Perhaps you’ve already got Pathos Lit Mag’s upcoming Feb. 12 submission deadline on your calendar, and you’ve already reviewed our submission guidelines, and you’ve decided This term is the term that I finally submit my writing to Pathos. Good on you! Now the real question – the one plaguing all of us during this dark and rainy Winter Term – is, When am I ever going to have time to write something?!
Enter a variety of writing that we’d love to see more of: FLASH FICTION.
Flash fiction is incredibly short – a few hundred words at most, and sometimes even fewer than 100 depending on the publication. Becky Tuch of The Review Review describes it as “part poetry, part narrative, flash fiction–also known as sudden fiction, micro fiction, short short stories, and quick fiction—is a genre that is deceptively complex.” Couldn’t be more true! The challenge of flash fiction is to make the most impact possible with the choicest few words. How do you guide your reader through a full narrative with just a few paragraphs? How can you construct an emotional journey with only a handful of words? How can you maximize the stakes as you minimize your word count?
Learning to wield concision and precision is a valuable tool for even the most loquacious and stylistically ambitious of writers, whether you’re a poet, a journalist, a novelist, or just trying to craft the perfect Tweet. If you’re strapped for short-story-writing time or won’t be able to refine that epic novel excerpt during Winter Term, flash fiction is a great way to keep your writing short, to keep your craft sharp, and to keep the Pathos staff busy!