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In this paper, we propose an efficient sequencing technique, namely minimum flow time scheduling (MFTS), to manage variable-length message transmissions for single-hop passive star-coupled WDM optical networks. By considering not only the message length but also the state of the receivers and the tuning latency, the proposed protocol can reduce the average delay of the network greatly. This paper also introduces a new channel assignment technique latency minimizing scheduling (LMS), which aims to reduce the scheduling latency. We evaluate the proposed algorithm, using extensive discrete-event simulations, by comparing its performance with shortest job first (SJF) algorithm. We find that significant improvement in average delay could be achieved by MFTS algorithm. By combining the proposed message sequencing technique with the channel selection technique, the performance of the optical network could be further improved.