Even though I know it was the right thing to do, to say goodbye to Kazka Press while we were still (mostly) producing issues on time, it isn’t easy.

This site, under publisher L. Lambert Lawson’s editorship, was where I had some of my first fiction sales. One of the first stories which, when I wrote the final sentence, I had that sense of “Wow! I just wrote something really, really good!” was published here. And then, when I took over as editor, I had the opportunity to select and promote a lot of really great flash fiction.
But with both the publisher’s time and my time to work on Kazka Press growing slimmer and slimmer, the decision to bow out gracefully was easy to make, even if it was hard to accept.
Our final issue has a story from one returning Kazka Press author, Jeff Stehman, and six newcomers. I didn’t suggest a theme for this issue, but was pleased to receive several stories which dealt in one way or another with endings.
Enjoy this month’s stories. Thanks for reading our writers’ work. And if you are a writer yourself, or want to be one, make the time to write something and send it out on submission. You may surprise yourself with how far you go.
Best to all,
-Michael Haynes
Editor, Kazka Press

This is our second to last issue.

Sad to type that, but I’ve run out of time in my life for Kazka. I have a job that I love (and spend a lot of time with), and my wife and I are still living in separate cities, seeing each other only on weekends. The little solo free time I have gets put to reading and writing, and all my joint free time gets put into spending time with my wife. Squeezing the most out of every moment, as it were. Kazka, unfortunately, got pushed too far down the priority list, and it wasn’t fair to anyone involved.

We appreciate your readership over the years and the love you have shown our stories. We’ve got three beautiful stories for you this month; you can find them in the righthand column of the site.

Please read, savor, and share.

Thank you dear readers, writers, and editor.

See you next month for our final issue.

Best,

L. Lambert Lawson

Welcome to (almost) Spring! Our March issue comes with some good news and bad news.

The main good news is that we have five great stories this month! In “Fifty Miles to Gone” and “Row I – Seat 4b“, couples deal with a dying Earth and the choices that come with it. In “All the Way Home” and “A Matter of Fate“, taxi drivers take their passengers on trips which were more than the rider had expected. And “Stay Down Nellie” features a man trying to deal with a loved one who keeps coming back from the grave. I hope that you enjoy them all.

The other good news is that we will be having our first-ever unthemed flash fiction issue in May. So, we have our “The Writer’s Life” issue coming in April (due to be released around April 15), and a completely unthemed issue (though, as always, we do look for some element of speculative fiction in all submissions) in May. (All submissions currently received for the themes we had planned for May, June, and July will be considered for this unthemed issue.)

The bad news, as that last sentence sort of hints at, is that this May issue (which should be released around May 15) will be our final issue.

I’m sad that Kazka Press is closing its doors. This place means a lot to me, having been first a place where I made some of my earliest fiction sales and then a place where I had the opportunity to select, edit, and present some really great flash pieces. But endings happen, and when the publisher and I realized that it was getting harder and harder for us to turn out a quality publication on schedule, it became clear that the responsible thing to do was to say that it’s been a good run and close things out on a good note rather than letting things implode or trail off with a whimper.

To all our readers over three-plus years, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. To all the writers who have contributed stories, we thank you as well. And to the writers who submitted, but whose stories we did not select — my message to you is that if writing is your dream, keep pursuing it! Hone your craft. Read. Get input on your stories from fellow writers. Submit, submit, submit.

And, on that note, a quick reminder that you can submit stories here at Kazka Press through April 20th for our Unthemed issue! I hope that we get a number of great submissions and that I have to make some of my hardest choices yet!

We apologize for the delay in getting you this month’s stories. We’ll keep them on the main page for the next two issues to make sure everyone gets a chance to enjoy them. We also appreciate your patience as we redesign the site and get our archives back up. -LLL

We’re releasing our Dreams issue a few days in to this, the shortest month of the year. We hope you’ll find these seven stories to be worth the wait.

We have a lineup I’m particularly pleased with this month. On the fantasy side, Brooke Wonders brings us a truly weird tale of a woman in a bad relationship. Brynn MacNab returns to our digital pages with a story of three dreams binding two people together. Gerri Leen brings a familiar character to life in an unfamiliar way. Leo Norman shows how such small things as the odor of burnt toast can strike chords of memory. Shenoa Carroll-Bradd lets us see what is planted in the nightmare garden and the value it holds.
We also have two science fiction stories this month. In Carrie Martin‘s story, a woman’s ailment worsens every time she sleeps. In Stuart Turnbull’s piece, an accused man who claims not to dream may be more than he seems.
A lot of great stories this month and I hope that you’ll take a moment to comment on your favorites or share them on places like Facebook and Twitter.
This issue marks a year from the first issue released under my editorship. I looked back at the twelve prior issues, from February 2013 to January 2014, and selected six of my favorite stories from those twelve issues. Ultimately, this was a very subjective effort and if I did the same thing a month from now I can imagine that I might have switched one or two stories around. While I think all of the stories in our archive are worth reading, these are six I’d like to give a little extra attention to:
Pop Culture by Bernard S Gaidasz
Ashes to Ashes… by Kevlin Henney
Enteral Feeding by Gary Philips
A Burden of So Many Roses by Charity Tahmaseb
The Bleeding Game by Natalia Theodoridou
There’s at least one story from this month’s issue which I can imagine being a strong contender for my “best of” list a year from this time. And I hope that the upcoming months bring lots of wonderful stories as well. If you’re a writer, please consider looking at our guidelines and upcoming themes and submitting to us. Remember that we are open for all posted themes up until each theme’s deadline.
Thanks for visiting. Until next month…
-Michael Haynes

Appropriately for the beginning of a new year, our issue this month is on the theme of Discoveries.

Brynn MacNab’s “The Price of Awakening” is the story I selected for the issue. There are multiple layers of discoveries (and choices) in this short piece.

In February we will be exploring Dreams. If you have a story to submit for this theme, send it in by the 20th of January!

Best wishes for the new year.

-Michael Haynes

We’re in the thick of the holiday season now. Speaking of the Thanksgiving holiday which we recently celebrated here in the United States — I can say, in all sincerity, that one of the things I’m thankful for this year is the high quality of stories our contributors have been providing for Kazka Press. Once again we read a record number of submissions during November for our Outlaws call. Four stories from those submissions were selected for publication and they’re a diverse lot. Amanda M. Hayes returns to our virtual pages with a dark fantasy story “Across the Sea.” The other three stories this month are by newcomers to the monthly Kazka Press contest: Anatoly Belilovsky’s near-future “Pas de Deux“, Brennan M. Wion’s contemporary dark fantasy “A World Without Me In It“, and Ian Dundore’s way-out wild-west-of-the-future “The Return of LED-Eye Dick.”

I’m reading now for the issues which will be coming out in January through April of 2014. I’m sure we’ll continue to see great submissions come in to our email box and I look forward to presenting the best of those to our readers.

My best wishes to you all,

-Michael Haynes

—-

A small message from L. Lambert Lawson, the Kazka Press publisher:

Анатолій правильно про значення слова казки. Я сподіваюся почути одну зі своїх казок один день.