by Judith Ashley
February 1 is the second Blog-O-Versary of our sister site, Free Reads From The Genre-istas. Our readership has grown and as I write this, we are less than four hundred page views from reaching 10K.
If you aren’t aware of Free Reads, let me tell you a little about it. First founded as a way for some of the Genre-istas to explore new-to-them genres using Flash Fiction, it soon grew from Flash Fiction to short short stories of 3 – 5K words or more. Several of the Genre-istas used their Free Reads as a starting point to expand the story into longer short stories.
Another use of the Free Reads stories is to expand and publish them. Both Paty Jager and Mae Pen have done that. On February 14, 2014 an anthology Love and Magick - Mystical Stories of Romance from Judith Ashley, Diana McCollum and Sarah Raplee will be released. The anthology contains original short stories as well as ramped up versions that first appeared on Free Reads.
But I digress.While Free Reads has been a place for the Genre-istas to showcase their work and to launch early versions of later-published short stories, it has also been a lot of work. When Sarah and I realized we were publishing in 2014, we also realized that something had to give. We did not want to shut down Free Reads so we revamped it.
Check out Free Reads and see the New Look.
A new feature is the “Side Bar” on the right. The side bar lists the Genre-ista or Friend who is ‘responsible’ for that month, the date their story will be published and who else is coming to visit.
Another addition is the "Headline" where you can see not only the writers for the month but also the title of their short story and any other news such as the title of a new release, an award/contest they’ve won, etc.
These changes mean Free Reads is more diverse than ever and writers have another platform where they can be seen and read. Plan on joining our audience of readers from around the world: Russia, Germany, Poland, India, China to name a few!