Fast read, slow burn.

Stuck in a writing rut? Writing a flash fiction story has the potential to stimulate creativity through its strict length requirement— requiring the writer to forego loquacity for more vivid, efficient language.

Flash fiction is an extremely brief work of fiction that, unlike other short stories, lacks a traditional story arc. While some argue that flash fiction must follow a 1,000 word limit, others suggest that a work can be up to 2,000 words in length. Flash fictionites like to cite Ernest Hemingway's legendary story as an extreme example of what the genre can accomplish:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Hemingway allegedly wrote this after a friend bet that he couldn't write a story under 10 words, yet this remains unsubstantiated. Still, the example serves to attest to the power of literary compression. It is left to the reader to make sense of this potentially unsettling scenario.

For more examples of flash fiction as well as submission opportunities, check out these websites dedicated to publishing the form:

Of course, Saint Louis Public Library also carries materials that highlight flash fiction:

Sex World

Flash Fiction International


Sudden Fiction (continued)

Sudden Fiction

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of St. Louis Public Library