_USAF veteran Tony Wayne Brown is a graduate of East Carolina University's Communications-Journalism program. He won Union Writers' 2011 contest and, earlier, Art Forum's competition and received honorable mentions in Writer's Digest and Writer's Journal.

In 2011 his work appeared in Foliate Oak (University of Arkansas), Vapid Kitten (UK), The Write Place At the Write Time, Whortleberry Press, Short-Story Me, Blink Ink, Gemini, Down in the Dirt, and Midwest Literary Review. His work has also appeared in The Storyteller, The East Carolinian (East Carolina University), and Righter Monthly Review.

Tony is a former writer for several North Carolina newspapers and publications and his features and photos have appeared across the state. His nonfiction has appeared in Tree Care Industry, New East, Due East, and The East Carolinian, among others. He is also the former editor/main writer of Rock & Roll Monthly.

Remember that often hundreds of submissions are in competition with yours. The same story or poem that has been rejected numerous times may be just the thing for the next publication. Tony Wayne Brown

Leodegraunce: Please tell Leodegraunce readers a bit about your background.

Tony Wayne Brown: I was born and raised in Greenville, N.C. Before and after serving four years in the Air Force I attended East Carolina University until they started a journalism program that finally gave me something to major in. After working for the student newspaper I became an intern for a newspaper and got hired when I graduated.

Leodegraunce: How long have you written flash fiction and what drew you to the genre?

Tony Wayne Brown: In between working on a novel and constant short stories I like to take the challenge of creating very short pieces that have something to say. I only started last year, but had success with Blink Ink, Gemini, Postcard Shorts, and One Forty Fiction.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your recent works?

Tony Wayne Brown: "Poor Mama," is in the editing process by Sleeping Cat Books for its The Coming Storm print anthology. It's about the inner turmoil a U.S. Marine undergoes in a Pacific island invasion during WW II. A "perfect" murder goes awry in, "The Tell-Tale Cadillac," at Short-Story Me; and "Last Bus to Nashville" in Foliate Oak is about a country troubadour seeking the bright lights. Others are at the UK's Vapid Kitten and Whortleberry Press' 2011 Christmas Angels anthology (print).

Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for 2012?

Tony Wayne Brown: To finish a suspense novel about the coming-together of a father and son, and to become better known in the writing world through continued publications in order to further my writing career.

Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors?

Tony Wayne Brown: Present your brilliant manuscript in a grammatically-correct way and to the specific guidelines for each publication.
In addition: Remember that often hundreds of submissions are in competition with yours. The same story or poem that has been rejected numerous times may be just the thing for the next publication.
 
 
Give her an idiosyncrasy or a peccadillo and Maggie will write you a story that reveals her quirky, or disturbingly raw sensibility. She hails from beautiful Coffs Harbour, on the north coast of NSW. Her stories have been published in the US, the UK, Canada, NZ, and Australia.

My best tip for aspiring authors is to work extra hard on those opening sentences. Maggie Veness

Leodegraunce: Please tell us a bit about your background.

Maggie Veness: I have a Nursing and Community Welfare background, which has definitely enriched my story-bank. It's widely believed that if you look deeply enough, a grain from the author's real life experience can be found skulking within their fiction. I would have to agree. As far as writing goes, I've had no formal training.  Yet, here I am with work published in five countries, and tutoring fiction-writing at the local College. All you need is the passion and willingness to work hard.

Leodegraunce: How long have you written flash fiction and what drew you to the genre?
 
Maggie Veness: I began writing fiction around five years ago, in 2007, after attending a two day writing course at our local college. From there I joined a writers group, and so began my love affair with short fiction. As I began to study the craft, I realized that flash fiction was one of the toughest to write. Squeezing a complete story - with a beginning, middle, and end - into so few words presents a huge challenge. And on top of that, the story has to be interesting! When I read I want a story that reels me in, either by hooking my heart or my guts or my head or any other part of my hungry being. That's what I strive for: to write stories that carry my readers on a journey.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your recent works?
 
Maggie Veness: I've enjoyed much success with writing competitions, and have won National awards here in Australia. The majority of my published work is 'short story' length, although I've had 'flash' stories published in the U S, in the 'Static Movement'  Flash Anthology, and the 'Pill Hill Press'  Flashes of Erotica, and in the UK's 'One Page Stories'.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for 2012?

Maggie Veness: My plan for 2012 is to continue sharing my enthusiasm for story writing by tutoring short fiction, and to try to produce stories of a high enough caliber to justify inclusion in a short story collection of my own.

Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors?

Maggie Veness: My best tip for aspiring authors is to work extra hard on those opening sentences. If we can manage to hook our reader they'll want to keep reading to find out what happens. Go take a closer look at some of your favorite stories. Study the way the author has written his/her opening lines, then go back to your own work and see if there's room for improvement. It's all about the 'hook'. Most importantly, have fun!

 
 
Learn why you should say *no* to SOPA and PIPA.
 
 
The guidelines are posted for Issue 12.  Guest Editor - F. J. Bergmann.