Short short short stories (adult and child writers)

My children have been writing some short fiction and we’ve been dabbling with tiny fiction.

How do you write the shortest stories? How to contain the character, narrative, hook and drama all in one tiny piece without it becoming contrived? If you read 25- or 50-word stories, there’s a risk of them sounding clipped or staccato, as a longer story was pruned back to the brown.

So we’ve been writing, editing down, and reading aloud to see if we can make something of it. They have not been easy to write and my kids have been surprised as an afternoon has slipped by.

So, want to try it?

Two open competitions:

Scottish Book Trust are running a really neat little themed monthly competition: The 50-word Fiction Competition – write a 50-word story to the monthly prompt, each theme closes at the end of the month, prizes are a mug for adults or books for children. Four writer categories: Adult Writers, All-age Gaelic Writers, Young Writers 5-11 and Young Writer 12-18. Winning stories published on the website.

There’s also a Novel in 25 Words – nice little competition for previously unpublished adult writers, which closes TOMORROW — go to it! £500 prize for the winner and the top three entries have their stories read out by Jeremy Irons.

(If 25 or 50 word limits are a bit tight, there are 100-word stories. The Readers Digest 100-word competition is currently closed, but watch this space in the autumn for opportunities for adults and children. Prizes are cash and tablets.)

Online publications: 

Paragraph Planet – 75-word stories

Microfiction Monday magazine – 50-100 words

100 Word Story closed currently, but it says reopening this summer – they are publishing new stories currently so watch this space.



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