Tag Archives: form

The Unsung Letter No. 26

This week’s letter, by writer Ali Millar, speaks directly to my flash fiction and short-short story loving heart (is there a difference between those two forms? I think so…)

 

The room was hot, I was nervous. That day we were examining short stories, each of us given a different one to look at, mine was short, mine was more than short, it read;

 

Index Entry

Christian, I’m not a

And that was it. What to say, I panicked, about four words and a title, the sheer audacity of it struck me then, and had struck me many times since. The obviousness of it, the simplicity, the I could’ve written that myself coupled with the knowledge that like all great art the simplicity is sheer artifice, the feeling that maybe I could turn similar tricks a delusion.
As usual you can sign up for The Unsung Letter here if you haven’t already. The Unsung Letter is a tinyletter in which every week a different writer/critic/book pusher sings the praises of a work (by a living author) they think is undersung. Your To Be Read pile may never diminish. Not ready to commit? Have a browse of the archive here.
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Flash Fiction collections/novellas on my radar

As you might know, I’ve been working on building a collection of flash fictions around the idea of monstrousness, to be called Monstirs. Now, as it stands, I have 34 stories, and I think a few more to come. Some are as short as 250 words. Others break out from the limits of flash, going up to 1,800 words (at that point, they might be classed as very short stories). And I’ve been asking on Twitter for help gauging how long a collection should be. It seems there is, as with poetry collections, no real limit. I’ll keep writing until I have enough to cull, and enough weight.

 

It helps to look at the history of works, of course. I once went into a bookshop and asked where they kept the flash fiction collections (thinking they’d be near the short stories) only to be asked “what’s flash fiction?” By the bookseller. I also recently read an essay that described flash as anecdotes, frustratingly thin, or at best, poetry under a new marketing spin. Not at all. I’m making a list here – a kind of wish list, for books of flash fiction, and pieces which step into the river that forms the boundary between genres – novels in flash, tiny essays around a theme. I haven’t read them all, but have heard good things. Perhaps you’ll find this helpful too. Grateful thanks to Erin Fitzgerald for helping with this. And to various folk on Twitter for chiming in.

 

 

Any more flash fiction collections/novels/anthologies that are essential?

 

 

 

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