F202. From Flash Fiction to Microfiction: How Many Words Are Enough?

Marquis Salon 3 & 4, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
Friday, February 10, 2017
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


The introduction to Flash Fiction asks: How short can a story be and still be a short story? The answer was 750 words, but recently we have seen microfiction of 300 and 200 words, and the emergence of the 100-word story. How can such compression address character development, narrative arc, and tension? Does prose poetry show us indirectly how to accommodate narrative size? These panelists discuss the limitations and rewards of writing short with urgency and artistic integrity.



Pamela Painter is author of four story collections, the most recent are Wouldn’t You Like to Know and Ways to Spend the Night. Her stories have have been reprinted in numerous journals and anthologies, such as Sudden Fiction, Flash Fiction, and Microfiction. She teaches at Emerson College in Boston.

James Thomas has coedited all of the Flash Fiction and Sudden Fiction books, and authored Pictures, Moving. He has received two NEA grants, a Stegner Fellowship, founded Quarterly West, and started the Writers at Work conference. He has taught at Wright State Univesity and the University of Utah.

Nancy Stohlman’s books include the flash fiction collection The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories, The Monster Opera, Searching for Suzi: A Flash Novel, and Fast Forward: The Mix Tape, a 2011 Colorado Book Award finalist. She is the creator and curator of the Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series.

Grant Faulkner is Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month and the cofounder of 100 Word Story magazine. His writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times and Poets & Writers. His collection of one hundred 100-word stories, Fissures, was recently published.

Sherrie Flick is author of the novel Reconsidering Happiness and the short story collection Whiskey, Etc. Her work appears in Ploughshares, Flash Fiction Forward, and New Sudden Fiction, among others. She teaches in Chatham University's MFA and food studies programs and works as a freelance writer.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center