Flash Fiction

Why read flash? Why write it?

We’re not here to convince you to write flash fiction, nor to read it. But you should. Upon first learning about flash fiction, it seems full of possibility for being annoying, fun, thought-provoking, and just maybe satisfying, for both readers and writers. At the very least, it can be a daily reading or writing ritual without requiring a major time commitment.

For a writer, flash might seem like an easy way to get published. But it’s not. Flash pieces must grab, arc, involve, connect, and conclude in an uber short story. It is a tall order.

At the same time, writing flash can be very productive, regardless of whether you intend to publish the works. It presents the opportunity to express the stories (or even just phrases) gnawing at the back of your mind without forcing a long-term time-suck.

For those who dislike writing traditional short stories, flash offers an appealing way to tell a story and inspire new perspectives. Plus, it provides the chance to explore different styles or craft techniques without messing up your in-progress book’s voice or flow.

Pre-reading flash pieces for another journal, I recall our team earnestly reading submissions, each person giving equal consideration to every story. Some stories connected, many did not. This is why flash is not necessarily an easy ticket to being published (which is where it can be annoying, especially if you think you eloquently hammered out something really good), for as with longer literary works, flash can be largely subjective. It either connects or it doesn’t.

We do our very best to choose pieces based on literary merit rather than subjectivity. Craft plays a role, as does heart, and by heart I’m talking about connection. And that’s the rub, the hard task of keeping subjectivity down while listening to your heart and mind, and feeling stories for connection.

That’s what Short Beasts wants. We don’t so much go for wow. We go for feel. Because we believe feeling is what makes flash work, what makes it worthwhile.

You decide what feel means. Adrenalin-inducing, heart-stopping electromagnetic word shock, romance or bromance or girlmance, mind-bending simulation, or what have you. (Just don’t be interesting.)

Short Beasts is open for submissions.