooking, the patio, contrasts sharply against her pain. At that precise moment, the speaker is on the patio sitting on a cheap chair, “the kind of chair that folds up into thirds, not unlike the way her body had folded at the waist and knees when she fell to the kitchen floor, a branch of the basilar artery spilling blood into her brain.” Deftly paced and unrelenting in its devotion to the memory of that moment, “That Summer” transports even as it laments and remembers.”