The uncanniness escalates from there, culminating in a dark yet comic ending that deftly comments on the oppressive nature of social obligations. “im sorry, its a girl” said the doctor to the father. Flash fiction usually falls under 1000 words, though some may stretch it to 1500. and I sat there blinking…. Yet his affection for the pole doesn’t seem to extend to his own children. The Haunted Honeymoon. Trust book recommendations from real people, not robots . Flash fiction examples 1. One of the most praised pieces of flash fiction in recent memory, “Curriculum” is divided into three parts: Area Studies, Women’s Studies, and Visual Studies. Never fear, though: not all short shorts are this depressing… just the good ones. Joyce Carol Oates’ simple yet elegant style lends itself extremely well to flash fiction, as this piece demonstrates. There is even a Twitter account for six word stories; @sixwordstories. Flash fiction is a highly underrated branch of fictional writing. Birthday parties consisted of cupcakes, no ice cream. The people would stop, amused, to watch them. It details the circumstances of the narrator’s birth, during which her mother was dressed as Raggedy Ann… or had perhaps morphed into her, depending on how you interpret the poetic prose. She would shake her head sadly, and observe to John’s father: “Alf, it’s too bad our boy’s got a spell on ’im.”. Flay everything open. Site designed in collaboration with CMYK. Our narrator happens upon a teddy bear that fits this description, but her feelings for it still overwhelm her — and might just cause the reader to shed a tear, too. In just over 500 words, she paints a striking portrait of an elderly married couple and the discord between them, which stems from their inability to communicate. This super-quick vignette from Becky Robison manages to be profoundly moving and disturbing at the same time. First line: For fear of the huntress, the city closed like an eye. Without further ado, here are 25 flash fiction stories worth a (very quick) read. It should also give them a reason to believe something in the story will leave the main character changed somehow.. We publish one story every day as we count down to the winner of each competition. Look for my ebook, Thirty-Five Tips to Writing a Brilliant Flash Story. Most online flash magazines and editors feel flash is a complete story … The narrator tells a familiar, amusing story to a group of friends about Teddy, a man who has recently died. Examples of MicroFiction. First line: Sunlight had sneaked in through the window and was creeping toward the chair where my pants dangled. But you need to know that perfection shouldn’t be your aim. Depicting decades of a man’s life through the prism of a hand-made lawn ornament, these two paragraphs reveal the keen eye for specificity that has since helped writer George Saunders win the Booker Prize. First lines: Her name was Beth. Most impressive is how he suggests a fleshed-out backstory through a handful of asides: Rod’s helmet, the father’s old army medals. She knows all her songs, and she sings them just for you. Flash Fiction Stories For When You are Stuck in a Traffic Jam or in a Waiting Room (Stories that will take about 4–6 minutes to read) via GIPHY. First lines: The map was printed on a handkerchief. She’s got the whole school bus looking for it — when Lola says to do something, it’s like she’s an orchestra conductor and we all just fall in line. Our final entry also comes from Oates, and probably holds the record for most succinct display of emotion in flash fiction history. When you put your Taylor Swift to bed (early, you got a big day tomorrow) you peek over the fence into the Rosenblatt’s yard, and the lights are blazing. There were pools of water in the courtyard. While flash fiction is written in pretty much any genre, popular genres include: romance, thrillers, horror, sci-fi, and fanfiction. She has a miniature Taylor Swift she keeps on a perch, a Taylor Swift with wings. The Graveyard Guy. But rather than using horror to compel readers, Orner turns instead to good old-fashioned wit: “What’s the hurry?” one of the characters says at one point. From the author of A Small Place comes this insightful passage on what it means to be a girl, presented in an almost stream-of-consciousness series of instructions. No, not poetry -- the more nebulous medium of flash fiction. It is essentially just an extremely short story. Flash fiction is no doubt one of the most fascinating creative mediums in this day and age; however, it’s also one of the most difficult to write in. “im sorry, its a girl” said the doctor to the father. Table of Content. In 2008, CNN asked their readers to submit to their 6-word flash fiction compilation and you can read the entries here. Support our mission to make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive. Here are 20 examples of his work. Widely renowned as the queen of flash fiction, Lydia Davis has produced countless micro-stories over multiple anthologies, but perhaps none as excellent as “The Visitor.” Beginning with an anecdote about the narrator’s sister and a strange houseguest she once entertained, this barely 300-word story soon moves into unexpectedly sweet territory, and its usage of the past to anticipate the future is nothing short of subtle genius. This point is where his or her life irrevocably changed, for better or for worse. The best part? First lines: One time two clowns set themselves to arguing. Want more quick reads? I love O Henry's stories. The bear itself was gray and stiff, with wiry fur. And while they entertain their spectators at first, their violent delights most definitely have violent ends. First lines: This Teddy bear once had amber eyes made from special glass — each one had a pupil and an iris. He smiled and said: “From me you want to know the way?” “Yes,” I said, “since I cannot find it myself.” “Give it up! You’re so jealous. Well, it all depends on who’s answering. Don’t worry, though — there are a few surprisingly optimistic moments in the piece as well. Pry free the heart. If you are making the first steps in flash fiction writing, get ready to practice a lot. For further exploration you can read more examples of this genre in Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction, edited by Dinty W. Moore. Published in McSweeney’s in 2014, Cofer’s satirical letter to a boss made obsolete by his robotic counterpart has only become more relevant over the past few years. They tried to hold him up against the wall but he sat down in a puddle of water. Whether you’re self-publishing a book for the first time or you’re a veteran indie author, the idea of launching a book is always going to be a little daunting. A work of flash fiction must have a narrative arc, otherwise it's a mere observation or vignette. If there’s a theme to this blog post so far, it’s that micro … Quite a lot, according to Ed Park — even if she doesn’t remember it. Flash fiction, also known as micro-fiction, is a short story that’s usually between 500 and 1,000 words. We didn’t know each other. What?,” he would continue to call her, as if he hadn’t heard and with an air of strained patience: “Hello? 20 Micro-fiction Stories. The Toilet Paper. We are challenging you to write a 100 word max story or a Poem about Mom, what it means to be a Mom, what you would like to be as a Mom or a tribute to someone who is like a mom to you. The narrator is best friends with (and has romantic feelings for) the eponymous Ramona, who wears her heart outside her body… literally. That may seem like a lot when you're just mentioning your plans for the weekend, but when you're trying to tell a story, it becomes extremely restrictive. “N-nothing! Trust real people, not robots, to give you book recommendations. First lines: The wife on Ambien knows the score. Read “Teddy’s Canary” (Scroll down) Water | Fred Leebron. Imagery. Hello? The bright colours of Bangladesh flash into my mind suddenly. Reading (or listening to!) Notable flash f i … Heck, our wives attend spin class together twice a week! This is a funny, poignant glimpse into the minute melodrama of seventh grade: the narrator’s twin sister, Lola, starts dating the “goon” of Darby Junior High, Billy Maguire. First line: Sometime in the early summer, a stranger will come and take up residence in our house. A gorgeous piece of almost folkloric flash fiction, “The Huntress” describes its titular predator in ambiguous terms (“a stench of fur,” “she left a streak”) that somehow makes its terror even more palpable. I was lying bare-chested in bed, rubbing some gunk from the corner of my eye. Written in the oft-controversial second person, Behm-Steinberg’s story imagines a world where Taylor Swift (yes, the singer) is available in abundance to anyone who cares to order one from the internet. Vivid details and an authentically juvenile voice will transport you right back to your own seventh-grade bus scandals — especially if they involved copying homework. Loosely defined as writings comprised of 1,000 words or less, flash fiction can include everything from slightly longer works to tweet-length stories. The full title is this one is actually “Sorry Dan, But It’s No Longer Necessary For a Human to Serve As CEO Of This Company”... which pretty much sums it up. If you read “Cat Person” and loved it, you’re sure to enjoy McCurdy’s writing here too. First sentence: A lot of my friends are following the Rabbi so I start following the Rabbi too. December 5, 2020 Keith McLachlan General Fiction, Horror & Dark Fiction “Who’s that there?” the gruff question was a bit prying but mostly innocuous. ... Only writes micro and flash fiction to inject some drama into his life. Chinquee provides a sweeping list of key attributes: “Language. What a wonderful collection of short flash fiction stories. Not all flash fiction needs to be breathlessly blunt like Hemingway’s. Though critics are divided on whether the Huntress is meant to be a metaphor, the evocative strength of Samatar’s writing leaves an incredible impression. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Examples of good and bad flash fiction. His mother thought he was too. First lines: The husband had got into the habit of calling the wife from somewhere in the house — if she was upstairs, he was downstairs; if she was downstairs, he was upstairs — and when she answered, “Yes? Bumble. You’ve been the face of this company for many years, overseeing a period of unprecedented net growth. 2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 21. Sign up for our newsletter to get submission announcements and stay on top of our best work. It’s also riotously funny. And, like all great flash fiction, its ending hits stunningly hard and stays with you for a lot longer than three minutes. Read “Solstice” (Scroll down to second story) Teddy’s Canary | K. C. Frederick. “For sale: baby shoes, never worn” is far from Hemingway’s only foray into flash fiction (if it was indeed his story). This excerpt is from a 1995 story that’s become a modern classic of the micro-fiction form. Though we’d normally steer clear of anything to do with a writer and his dead wife, “Possession(s)” proves that it can be done without a hint of misogyny — and indeed, with remarkable nuance. The difference between worlds … When it comes to flash fiction, you can’t be blamed for raising an eyebrow — especially if your only experience has been a badly-written paragraph on your Facebook wall. Get new fiction, essays, and poetry delivered to your inbox. We publish one flash fiction story a day. Picture in the Locket. winner of the 2015 Barthelme Short Prose Prize, “100 Boyfriends” Is Scripture for Gay Dysfunction, In “Milk Blood Heat,” The Body Keeps the Score, China Is Too Big to Fit Inside One Reality. Flash Fiction Story Examples: How to Write Great Flash Fiction. Instead, its constraints can allow the writer to distill their ideas into just a couple hundred words. If you’ve ever pondered the true nature of good, evil, and the shades in between, you’ll likely sympathize with young Idara. Needless to say, her brother isn’t exactly thrilled, and even less so when Lola starts cheating off Billy’s algebra papers. Good flash fiction gets right to the juicy stuff — i.e., something that will make it impossible for the reader to put the story down. It rained hard. Narrative Magazine did something around the same. Spring 2021 contest open for entries: Deadline: 28 February 2021 Prizes: £1,200 / £600 / £300 / £150 Entry fee: Choose your own! Translated from the original Chinese, this brilliantly bizarre story follows a man who awakens one morning to find a stranger pounding down his door. This story from his collection In Our Time follows the typical arc of great flash fiction by starting with a straightforward but descriptive sentence to set the scene. When they fired the first volley he was sitting down in the water with his head on his knees. But unfortunately, friendship only means so much in today’s cutthroat business environment. This hypnotizingly anaphoric account of her musings, activities, and general welfare is equal parts sad and hilarious, complete with an ending that will have you questioning the narrator’s stability as well. In this single paragraph, posthumously published story, Kafka crystalizes the mood and paranoia that defines most of his work: It was very early in the morning, the streets clean and deserted, I was walking to the station. “Everybody’s already dead.” However, the ending will get your heart racing with its sudden hairpin turn into drama… and not in the spooky manner you might think. DO write with the form in mind. Besides making you crave a fruit smoothie, it’ll open your eyes to the delightful possibilities of imagination when we disregard science for a few minutes. We were allowed a single Crayola from the box at a time. Non-Fiction - Flash Fiction 100-500 words (POEMS also ACCEPTED) PROMPT: There is no one like Mom. Esquire magazine, for example, held a flash fiction contest in 2012 in which the word count was determined by the number of years the magazine had been in publication. Clocking in at just over 100 words, it’s also one of the most impressive feats of flash fiction by an author largely known for his full-length works. Knicks lose again at home. Flash fiction stories are 1000 words or less. Here it is, all four words of it — though of course, you also need the title to understand the full impact: I kept myself alive. It’s a bizarre story: a meditation on capitalism, fame, and consumer culture. Pain, love, and an incisive sense of nostalgia all intertwine in this roughly thousand-word short story. Traveling in search of Nancy Luce, the poet who lived and died alone among her beloved chickens, Brontez Purnell's short story collection is about desire, loneliness, and giving in to the urge to self-sabotage, Dantiel Moniz's debut collection is about life in Florida—but more than that, it's about life in a body, The short stories in Te-Ping Chen’s “Land of Big Numbers” encapsulates the surrealism of modern-day China. The parkbench’s curvature felt familiar under his tiredold spine. Example: Twitter Fiction. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the number of great short stories out there, you can also take our 1-minute quiz below to narrow it down quickly and get a personalized short story recommendation . Not all great flash fiction is bleaker than bleak! […] The pole was Dad’s only concession to glee. Given these extreme parameters, what makes a piece of flash fiction truly great? Finally the officer told the soldiers it was no good trying to make him stand up. 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