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Writing Micro Fiction


Tips • Samples • Publishers


Micro fiction is a short story written with very few words. According to Camille Renshaw, "Micro Fiction, by nature, is defiant. It defies length, boundaries, and expectations. But tight, provocative fiction requires analysis and editing. Taking an idea and distilling it into a “micro”- cosm of its original self is challenging" (Renshaw, 1998).

Every publisher seems to have their own word limits so check the guidelines carefully before submitting. There are a many of types of these short stories, usually based on their word count.


  • Micro fiction: 100-250 words
  • Twitterfic: 140 characters
  • Flash fiction: 200-1000 words

Most micro fiction publishers are looking for stories that fall under the heading of speculative fiction—fantasy, horror or science fiction. Editors are generally looking for cohesive stories that are a bit unusual and have a touch of humor. Dark, horror, spooky, macabre, gruesome, mystery, and alien are just a few of the types of stories that generally fall under this heading.

Micro fiction is not easy to write. You have to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end in 100-200 words or less, though some have as little as six or 50 word limits. That means writing a very concise story. It is a form of writing that requires a lot of practice and finding a mentor really helps.


Some Tips

  • Always use contractions. It saves you one word.

  • Keep descriptions sparse. You have a limited number of words to tell the story so keep your descriptions to a minimum.

  • Start with a great hook. Really bring your readers into the story right off the bat.

  • Humor and originality are the keys to getting your micro fiction published.

  • Surprise endings are great sells, too. Pun endings can also get your story sold with the right editor.

  • Read the market before submitting to them. Make sure your micro fiction piece is suited to their publication.

  • Read the submission guidelines and follow the instructions for submitting exactly as written. If you don't, your story will be rejected without it even having been read. Editors take a long time to work out the best way to receive submissions and following their instructions shows your commitment to being a professional.

  • Join a critique group to really hone your micro fiction skills. Yahoo Groups have a few, search for micro or flash fiction.

For more help, check out "The Quick, Sharp Stroke: Writing Micro Fiction," by G.W. Thomas:





You can find several examples on my writing page, blog, and Squidoo page.





A short list of publishers of micro and flash fiction. Almost all of them are non-paying markets but if you're looking to have others read your work this is a good place to start.


Market Listings

• Duotrope:


Flash Fiction

• Apollo’s Lyre:
• Bastards and Whores:
• Ergofiction:
• One Short Story:
• Twisted Dreams Magazine:


Micro Fiction

• Flashshot:
• Postcard Shorts:



• Nanoism:
• Outshine:
• Seedpodpub:
• Thaumtrope:
• Tiny Storeys:
• Tweet the Meat:
• Twitter Fiction:


Super Short Story

• 50-Word Stories:
• Six Word Stories:




Renshaw, C. (1998). The essentials of micro-fiction. Retrieved from



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