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During the month of September, Black Lawrence Press author Veronica Montes is on board to critique fiction manuscripts.

Veronica Montes was born in San Francisco and raised in the Filipino American enclave of Daly City, California. Her short stories have appeared in print journals such as Bamboo Ridge and Prism International, as well as in many anthologies including Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, Growing Up Filipino, and Going Home to a Landscape: Writings by Filipinas. Her flash fiction appears online in various journals including SmokeLong Quarterly, Cheap Pop, and Lost Balloon, among others. She is the author of two chapbooks:The Conquered Sits at the Bus Stop, Waiting, which won the Black River Chapbook Competition andI'm Not Lost (Ethel, a Micro Press, 2023).

Veronica is accepting everything from flash fiction to full-length collections.The fees and parameters for each of these categories is as follows:

  • Flash fiction, up to two pages in length, $25
  • Short stories, up to 20 pages in length, $55
  • Fiction chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $225
  • Short story collections, up to 180 pages in length, $475

All manuscripts should be double spaced and formatted in twelve point font. 

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is September 30. Veronica will complete her work and respond to all participants by October 31.

Veronica Montes' Statement of Purpose

Flash fiction, my first love, presents a near-perfect writer’s challenge: can you tell a story in less than 1,000 words? Far from inhibiting creativity, this space constraint sends it running free. Flash writers wring meaning from every word, conjure images that echo through the narrative, and dialogue that performs double duty. No matter the length of your manuscript, my purpose is to help you to determine if your choices have made optimal use of space and if your intention for the piece has made its way to the page. Depending on your goals we’ll work together to amplify the strengths in your narrative, refine characters, hone language and pacing, nail your ending, and whatever else might benefit your process and story.   

My own writing leans towards the lyrical and is informed by my experiences as a woman of color. I’m drawn to the inherent beauty of sadness, to speculative elements, to sensory detail. That said, I celebrate the myriad voices and identities in writing today, and I read outside my comfort zone both for pleasure and as a way to broaden my sense of this genre and study the way that other writers shape their flash. It’s not my place to make suggestions that impose on what makes your work uniquely yours, but rather to ask and make observations to help you develop your story your way. I look forward to working together.

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