edited by Tara L. Masih
We live in the age of the flash: embrace it. Of course, this does not make the long nineteenth century novel any less beautiful, but there is something to be said for being in tune with contemporary concerns. This is a very twenty-first century book, and it gives writers an introduction to the super short genre (1,000 words at the most) that some say is the future of fiction. Life is whizzing by us and many of us only have time for an instant. We take things in quick glances.
This book will show you how to maneuver in these small spaces. Flash fiction is a genre in which every word counts, and writers who learn to master it improve their writing in longer forms as well. Any prose writer will find that this book can give their work a jolt. And those pressed for time to write will find that flash fiction gives them a way to work in those awkward bits of free time that often go to waste.
This book is accessible and fun, yet serious enough to be used in college-level writing courses. The editors, prize-winning writers, and educators who contributed to this book (including Robert Olen Butler, Pamela Painter, and Stuart Dybeck) provide diverse, even contradictory perspectives on this form. Rather than providing a formula, the book helps writers find their own path to mastery. The book includes an informative introduction that covers the history of the short story, plentiful examples, exercises in every chapter, and a list of additional resources for those who want to know more. Beyond covering craft, the book also discusses how to use flash fiction as a stepping stone to becoming published.