GBF Hands-on Workshops: Short-Short Stories
March 27, 2012
by Heidi Bishop and Rae Bryant
You’ve heard of short stories, but have you ever heard of the Short-Short story format?
Short-Short refers to stories of fewer than 1,000 words, which are gaining popularity among both web and print editors. Individual editors may have their own particular descriptions but we asked Rae Bryant, who teaches multimedia and creative writing at The Johns Hopkins University, to talk about why she loves this format so much. Here are her three favorite reasons to write in a short-short format.
- They offer an acute sense of story — narrative arcs, characterizations, settings, etc. — that can be read quickly and more easily within a single sitting and for deeper meaning. For this reason, the short-short is sometimes compared to a poem, and in fact, the short-short may even use poetic vehicles or fuller prose/poetic fusions.
- The short-short, due to length, makes reading online an easier task. Many online editors like this. Therefore, short-shorts are finding an increasing and sometimes favored place in online journals. They are also increasingly popular with print journal editors as the short-short can provide added texture and pace change within the layout of anthologies and collections.
- Short-shorts offer an accelerated exploration of narrative arc and voice. A writer can write, revise, revise… with a quicker cyclical practice, though, it should be stated that a well-crafted and finished short-short can take as long to write, revise, and finish as a poem or full short story.
To learn more about the Short-Short format or to sign up for this workshop, look for the “Short-Short Fiction in Text and Multimedia Forms” workshop on the Gaithersburg Book Festival workshop page.