Cover image by Slavko Mali
Personal Bests Journal Issue 1
The first issue of the new journal was published in August 2020 and is still available to buy on Amazon. What is different about it? Almost everything.
To create Personal Bests Journal David Gardiner, writer and for 16 years Prose Editor of Gold Dust Magazine asked all the short story authors he had encountered over the years and anybody else who wanted to take part to send in what they considered their lifetime best short story, whether previously published or not, and (within reason) regardless of length.
From an eventual 167 submissions David chose 31 stories for the first edition of the journal, ranging in length from 712 to 12,252 words. What did the 31 have in common? That is best described by Rob Robson, author of Caught in the Drift, in the review he wrote on Amazon:
Challenged to produce their literary Personal Bests, these authors from around the world carefully carry the reader into new minds and unexpected spaces. In Family Business a parent must protect their child at all costs. The Vanishing of M.Renoir and Saving Aaron share the same theme but in very different and unique ways. Time moving on and changing traditions are beautifully explored in The Projectionist, Teach a Man to Fish and Billy Luck, and that sweetest spot in life in the last days of youthful exuberance before the destruction of adulthood crashes in is perfectly captured in The Summer of Dust. From the deliberate comic complexity of Pregenesis to the heart-warming simplicity of The Last Haircut, and all the levels in between, each story demands reflection before moving on to the next one.
Cover image by Mitsu Nakayama
Personal Bests Journal Issue 2 (in preparation)
The other unique feature of this journal is that all income from sales is distributed equally between all the authors with a story in the collection. This makes it effectively the first "Fair Trade" short story anthology, and ensures that the time, effort and love that each author has put into his or her work is acknowledged and remunerated fairly. This is not another scam to get hopeful writers to pay to see their work in a book. All movement of money is in the other direction, from the book publisher to the individual authors, as it should be.
If you are a writer of short stories, whether published or not, you are very welcome to submit your own choice of your very best story for consideration. At time of writing I am nearing the end of the task of selecting work for Issue 2, and after that, barring accidents, there will be an Issue 3 and an Issue 4 and so on, at a frequency of about two a year: a summer edition around June or July and a winter edition around October or November, so submissions should remain permanently open. If your story is accepted for publication then I will request some additional items, such as a short bio, a "mugshot" for the "About the Authors" section at the back of the book and a copyright release to avoid any accusations of intellectual property theft on my part.
Cover art submissions are also welcome and an accepted image will earn its creator an equal share in the sales revenue in the same way as an accepted story. Images can be in any digital format and should be about 6.25 inches X 9.25 inches (158.75 mm X 234.95 mm) at a minimum resolution of 300 DPI.
Please send all submissions and correspondence to me, David Gardiner, at: firstname.lastname@example.org