I read just one novel, the Great American one. I don’t recall what it said. I didn’t read it for its words. I read it for its intentions, its wonders, its accidents and daydreams. I read it slow and neat and kind, and when it was over, I wrote voraciously.
Robert Hoekman Jr is a writer and the cohost of Spillers, downtown Phoenix’s premier short fiction storytelling event. Learn more about him at rhjr.net
“I did it! I wrote a story in exactly 50 words!”
“Really?” Maxwell snatched the slip of paper from my hand. Crumpling it up, he shoved it into his mouth, chewed, and swallowed.
“You… You ate my story!”
Maxwell burped. “Your writing’s very tasteful,” he said, and left the room.
Bill Waters, a lifelong poet and writer, lives in Pennington, New Jersey, USA, with his wonderful wife and their three amazing cats.
I would listen from bed as Father scribbled upon paper. To the soundtrack of snoring I would sneak into the study, steal his pen, and muffle the click with my pyjama top.
I stared at blank pages and waited: but Father had not left any words in the pen tonight.
Guy Preston writes with a pen he found abandoned in a train station car park. He has never changed the ink, and hopes there’s at least another 50 words left.
Putting pen to paper is an ominous sign.
It means that the demons whom I had so painstakingly put to sleep will arise and come knocking at my sanity. That I’m out in the open to be ground, scathed, churned, and burnt.
It means that I haven’t forgotten you, yet.
Swetha B Ram wrote this story.
Ted Henson had just finished up his pitch for his crime thriller masterpiece, Graves, and was waiting to hear the verdict.
A suit walked out and ushered him back in. Another suit started, “We’re sorry, Mr. Henson, but we can’t…”
And then he noticed the gun in Mr. Henson’s hand.
Eric has been writing short stories for around a year.
They wanted stories too grotesque, outlandish, and offensive to be published on FiftyWordStories.com or any mainstream web or print publication.
I selected three stories from my bottom drawer, stories filled with violence, sex, sacrilege, and scatology.
They were all accepted.
I’ll have to change my name and leave town!
Harry Demarest has retired after careers encompassing scientific research, teaching at a university, software development, web application development, and voter database compilation and distribution. He is now spending his time with his grandchildren and writing memoirs and short stories. This is a true story of his experiences submitting to a contest.
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, lived a beautiful princess. She was bored.
She decided to write stories.
“Write what you know,” someone told her once.
“No one will ever read them,” she thought. Dragons, princes, talking frogs… Who would believe such madness?
She told them to children.
Peter Li-ping lives and works in the Northeast of England. He has a background in philosophy and computing and hopes that someone will one day want to publish his fiction.
Didn’t enter the ring for the competition, but rather more for a discourse with the future. The brain more of a sponge soaking up the spill to feed its thirst than a tool used cleaning up the mess left behind.
A challenge barely begun and certain to last only moments.
D. Andrew Bradley is a currently unemployed truck driver wasting time on the internet. He has no writing experience or education beyond what would be considered normal. He just found this quick mental release of blah-blah rather satisfying. Not sure of what will happen next, but back to work means less writing.
In letters posted home I shared gray Paris awakening from war, myself too, present in every word.
Returning home, I found my letters gone.
“You never said to keep them.” My father shifted uneasily in his chair.
“No, you never did,” said my step-mother, belligerent.
I mourned my lost words.
Catherine Mathews is a US State Department retiree, formerly stationed overseas in Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Athens, Frankfurt, and Istanbul, and now living in northern Virginia and writing about it.
It’s the poetry of precision. An atypical prose through which half the story remains unwritten, but not untold. An exercise in speculative brevity where quality always trumps quantity. A minuscule door to great expanses of imagination. A strict form which flows as if oblivious to its boundaries: exactly fifty words.
Chris Griglack was born and raised in Massachusetts where he has lived for 24 years. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2012 with a degree in Writing, Rhetoric, and Communications.