A newly created Yellowknife publishing house is seeking 100-word stories for a zine to be created and placed in little free libraries around the city.
Collective Nouns is the creation of Sarah Swan, director of the Yellowknife Artist-Run Community Centre, and Mike Mitchell, co-owner of Sapsucker Birch Syrup Company.
Collective Nouns has just published 2 Dozen 100 Word Stories, its opening zine, a type of publication defined as a small collection of original work typically created with a photocopier.
“It’s a small but robust literary movement,” said Swan.
“It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek because it’s just paper – it’s a photocopied zine – but it’s actually a really fun way to connect writers.”
The idea started when the two discovered flash fiction, a form of writing that is extremely brief but still tries to offer some form of character and plot development.
“To fit an entire plot into 100 words forces you to be super-choosy, almost in a poetic way,” explained Swan.
“It’s a form of literature that doesn’t come with too much pressure. Because it’s just 100 words, there’s a lot of play involved.”
The two wanted to get others involved, so came up with their idea of a “zine publishing house.”
“I’m a writer at heart. Writing is one of my first loves,” said Swan, “but fitting writing into everyday life takes so much discipline, and so much time that is not always available to me.
“Writing 100 words was a way for me to delve into my own creativity again.”
Collective Nouns is opening submissions to the public, asking writers to submit their 100-word stories for the next zine.
“There are no rules. It just has to be 100 words,” said Swan.
“We’re looking for a variety of voices. You don’t have to be a professional writer or an accomplished literary person. We would even welcome submissions from children, if they wanted. Anyone who wants to try can submit.”
If you want to submit a story, email Mitchell or Swan.
Copies of 2 Dozen 100 Word Stories are available from Yellowknife’s miniature free libraries.