Ginosko Literary Journal
Flash Fiction Contest Journal Downloads
Books, Art & Music

Flash Fiction Contest

GINOSKO FLASH FICTION CONTEST:   $500 Award, $10 entry fee, deadline for Contest #3 March 1, 2016.

Submit up to 2 pieces, 800 words maximum each piece.

Final Judges:
Michael Hettich, Gary Lundy, E M Schorb, Andrena Zawinski, Andrei Guruianu, Robert Paul Cesaretti.

Awarded work will be published on Ginosko Literary Journal website.

Guidelines and Eligibility:

The Ginosko Flash Fiction Award is for an unpublished work of flash fiction. Awarded piece is selected through a submission process open to all writers with the following exception:

Relatives or individuals having a personal or professional relationship with any of the final judges where they have taken any part whatsoever in shaping the submitted manuscript.

Procedures and Considerations:

Please submit work, along with a brief bio, and cover letter if desired, to or by Submittable: Attachments must be in .wps, .doc, .rtf, or .pdf form, otherwise they will not be considered (please include last name on every page submitted).

Send print submissions to:

Ginosko Literary Journal
73 Sais Ave
San Anselmo, CA 94960

Payment Procedures:

Online submissions will receive emailed invoices via PayPal to account You do not need a PayPal account. Print submissions may send $10 in cash or check (made payable to Ginosko Literary Journal) to the above address.


A Clown's Lips 
Christopher Allen

 She smears it round and round. Santa red, an inch beyond the ridges. The 55 bus pulls up and I board with the crowd of iPhone zombies. But she stays behind, rifling through a soiled plastic bag or tying­untying­tying a shoe, her clown lips fluttering in petroleum fumes. At haters imagined, I imagine.

You need to know, she says, what happens when it glides against me? It skates like ice, then waxes maternal. Like pig fat warming. Then something cums in my brain and spiders shiny like tinsel from synapsis to synapsis to synapsis. Sometimes I only have to unscrew the tube, twist it up and Merry Christmas.

I'm at work. My eyes wander from my Excel sheet hell to a window, blocky buildings beyond. I wonder where Clown Lady goes when she’s not at the bus stop. I’ve held back hellos because I dread where a real conversation might take us. You know, if you back away about twenty feet from an Excel sheet, all numbers look like fours?

Dopamine! she shouts at the bus stop the next day. A dopamine stampede! She laughs at her near rhyme.

I laugh at my own jokes too. I like to feel empathetic. But maybe I see myself too much through others. Sometimes I try to look out Clown Lady’s eyes just to see if her world looks whole from there. Maybe it’s black and white or ultraviolet.

Maybe it’s Heaven.

Maybe there’s a blind spot right in front of her. Like a horse.

A kid jumps up to kick a rock at the approaching bus; Clown Lady sits down next to me. Kids think I’m a retard, but I’m not, she says to everyone and no one. I used to do tests on animals in a lab. Had a Master’s degree in slapping lipstick on pigs and other pretty little atrocities. Freaked out, got fired, can’t afford my meds now. People say I ought to stay home like a bug in a cocoon. A bug! she shouts. But I like the smell of people waiting for perdition. She's smiling at me now. It's a very big smile, as you might imagine.

Like me? I whisper, still unsure I want to be heard. But the bus has just pulled up, and I’m not moving from her side.
You? Burnt toast, Barbasol and funk. The loneliest. That woman over there? A tumbleweed of primers, foundations and powders, blushes and balms, bronzers, lipsticks and funk. People don’t get it: they never really cover up the funk.

I once tried concealer on the blue veins around my eyes. I’ve never told anyone that. I was so tired of hearing You look so tired. That’s sort of like your lips, don’t you think?

I’m a goddamn clown. Just say it. Say I need to find out what’s up with the clown lips like everyone else. People think if they bully me into talking about my mother or some mean man who left his subtle scars, one day I’ll show up all normal in a navy blue pantsuit and pumps, wearing pale peach skin­colored bullshit on my weedy­ass lips.

I quote sit­coms.

I need my meds.

Clown Lady paces the length of the bus stop, retouches her lipstick. A new copse of kids has begun to huddle in a corner. Their sniggering grows louder until it erupts into Clown Lady Clown Lady Clown Lady as they board the bus. Cowards, I say. Clown Lady smiles, sits back down next me and twists up her lipstick another inch.

What's your name, sailor?


She leans in close to me. Baby bulls, James, those kids. They don’t try to figure you out; they just charge. Me, I’m the bull and the poser with the Mickey Mouse hat and  the stretchy sequined suit, drinking in Oil of Olays! from the crowd. Do they see my inner struggle? No. How the lips pass me in a mirror, a window, someone’s sunglasses and want to be touched up? No. How they need to be touched?

I do, I say, which sounds like I'm saying I need to be touched. I let it go. Maybe I do.

Clown Lady stands up to address a colossal audience. And when they see me, she shouts, my lips all fat and red, do they see how I straighten, lift my chin to the hissing crowd and dare the bulls to charge?

Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire). His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Indiana Review, Night Train, Litro Magazine, STRIPPED a collection of anonymous flash and many other fine places. He's the managing editor of SmokeLong Quarterly. He lives somewhere in Europe and blogs about his crazy life at


BONE FOLDER   He was sad and angry because his friend had died in a way that made it suicide in everything but name and he sat in a place where they used to drink and talk about Japanese literature and bullshit about work in progress and he thought that his friend might be forgotten which would be unjust because he was part of the resistance whereas the living collaborated and his anger at himself coalesced into action of a sort and he went out and bought tiles and a foam brush and a sheet of acetate and gloves and a mask and fingernail polish remover and a bone folder and he made color copies of a photograph of his dead friend with the right type of ink and he pushed the mirror image button so that the image would not be reversed on transfer and he heated the tiles in the microwave and placed each copy of the photo onto each warm tile face down and coated them with the fingernail polish remover and smoothed them with the bone folder under the acetate and applied the tile sealer to fix the image forever and when he was done he took off the gloves and the mask and left the tiles to dry and he was crying but he did not notice or if he did he thought it was the fumes of the solvent in his eyes and then one night later that week he mixed up a batch of cement and went out and fixed the tiles with the picture of his dead friend to the facades of buildings all across the indifferent city and for the rest of the year he smiled seeing the tiles in secret places or being denounced as vandalism by the authorities. - Jason Price Everett