Third Word Press has accepted my 80-word story, 'Turning to Stone', for its anthology A House of Music and Other Stories, which is being sold to help the homeless. The 80 stories of 80 words each were selected from entries to its fortnightly competitions, and I'm looking forward to reading them.
    When I told a friend about it, she couldn't understand what I meant by 80-word stories. How could a story have a beginning, middle and end when it was so short? Surely it must be an extract from something longer, or only the opening sentence or two. Her attitude proved what a bubble writers can live in. I'd taken it for granted that readers these days would have come across mini or micro fiction. Apparently not, so here's a run-down of some of the different types.
    Flash or mini fiction is usually between 500 and 1,000 words, but some publishers have smaller word limits–300 words seems to be quite common. A brian is exactly 50 words long, and is named after the author Brian Aldiss who is said to have come up with it when he wanted a break from writing novels. Similarly, a drabble is named after the author Margaret Drabble except it is exactly 100 words long excluding the title. There are competitions and publications calling for other word lengths including Binnacle Ultra-Shorts competition for poetry and prose up to 150 words. Twiction is tweet-length fiction i.e. up to 140 characters. Shortest of all are six word stories, said to have been invented by Ernest Hemingway, although this might not be true. Perhaps the most famous of these is his: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
    Some people struggle to find a narrative is such short tales, and they do require the reader to exercise their imagination, but at their best they speak volumes. In six words, Hemingway conjured up a poignant story of love, tragedy and loss.
    For more proof that good stories come in little packages, you can pre-order A House of Music and Other Stories until 21st August at
    At the other end of the scale, you can still download Discord's Child FREE and Discord's Apprentice at 50% off before 1st August at