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Microfiction:The Complete Beginners Guide(2022)

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In this blog post, we’ll look at the different things you need to know about microfiction.

Starting from the definition to examples and magazines where you can read microfiction for free.

Let’s get started.

Microfiction Definition 

Microfiction, As the name comes from two words. 

Micro which means small and Fiction which means an imaginative story.

 When the two words are combined micro fiction means a story within the range of six words to 300 words, that tells a story.

It has a character and a plot and hints at other features of microfiction.

 It’s often compared or interchangeably with flash fiction let’s see the difference.

  1. First flash fiction is an umbrella name for a form of fiction that is less than 1000 words including micro-fiction.
  1.  Flash fiction is also used to mean stories within 300 words to 1000 words and sometimes extending to 1500 words

How long is Flash Fiction?

In terms of word count, Microfiction is between 6 to 300 words in length. Some magazines and contests permit stories up to 350 words.

An average page single-spaced has five hundred words.

This means that Microfiction is 0.6 of a page.

 The simple explanation is Microfiction is less than a page in length.

Microfiction Characteristics 

Despite the length of Microfiction, it is still fiction. This particular feature leads Microfiction to have the other elements of fiction adapted for its form

Before we see the features of microfiction from fiction.

Let’s see the two prominent features peculiar to Microfiction.

  1. Brevity Microfiction is brief in words which makes it faster to read and write when compared to other forms like the novel and short stories.
  1. Concise Language.      For a piece of text to be microfiction, it has to tell a complete story within the word count of microfiction. This means that you have to let go of vague words and redundant words.   

Microfiction Examples

1.Give it Up by Franz Kafka

This is a popular Microfiction example from a famous writer.

The Microfiction has a twist.

I will not give any spoilers.

First Line

It was very early in the morning, the streets were clean and deserted, I was walking to the station.

Word Count: 128 words

2. Five Stories by Lydia Davis

A Collection of five stories from the famous flash fiction and Microfiction.

  • The Mice: 217
  • The Outing: 62
  • Odd Behaviours: 48
  • Fear: 105
  • Lost things: 103

Microfiction Contests

There are a lot of rising and interesting Microfiction contests.

Many of which have a rigid word count.

  • Dribble (50 words story)
  • Drabble (100 words story)

While others just give a range and your story has to be within the range of words for your story to be considered.

1.NYC Midnight  Microfiction

This is an annual competition.

It has two contests.

  • 100-word challenge
  • 250-word challenge

During the contest, you will be given a genre, and action word to write a story.

This contest has fantastic prizes for the top ten stories.

2. Reflex Fiction Contest

The Reflex Flash Fiction Contest is organized by the Reflex Press.

This is a quarterly international flash fiction competition.

The entry fee for the contest is the “choose your fee’ model.

Word Count: 180 – 360 words.

Prize:

 First Prize – £1200

Second – £600

Third – £300

Fourth – £150

Microfiction Magazines

If you are looking for where to read microfiction for free you can read winning entries in microfiction contests.

A better way to read micro-stories is to visit Microfiction magazines. 

1.The Literary Bohemian

In the words of the magazine, they are a ” journal of journeys”

You can submit up to three pieces of no more than 350 words.

Microfiction Prompts

If you are stuck on what to write?

Use this exercise.

1. Write a story that happens in less than five minutes.

2. Write a story that happens in a place within a minute.

Conclusion

Microfiction is growing in popularity as more writers are adopting the form.

Magazines dedicated to this form are increasing.

This guide is a work in progress and I would be updating it as I find new things on Microfiction.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Are you a microfiction or flash fiction writer?

Let me know in the comments section.


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By Onyemechi Nwakonam

Hi ,I write poetry and short prose. I am excited to help you organise your writing journey.

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