Tuesday, August 25, 2009

25 words are worth a thousand... words

Legend has it, Ernest Hemingway, on a bar bet, said he could write a complete story in less then ten words. He only needed six:

"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

Hemingway, as usual, was ahead of his time. Maybe it's a product of our Twitter-sized attention spans, but fiction categories keep shrinking. There are novellas, short stories, short-short stories, flash fiction, sudden fiction, microfiction, nanofiction, drabbles (100 words) dribbles (50 words) and now... there's hint fiction. Hint fiction is a story of 25 words or less that suggests a larger, more complex story.

Robert Swartwood is accepting submissions for his Hint Fiction Anthology, scheduled for publication next year. Check out the guidelines... and submit your best. Or, if you don't want to submit officially, feel free to post your hint fiction stories here in the comments.

I submitted my two entries. Who cares if it's only 25 words; if one of my stories gets accepted, I'm gonna walk around telling everyone I'm published.

p.s., coming soon... Decafiction: a story in ten words or less. You heard it here first... I just registered the domain name.


  1. His missing car signaled James that his bank wasn't joking.

  2. Is this kinda like "the last man on earth hears a knock at the door" type stories???

  3. Good one, Emilie, you should send it in.

    Yeah Skoot, you got it -- that would work.

  4. Ten dialed digits connected her briefly to yesteryear's lost love.

    His eyes shifted when she asked, "Have you been faithful?"

    With singed fur, burning eyes, the fawn cries for mother.

    Head dropped in shame, she confessed to suffering decafiction syndrome.

  5. "You can't be serious" cried Karina.
    Suddenly she realized that this time was different. There would be no way out. Cold, lost, alone.

  6. She stood in the broken yard and called "Hey come on!" and he said "No, the rain!"
    and she laughed, her laugh finding him.