© 2019 Odyssey Magazine of the Arts

The Odyssey Magazine of the Arts is a student publication of

Lake-Sumter State College

What is flash fiction?

October 4, 2017

 

 

One of this year's new contest categories is flash fiction. As I've been supervising the submissions that come in, I've heard time and again that students didn't know what flash fiction was. I want to do a quick explanation to encourage students to enter this category. 

 

What is it? 

 

Flash fiction - also called short-short stories, immediate fiction, sudden fiction, and microfiction - are complete stories of fewer than 1,500, 1,000, 500, or even 300 words. In the case of the Odyssey, we are looking for flash fiction in 400 words or less that tells a complete story. 

 

Here's some tips from Writer's Digest that can provide some guidance:

 

  • Use few characters
     

  • Use descriptions that show rather than tell
     

  • Remember that brevity is the soul of wit (and flash fiction!)
     

  • Have a purpose in writing it - in other words, tell us a story
     

  • Have fun with it! 
     

One of the appeals of flash fiction for writers is how quickly they can write it as opposed to the process of short story and novel-writing. Writers spend less time composing, editing, and submitting than do their counterparts in longer fiction pieces. 

 

So, what are you waiting for? Try your luck at flash fiction and enter the contest - you never know, you could win!

 

Deadline to enter the contest is October 13th at midnight! 

 

Good luck, writers!

 

Best,

 

Kevin

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