Today I am so pleased to welcome J. Scott Coatsworth to Joyfully Jay. He has come to talk to us about Queer Sci Fi’s new anthology, Flight. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!


Grabbed By the First Line

At Queer Sci Fi, we’re launching our second annual flash fiction anthology – this one is titled “Flight”, and our entries covered the theme in almost every possible way.

So for this guest post, I thought it would be fun to focus in on the thing that initially hooks you into the story – the first line.

Here are a few of my favorites from “Flight”:

“We couldn’t look away as death blossomed on the glowing blue surface below.”
From “Horizon” by Elliot Cooper

“Liftoff is my favorite part—the moment I leap off a building and start plummeting to the ground, only to become airborne, taking to the sky like a fish to water.”
From “The Gifts”, by Thea Nishimori

“Gunnar landed quietly atop the dresser, prey clasped in his jaws.”
From Purrsuasion”, by KC. Faelan

“Frigid wind slashed Nalo’s skin, melding with freezing rain as he perched on the granite precipice, his wings tattered remnants.”
From “Gambit”, by Jon Keys

“Our pounding feet echoed off the cobblestone as we raced toward where the watch lay in its case, shrouded in the castoffs of other people’s lives.”
From “The Watch”, by J.P. Barnaby

“Siler knew six ways to sneak into the Old Library. She still got caught.”
From “Athena-Class Engineering”, by Liz Fury

“The window shatters, glass bursts into the room, and each shard passes harmlessly through the bookshelves, the students frantically typing papers, and the long, artful twists of Regina’s dark hair.”
From “Anachronism”, by Jaylee James

“I knew I could fool the probe, at least for a while; I have before. Fooling the inquisitor, however, was another matter.”
From “Diversion”, by Brent D. Seth

Every one of these hooked me in immediately, made me want to know more. That’s what any good intro does.

I hope some of you will consider entering our flash fiction contest next April – to get an idea of what we are looking for, check out the winners here:


FlightA 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.

Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.

Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.


In the first year of the Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction contest, we received about 15 entries for the theme “Endings”. In the second year, it was 115 for “Discovery”. This year, we had more than 170 entries from people around the world, and from all parts of the LGBTIQA rainbow. “Flight” represents 110 of those people and their stories.

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