Flash fiction, sometimes referred to as commuter fiction (which was the term I heard first) is a very, very short fictional story.  It is one of those terms that is rather hard to define as there seem to be no common rules. The length can be set as no less or more than 55 words (San Luis Obispo Times) or any story up to 1000 words (other sources). Most though deem a rough count of approximately 300 words.  There is agreement that a title for flash fiction be no longer than 7 words.




A great example of flash fiction is




Embarrassing Moments

Embarrassing Moments  by  Per Holbo




Other terms you might hear to describe flash fiction are microfiction, micro-story, short short postcard fiction and sudden fiction (sudden fiction is usually over 1000 words). Flash fiction has actually been around for centuries, one of the oldest know is in Aesop’s Fables.  With the coming of the internet flash fiction is taking off. People want short, concise stories that don’t take up a lot of their time.




Established in 2007, the Micro-Award is used to recognize outstanding flash fiction in both print and electronic media. The first winner was




Reconstruction Work

Reconstruction Work by Bruce Holland Rogers, R.W. Ware (illustrator)




Other winners include Let x by Chad Simpson in 2009, and The Children’s Factory by Michael Stewart in 2010.  Flash fiction is a great quick read, very handy for commuting trips, coffee breaks, and so many more things.