Fiction For People With Short Attention Spans

I’ve always been an anthology lover. It’s an easy way to experience several authors in one sitting, meet new characters, new storytelling styles, new ideas, without the time commitment of a novel. It’s like a little taste to see if you want to buy a cone with that particular flavor of ice cream.

So when I started writing, I naturally gravitated to short stories first.

And that led me to the challenge of even smaller fiction–flash fiction. Flash fiction is a story containing a beginning, a middle and an end, told in as few as 100 words to 2,000 words.

It’s popular for several reasons:

  1. It doesn’t take long to read. NPR ran a contest for “Three-Minute Fiction” (or 600 words or less) simply because it was easy to fit in their broadcasts.
  2. It doesn’t take long to write. This is relative. I’ve worked on a flash fiction piece for as little as an hour or sometimes for more than a couple of months.
  3. It’s a real challenge. To write a good piece of flash fiction, you need to bend the language to your will to make a proper story which will resonate with readers in just a few words.
  4. It’s fun. It’s a little like writing poetry in that you get to play around with the language, finding concise ways to get an idea across to your audience.

And there is a huge audience for it. With websites, anthologies, contests, and readers all clamoring for more flash fiction, writers can earn up to $200 per word for their stories. That is not a typo–the Fundación César Egido Serrano annually offers a $20,000 prize for a 100-word piece of fiction.


If you’re interested in the genre, you can check out some of them on my site here. Just click the Flash Fiction button and they’ll all pop up!


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Aidee Ladnier

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