About two and a half years ago, the Internet Jesus himself, Warren Ellis made a post on his website proposing a different approach to (micro)-blogging, flash fiction, and e-publishing. While I'm not sure if the larger project ever took off, it served as a point of inspiration for then-fresh-out-of-college Thom and his need to write with some kind of purpose/frequency/plan. I threw the idea out to on Facebook and Twitter, and gathered a few friends (with some help from Brian McGackin) to begin the first wave of writers and what would become FiveByFiveHundred.com (a name which may or may not have been inspired by one Faith Lehane). Over the last two years, we've gone through a number of different writers (myself and Brian are the only two that remain of the founding quintet), each producing their own unique posts once a week, with the only rule being a 500-word cap. Poetry, flash-fiction, memoirs, serialized fiction; anything and everything (and sometimes very different work by the same writer week to week). We recently hit our milestone 500th post (which Lisa McColgan was not aware of when she submitted a wonderful treatise on her stupid cat, Mephisto, as the 500th post). Around the same time, we lost our Wednesday contributor, Melanie Yarbrough (who is hard at work on larger projects, hence her need to back out), and as we searched for replacements, we realized something: why keep the project limited to five writers? Other than the obvious numeric allusion of the title, we had nothing to lose by adding weekends to our little writing project. The website has received pretty consistent traffic during the week, but more content never hurts, and there are plenty of other talented writers out there who deserve to have their work shown on our humble webspace, plus we had enough interested contributors, so we went with it.
(We toyed for about a minute with upping the word cap to 700, in order to maintain the numeric allusion of the title, but decided to say screw it)
And so, starting this week (well, I suppose, technically starting this past Saturday): Five By Five Hundred now presents seven talented writers, one for each day of the week, each one producing up to 500 words of content on his/her given day. There's lots of great stuff coming out of the site, and with such frequent contributions, there's always something new. So check it out if you haven't already, and enjoy some fantastic flashfiction/poetry/humor/et cetera!
As a jumping off point for you (since there are, well, 500+ posts to weed through already), here are our top 5 (again with the numeric alliteration!) most popular posts:
- "My First Bar Friend" (Thom Dunn)
- "How I Would Rescue Anne Boleyn From Her Execution (Assuming I Had a Time Machine)" (Lisa McColgan)
- "On the Origin of Reese's" (Brian McGackin) (also found in Broetry: Poetry for Dudes, available wherever books are solid!)
- "Productivity" (Lisa McColgan)
- "How To Make Love to a Robot (or other synthetic objects with simulated intelligence and emotional responses)" (Thom Dunn)
And here's to five hundred more. People, or posts, I'm not really sure.
(Also this post totally clocked in ~500 words. NATCH. Booyah.)