Library of Congress

Authorities & Vocabularies

The Library of Congress > Linked Data Service > LC Subject Headings (LCSH)

From Library of Congress Subject Headings


Flash fiction


  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Variants

    • Micro fiction
    • Microfiction
    • Short-short fiction
    • Sudden fiction
    • Very short fiction
  • Broader Terms

  • Closely Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Work cat.: The pearl jacket and other stories : flash fiction from contemporary China, c2008.
    • found: New sudden fiction : short-short stories from America and beyond, c2007:p. 13 (sudden fictions are very short stories, only a few pages long; what is short-short fiction? Experimental fictions? Sketches? Prose poems? Anecdotes?) p. 15 (stories of only a page or two seemed to us different not only in length but in nature; they evoked a single moment, or an idea, whereas a five page story however experimental, was more akin to the traditional short story; so the longer story became "new" sudden fiction while the shorter became flash, named by James Thomas, editor of Flash fiction; ever shorter fiction was appearing in the literary magazines; now came fast fiction, skinny fiction, mini fiction, quick fiction, and micro fiction, the last a mere 250 words)
    • found: Hot & bothered: short short fiction on lesbian desire, c1998.
    • found: Micro fiction: an anthology of really short stories, ©1996.
    • found: Stoned crows & other Australian icons : prose poetry & microfiction, 2013.
    • found: Sudden fiction international: sixty short-short stories, c1989.
    • found: Sudden stories: the Mammoth book of miniscule fiction, c2003.
    • found: Minifiction, via WWW, Dec. 20, 2012(Minifiction is a new form of writing found under many names; flash fiction, sudden fiction, nanofiction, microfiction or the short short story; all of these have one thing in common: their extreme brevity)
    • found: SmokeLong Quarterly, via WWW, Dec. 20, 2012(SmokeLong Quarterly is dedicated to bringing the best flash fiction to the web on a quarterly basis, whether written by widely published authors, or those new to the craft. The term "smoke-long" comes from the Chinese, who noted that reading a piece of flash takes about the same length of time as smoking a cigarette. All the work we publish is precisely that--about a smoke long)
    • found: Double room: a journal of prose poetry and flash fiction, via WWW, Dec. 19, 2012:issue 1 (Contributor answers to question "What is the difference between a prose poem and flash fiction?": Johnathan Carr: "Flash fiction is a compact distilled piece of writing that follows all of the dictates (or lack thereof) that one would place on a work of fiction. It is an act of distillation. Of sparseness. Minimal strokes. A prose poem is often the very opposite.) issue 2 (Anthony Tognazzini: "As for the differences between short fictions and prose poems--the former clearly focuses on character and situations, the latter on the elasticity of sound and language-meaning")
    • found: Shapard, R. The remarkable reinvention of very short fiction, 2012, via World literature today website, Dec. 22, 2014(Sudden, Flash, Nano, Short-Short, Micro, Minificción ...; Very short fiction has many names, which vary by length of story and by country. In the United States, the most popular name, perhaps, is flash; in Latin America, the micro. On average, a very short fiction is ten times shorter than a traditional story; micro story; In the United States, anthologies, collections, and chapbooks of them have sold about a million copies; Minificción world congresses have been held in Switzerland, Spain, Argentina, and other countries; Petronius wrote short-shorts in ancient Rome, and Marie de France wrote them in medieval times; the short-short story; very short stories; flash fiction; micro fiction; quick fiction, nano fiction, and hint fiction; one-page fictions; one-page fiction; a micro or minificción, like a sudden or a flash, can be voiced in any known mode--realism, metafiction, fantasy, allegory, parable, anecdote; minifiction; sudden (about two pages) to flash (about a page) to micro (less than half a page); sudden fictions; flashes and micros)
    • found: Wikipedia, Dec. 22, 2014(Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction. In China the style is frequently called a "smoke long" or "palm-sized" story, with the comparison being that the story should be finished before the reader could finish smoking a cigarette. Other names for flash fiction include micro fiction, micro narrative, micro-story, postcard fiction, short short, short short story, and sudden fiction, though distinctions are sometimes drawn among some of these terms; for example, sometimes 1000 words is considered the cutoff between "flash fiction" and the slightly longer short story "sudden fiction". The terms "micro fiction" and "micro narrative" are sometimes defined as below 300 words. The term "short short story" was the most common term until about 2000, when it was overtaken by "flash fiction"; very short fiction; microstories; microrrelatos (very short fictions); micronouvelles; Kürzestgeschichten; Unlike a vignette, flash fiction often contains the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles or complications, and resolution. However, unlike a traditional short story, the limited word length often forces some of these elements to remain unwritten -- that is, hinted at or implied in the written storyline. Different readers thus may have different interpretations.)
  • Change Notes

    • 2014-12-22: new
    • 2015-03-05: revised
  • Alternate Formats

Suggest terminology


The LC Linked Data Service welcomes any suggestions you might have about terminology used for a given heading or concept.

Would you like to suggest a change to this heading?

Please provide your name, email, and your suggestion so that we can begin assessing any terminology changes.

Fields denoted with an asterisk (*) are required.