The Best Small Fictions is the first contemporary anthology solely devoted to honoring the best short hybrid fiction published in a calendar year.
The series began in 2015, featuring seasoned and emerging writers. Flash, micro fiction, prose poetry, and haibun stories are just some examples of the hybrid forms honored. Tara L. Masih founded the annual series and serves as series editor; guest editors include Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert Olen Butler (2015), PEN/Malamud Award winner and O. Henry Prize winner Stuart Dybek (2016), and Rea Award and PEN/Malamud Award winner Amy Hempel (2017).
Praise and reviews for The Best Small Fictions
“[T]his striking new series...has quickly become essential reading."
~Amy Hempel, Guest Editor 2017
“The Best Small Fictions 2015...could be at the forefront of a burgeoning cultural movement.”
“It will be well worth your while to spend a minute or 60 with some of the brightest concise writing available today.”
“[T]here is no more important book published in 2015.”
~Sheldon Lee Compton, Enclave
“The best of these fictional vignettes are like a splash of ice water in the face. Wake up, they shout, your life is unspooling. They create their emotional effects with a quick windup and a powerful release, often a final, lingering image.”
“In this extraordinary collection of small fictions...readers are gifted with stories that slap wings onto their backs or drop anchors into their hearts, oftentimes both.”
“[T]he beauty of an anthology such as this, pulling together the best of the form, is that you will always encounter something new, something different, something that pushes the boundaries of flash further than before. If this anthology proves nothing else, it is that small fiction in all its forms continues to go from strength to strength, as does the series itself.”
Comments from the guest editors
Robert Olen Butler
“I believe The Best Small Fictions series… is an extraordinarily important literary event. The art form of the small fiction speaks strongly to the zeitgeist of the 21st century and this sort of focused recognition is long overdue.” –Robert Olen Butler, 2015 Guest Editor
And here’s Robert Olen Butler talking with Pleiades Magazine; read about the perils of success, the search for balance, the biggest surprises in selecting authors for The Best Small Fictions anthology, and more here.
“In reading through the work for the 2016 anthology I was struck by the rich variety of pieces. No matter what names these individual fictions go by, this is not a collection of literary cubicles, but rather an anthology where writers locate their work along a continuum of infinite gradations that spans the poles of fiction and poetry, and of the narrative and lyric.” –Stuart Dybek, 2016 Guest Editor
In a recent interview with The Rumpus, Stuart Dybek discusses music, image, and the power of “sudden illumination” in the compressed form.