Really Short StoriesXXX

In a Current Comment item in the America issue of March 2, 2008, the editors commented on microfiction, the venerable subgenre of fiction that forsakes the traditional short story length, usually multiples of thousands, in favor of extremely brief tales that are sometimes even less than one hundred words. Also known as flash fiction, sudden fiction and short shorts, microfiction normally includes the typical elements of a short story but has to achieve much by allusion, implication and evocation of outside elements. In the Current Comment item, the editors referenced what is perhaps American literary historys most famous example of microfiction, Ernest Hemingways six-word short story: For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn. Few facts are present in that sentence, but the readers imagination fleshes out the tale in rapid fashion, conjuring up a protagonist, a conflict, and a resolution without much effort.

In an era when many people do their reading in front of a computer rather than in front of a crackling fire (pace Amazon.coms new Kindle electronic reader), microfiction will only grow in popularity, since its format is ideally suited to the single page and the quick read. Some online stories and helpful tips about reading and writing microfiction are linked below, as well as two journals devoted to microfiction and its literary cousins.

The Essentials of Microfiction by Camille Renshaw;
Micro Fiction: The Mini Site by Craig Snyder;
Flashes on The Meridian: Dazzled by Flash Fiction by Pamelyn Casto;
SmokeLong Quarterly
Flashquake.
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

In “Sorry to Bother You,” the system’s greatest threat—literal ownership of your time and person—is also its promise of relief.
Eve TushnetJuly 17, 2018
St. Michael Cathedral in Tha Rae, Thailand (iStock photo)
During the cave crisis, at the Cathedral of Saint Michael in Thare, a small village located along Nonghan Lake in northeastern Thailand’s Isaan region, Catholics offered Mass and asked for the intervention of St. Michael the Archangel to protect the young men.
The Catholic Church has renewed efforts to fight racism in the U.S., but Black Lives Matter deserves credit for keeping our attention on racial justice.
Olga SeguraJuly 17, 2018
What can the church do to help repent for the sins of leaders like Cardinal McCarrick and all those who turned a blind eye to his wrongdoing?
The EditorsJuly 17, 2018