Learning about Microfiction

For this Story Lab option, I've picked out five different microfiction projects for you to look at and browse through, and then you will write up a blog post with your thoughts. Maybe you will also want to write some microfiction yourself; you can do that as an extra credit assignment this week, or any week (Microfiction Extra Credit).

Here are the materials to explore (read and/or listen):

Part 1: Tiny Tales. The site you are at right now is my own 100-word-story site where I write 100-word stories based on mythology and folklore and then collect those stories into books. You can see the books I have written and which I have in production, and you can also poke around and see what you think about the stories. Take a look here to learn more: Tiny Tales in 100 Words. Plus..... there is now an anthology of stories from the students in Fall 2020. Check out their book here: Tiny Tales from Fall 2020.

Part 2: Tiny Love Stories. The New York Times has contests where readers send in 100-word-stories about love. This is a wonderful collection to browse, very different in style and tone from the folktales and legends here at this blog. These tiny stories are very contemporary, much more literary in style, artful, allusive: Tiny Love Stories.
And here's another newspaper-based project: a 101-word story contest from the Monterey Weekly: 2020 Winners.


Part 3. Hint Fiction. This is an NPR story about hint fiction, stories that are just 25 words in length. You can listen and/or you can read the transcript. Being so short, these stories rely even more on readers filling in the gaps: 'Hint Fiction' Celebrates The (Extremely) Short Story.


Part 4. Six-Word Stories. This also comes from NPR, and it's about biographical six-word stories: Can You Tell Your Life Story In Exactly Six Words? Again, you can listen to the story or read the transcript. There is also a related project at NPR: The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays (not stories, but very personal essays... in just six words!).


Part 5. Two-Sentence Horror. Thanks to someone in class, I learned about this Reddit space: Two-Sentence Horror. You have to join Reddit to post, but you can browse without joining. (Yeah, it's Reddit, so things are a bit ... chaotic, but there are some great stories there!)


Writing up your thoughts. Spend a half hour or so exploring these materials, and then write up a blog post with your thoughts. Anything you want to comment is good; here are some prompts if you are not sure what to write about: Have you read/written microfiction before? What do you think about this style of storytelling? Which kinds of stories did you find that were most intriguing to you? Did you learn any storytelling techniques as you browsed these materials that you might want to use in your own writing? And do you think you will try writing some microfiction of your own...?

Blog Post. For your blog post, use "Lab, Week ##" for the post labels (based on whatever week it is), and include "Week ## Lab" somewhere in the blog post title. Include at least one image (with image information) in your post, along with links to whatever story materials you are including in the post (i.e. if you copy-and-paste a tiny story into your post to use as an example, make sure to cite the source). 


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