Trending: Tiny Tales
Guest post by Fiona Jones
Micro-literature is a big trend right now. Something to do with the glimpsiness of screen-scrolling and the needle-sharp joy of haiku, mixed in a shot glass and taken at a gulp.
I’m not dissing full-length novels. They’ll always be in, forever, because a good novel is like a holiday abroad: immersive, luxurious, refreshing. But, by destiny or gnatlike attention span, I’m a micro writer. Most of what I’ve written is under 500 words. I’ve got micro-fiction and micro-CNF scattered halfway round the Internet, plus now and then on paper. And I’m touting these anthologies because some of my work’s inside:
- Trickster’s Treats #4
- Nano Nightmares, edited by Shirley Dee and others
- Teach.Write Fall/Winter 2020
- Prepositionally Challenged volume 1
Where to send your own finely-cut gemstones? I started with Friday Flash Fiction (they publish shedloads of drabbles a week, plus occasional longer flashes). From there I went on to The Drabble, Dribble Drabble, 50-Word Stories, 101 Words, Montana Mouthful, Tiger Moth Review and actually anywhere that doesn’t stipulate a minimum wordcount. The number of publishers asking for micros seems to grow every year. Most venues don’t pay for micro-stories, but Longleaf Review did, Mothers Always Write and All Guts No Glory did too, and Folded Word used to.
It’s hard to choose a favourite among my own micro-pieces—either the stories or the essays. I think the one that’s travelled the farthest is my speculative fiction about the inventor of the wheel, who watches his invention progressing down through the centuries. This story appeared first on 50-Word Fiction, then a second website, and finally someone requested to republish it in Arabic.
Or maybe it’s not finally. Maybe it’s still got places to go, people to meet. The best thing about stories is that sometimes they just keep going.
Fiona M. Jones’s poem “Oak Tree” can be found in TFF #55.