The Rose Metal Press field guide to writing flash fiction Tips from editors, teachers, and writers in the field

Book - 2009

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 808.31/Rose Checked In
Brookline, MA : Rose Metal Press c2009.
Other Authors
Tara L. Masih (-)
Physical Description
xxxviii, 168 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references (p 159-164)
  • In defense of the exercise
  • Contemporary and historical roots of flash fiction
  • Finding freedom and feeling in the form
  • Beginnings and endings
  • Imagery as inspiration
  • Poetry versus prose
  • Taking risks
  • Focusing and editing
  • The future of flash fiction
  • A call to action.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Accessible enough for pleasure reading but instructive enough for the classroom, this volume brings together brief essays by 25 writers known for their talent in flash fiction, aka the "short short story," roughly defined as a tale "1-3 pages and 250-1,000 words" long. Along with personal musings on the genre, each author provides a prompt, and their own short piece to illustrate it. Editor and fiction writer Masih provides a remarkably thorough history of flash fiction, dating the phrase "short short story" to a 1926 issue of Collier's Weekly. Contributors include award-winning writer Jayne Anne Phillips, who writes that "one-page fiction should hang in the air of the mind like an image made of smoke"; Shouhua Qi shares her thoughts on the Chinese short short, which they also call a "Smoke-Long story," as in the time it takes to smoke a cigarette; and Vanessa Gebbie, who reminds us of Hemmingway's famous 6-word story: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." Robert Olen Butler and Steve Almond discuss the difference between flash fiction and prose poetry, the former remarking that "[f]iction is the art form of human yearning"; Almond, meanwhile, chronicles his journey from bad poetry to good short stories. An expansive list of further reading rounds out this smart, fun, provocative guide to an increasingly popular form. (July) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.