“An online literary journal of stories in posts, a digital hybrid dedicated to a dying form of communication and expression…the postcard message.”
This wistful definition of flash fiction can be found under the “About” tab on The Post Script website, designed by second-year MFA student Gina Goldblatt in January of this year.
“The name comes from the letters P.S. that are used in letters as sort of an afterthought. ” Goldblatt said. “I wanted the typical afterthought to be the main attraction.”
According to Goldblatt, she created the website because she was interested in how other writers interpret the flash fiction genre.
“I wanted to have my own online platform for distributing new literary talent, particularly one that focused on short pieces,” Goldblatt said.
The confidence to start an online journal stemmed from the academic and personal growth Goldblatt has experienced at Mills.
“I think I was really lucky. There are some good teachers at this school who pushed me in the right ways — not always in an easy way, but I’ve learned a lot,” she said. “I don’t think, before I started my MFA, I would have taken myself seriously enough (to start the website).”
Flash fiction is a stark contrast to both the novels Goldblatt has been immersed in for her English MFA and her own thesis work — which may account for part of the attraction.
Another part may be that as an MFA student, the website is one way for Goldblatt to reach, and empower, people in a similar stage as herself.
“I’m not a big name or anything so it’s less intimidating for newer writers,” she said. “I’m hoping that this will help get newer voices out there and then, as time goes on, if it picks up and turns into something, if it starts to have some clout, then I still get to have that power to initiate people — that’s what I’m looking for.”
According to Goldblatt, there are different definitions for flash fiction depending on where you look. Most pieces range from 500 to 1000 words, but Goldblatt’s website features flash of about 500 words.
“It can be anything under 500,” Goldblatt said. “I’m trying to bridge that gap in genres in a form of writing that would theoretically fit on a postcard.”
Goldblatt has received unexpected support and enthusiasm for her project. Through advertisements on Duotrope’s Digest, a free online resource listing for writers, and e-mails to heads of low-residency MFA programs, Goldblatt has received submissions from a variety of places.
“This site has been cool because people that have submitted have been from places all across the United States,” Goldblatt said. “It’s a way to try to make connections with other writers.”
Goldblatt has also garnered extracurricular wisdom through the creation of The Post Script.
“It’s kind of nice to be on the receiving end (of submissions)… because, as I continue writing,
I’m going to get rejected,” Goldblatt said. “Being on the other end where I’m rejecting people is good, so then I’ll have more compassion.”
There have been instances where Goldblatt has received that she described as good, but not her taste. In such instances, Goldblatt tries to make her rejections gentle.
“I try and see it from that point of view so I don’t sit there cursing the people that reject me,” Goldblatt said wryly.
Currently, the website does not feature any of Goldblatt’s work. In the future, Goldblatt hopes to write a column.
“(It) would be cool — writing as the editor while removing myself from that creative space,” she said.
Goldblatt would also like to incorporate images in the future.
“I was also thinking of having an issue that showcases someone else’s visual work and having that be the prompt for the writing,” Goldblatt said.
As for whether she sees a future in print, Goldblatt acknowledged that she’d have to gather more readers and writers before she could expand.
“There’s still more work I can do to make connections,” Goldblatt said.
Goldblatt’s newly founded website The Post Script, is currently accepting submissions. To do so visit www.thepostscriptonline.com.