The publishing industry has birthed a new redundancy: the “short-short” story. Another common name for the genre is “flash fiction,” yet I don’t like this phrase as much. To “flash by” means to appear briefly and vanish without much of an impression, but if done well, stories of this kind can pack as much force as a tightly clenched fist—denser and more powerful for their brevity.
Short-shorts are traditionally less than 1,000 words. Some say 300, some 500; the devil says 666 is the limit. Usually the story focuses on one significant event with a small group of characters. Notice, though, that all this academic chatter leaves a wide gap for the writer to fill. As a self-appointed Grand Poobah of short-short fiction—I have, after all, published two whole pieces of it—I’ve worked out a few guidelines for the flash-by story:
I wanted to drop in a quick post that my short story, "Wheelchair," was published today in Wind Magazine. Founded in 1971, Wind is Kentucky's longest-running literary journal. I'm honored that they took the story, which is about a man who tries to get his ailing wife to a hospital in the aftermath of a blizzard.
You can read the story here: Wind Magazine
There's also now a link to the story under the "My Work" tab.
Have a wonderful day. If you get a chance to read the story, I'd love to hear your reactions.
Anthony Otten has published stories in Jabberwock Review, Valparaiso Fiction Review, Wind, Still: The Journal, and others. He has been a finalist for the Hargrove Editors' Prize in Fiction. He lives in Kentucky.
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