by Jody T. Morse, SRP Staff/Blog Contributor
Here at Spider Road Press, we’re gearing up for our annual Spider’s Web Flash Fiction Contest. Submissions open next week (January 15th to be exact) so we wanted to help get your writing juices flowing by bringing you a flash-inspired blog and recommending some of our favorite flash fiction reads.
Flash Fiction is a relatively new genre in the writing world. Some sources say that these mini-stories came to popularity in the 1980s, yet other researchers say much earlier—the 1920s or 30s. Regardless, most agree that flash fiction is a child born of the twentieth century. When compared to other literary genres, I’d say that’s still in the hatchling category.
One of my favorite analogies or loose definitions of flash comes from an article published in World Literature Today by Robert Shapard back in 2012, The Remarkable Reinvention of Very Short Fiction. In this piece, he quotes Luisa Valenzuela:
“I usually compare the novel to a mammal,
be it wild as a tiger or tame as a cow;
the short story to a bird or a fish;
the micro story to an insect.”
The image she paints reminds me of the hummingbirds that swarm my balcony every spring. They zip by in a flash, barely even taking the time to acknowledge me, yet they remain one of my favorite species of winged creatures. Quick but colorful, magical, and extremely memorable. I, for one, am grateful for the existence of hummingbirds and flash fiction in my world.
Without further ado, we (the SRP staff) give you a handful of the flash fiction reads that have stuck in our hearts and memories—despite, or maybe because of, their diminutive stature.
- Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories – Thomas, Tomas & Hazuka (also available at Book People)
- Girls on Film by UP, Do contributor, former contest judge & generally gifted Kathryn Kulpa. Chapbook.
- Our Space and In Medias Res: Stories from the In-Between both collections edited and published by Writespace*
- Wild Life by Kathy Fish
- The Girl with Brown Fur: Tales and Stories from Stacey Levine
- For those of you who prefer online flash options/resources, we suggest FlashFiction.net and FlashFictionMagazine.com.
Take in one, two, or all of our suggestions, get to writing your flash masterpiece and then make sure to submit your best work to the Spider’s Web Flash Fiction Contest next week. Contest rules, announced judges and other helpful, intriguing tidbits can be found on our site at this link… http://spiderroadpress.com/submissions/spiders-web-flash-fiction-prize/. Now get to flashing! (In a literary way.)
*Note: In the courtesy of full-disclosure, Patricia & Jody (of the Spider Road Press Staff) have pieces included in these Writespace anthologies.