Fifty-word stories force you to find the heart of communication.
My therapist was less than pleased when I explained to him I had found my cure using this process.
It took him fewer than fifty words to present me with his final bill for seventy-five dollars.
Charlotte has been writing most of her life. Fifty-Word Stories gave her the courage to submit her work.
My students think writing these stories is impossible. I will make it my mission to show them otherwise. I will write one, right here, right now. Off the top of my head.
Some of them have started, I think. Some of them just waste time. Some of them watch, waiting.
Caitlin Griffin wrote this story.
“I should’ve had more daughters,” said Melinda’s mother, pouring lemonade poolside. “You never tell me anything.”
Melinda inhaled slowly. “My novel got an… award.”
“With how much money?”
“No money. A certificate.”
The mother smirked, shielding her eyes from the sun. “How sad is that.”
Melinda lowered her hat brim.
Shoshauna Shy’s flash has been published by 100 Word Story, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Fiction Southeast, and other online journals.
Deadline is only some hours away.
His writer’s mind is obsessed with other thoughts.
He unsuccessfully tries to focus on the given assignment.
Eventually he gives up.
Sleep still eludes him.
It reads, “You are my first thought each morning.”
He doesn’t respond.
He simply smiles.
Vijai Pant is a language teacher in a school in India. He is also a freelance writer.
Thanks for your cursory note referring to my multiple submissions as “it.”
I would reply more personally, but the volume of rejections received does not permit.
I have carefully considerd every word of your canned response.
Incidentally, two of the pieces have already been published elsewhere.
Phil Huffy wrote this story.
“I have wanted to be a writer for most of my life. I’m 62 years old. If I don’t start now, I may never do it.”
With that shocking realization, yet with no story she could think to tell, Sadie closed her laptop and gently slipped away from her desk.
Nancy Haines finally published her first two books after she passed 62 years old. She is looking for her next story. She currently has “Twitter-block” but someday hopes to learn to tweet. See more at pleasantgreenbooks.com.
Editor: And yet, Nancy, it looks like you got those fingers typing away after all!
It’s where his best stories arrived without fail, in the shower with warm water running down his back.
Later, pencil sharp, notebook open, squeaky clean, he’d chew on the pink eraser and try to remember. The muse just laughed.
That’s how he learned the best stories never make the page.
Guy’s work has appeared in 43 literary journals including Carve, dacunha, and Exposition Review, where twice, he was a flash 405 winner. Third Wednesday ran his story, The Most Shoplifted Poet, as both flash fiction and poem of the week. Guy teaches low-fat fiction, lives on a houseboat, and walks the planks daily. He prefers to write on ATM slips with low balances while waiting for traffic lights to change.
Fifty-word stories? Sounds easy, but HA! Challenge embraced; let the jotting and counting begin.
“Not tonight dear. One… too busy… two, three.”
Cloud of perpetual distraction.
“Sorry, what were you saying? Didn’t catch that. I was—”
“Yeah. I know,” he mumbles. “Counting. Scribbling.”
Relationship ends, but hey! Fifty words!
Judi MacKenzie is a writer who teaches yoga and, sometimes, meticulously counts words. She loves writing screenplays and is a reader for the Austin Film Festival.
The author bit her lip. “Well?”
“I’m pleasantly surprised,” replied the editor. “The world’s remarkably believable, although ludicrous! Creating these human characters with only two legs! It’s absurdly wonderful.”
The author beamed. “The characters took on a life of their own. It seemed as if they believed they were real.”
Melanie Rees is an Australian speculative fiction writer. She has published over 70 stories and poems in markets such as Apex, Daily Science Fiction, and Aurealis. More information can be found at flexirees.wordpress.com or on Twitter.
Russell walked into his English class and took a seat towards the middle. He wondered what everyone in class thought about his story. It received two likes on Facebook. Hillary walked passed him, stopped and said that his story stunk.
It made Russell smile. They hated Salinger at first, too.
Mark Konik is a writer from Newcastle, Australia. He writes short stories and plays.