Guest Editor: Robert Olen Butler
Series Editor: Tara L. Masih
It takes many small things to make something big. Fifty–five acclaimed and emerging writers—including Emma Bolden, Ron Carlson, Kelly Cherry, Stuart Dybek, Blake Kimzey, Roland Leach, Bobbie Ann Mason, Diane Williams, and Hiromi Kawakami—have made the debut of The Best Small Fictions 2015 something significant, something worthwhile, and something necessary. Featuring spotlights on Pleiades journal and Michael Martone, this international volume—with Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert Olen Butler serving as guest editor and award-winning editor Tara L. Masih as series editor—is a celebration of the diversity and quality captured in fiction forms fewer than 1,000 words.
"What an astonishing book—how practically every fiction seems a vaster story told in brief."
—X.J. Kennedy, author of Fits of Concision: collected poems of six or fewer lines
"In this extraordinary collection of small fictions&8230;readers are gifted with stories that slap wings onto their backs or drop anchors into their hearts, oftentimes both."
—Mel Bosworth for The Small Press Book Review
"Super-short stories . . . have exploded in popularity. Where should newbies start? With Best Small Fictions 2015 . . . [r]eaders will be introduced to a wealth of fresh and existing talent....Discover some haunting voices for yourself this fall."
—Rebecca Foster for BookTrib
"This collection of small fictions, stories that, at most, span four pages, stand as a microcosm of every breath we take. Edited by Robert Olen Butler and Tara L. Masih, [The Best Small Fictions 2015] exposes the human moments that matter: those snap decisions, those glimpses, those fleeting touches in which life, love and death happen."
—Ashley Begley for jmww
"This anthology provides both the
instructor and the student with an
affordable smörgåsbord of inspiration
and models. I teach a creative writing
class at Randolph College and would
consider this a fine addition to a
reading list for both the introductory
and the intermediate/advanced level:
each short short hands over an exquisite
example of something finely done."
—Bunny Goodjohn for Mom Egg Review
"Small fiction…is the matchbox of
fiction; no story is more than a few
short pages. There is also the feeling
of completeness in these shorter
stories…a fullness that usually requires
many more words…. This is truly a
well-selected collection and has given
me a new appreciation for small fiction."
— Joseph Spuckler
"The loud and long message of the
seemingly quiet and the definitely short
is in ample supply in The Best Small
Fictions 2015. From a mother’s fury
over misspelled words in Dee Cohen’s ‘By
Heart’, to a father’s disintegration in
David Mellerick Lynch’s lsquo;Lunar Deep’,
there is pathos, depth and welcome
language—fireworks in these small gems.
Chekhov would be proud of how briefly
these writers manage to speak on lengthy
—Nuala Ní Chonchúir, author of Miss Emily
"These small fictions are small only in length, not in impact. Their minuteness provides a different lens upon life—one that illuminates the telling yet elusive moments that bigger stories often overlook. A different slant on the truth emerges not in spite of their length, but because of it. Short shorts often seem like the quiet stepchild in the fiction family—overshadowed by vociferous novels, not quite dressed in the right attire as conventional short stories. A series celebrating these tiny gems is long overdue."
—Grant Faulkner, co-founder of 100 Word Story, author of Fissures
"Whatever one calls them—flash fictions, microfictions, short shorts—the number of outlets where such pieces are published continue to grow along with the interest of readers and writers in the form. The time is right for a Best of the Year anthology."
—Stuart Dybek, author of The Coast of Chicago and Ecstatic Cahoots
"Throughout, these are tales that demand to be read, enjoyed in doses, one or two at a time. These are tales, as [Robert Olen] Butler explains in his introduction, ‘small but brimming with our shared human experience.’"
—Glen Young for Literate Matters
Robert Olen Butler has published sixteen novels and six volumes of short stories, one of which, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and three of which—Severence, Intercourse, and Weegee Stories—are comprised entirely of small fictions (225 in all). He has also published a volume of his lectures on the creative process, From Where You Dream. He was the 2013 recipient of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
Series editor Tara L. Masih has won multiple book awards in her role as editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle. Author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories, her flash has been anthologized in many collections, including Brevity & Echo, BITE, Flash Fiction Funny, and Flashed: Sudden Stories in Comic and Prose, and selected for the annual Wigleaf Top 50. Awards for her work include The Ledge Magazine’s fiction award and Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, and Best of the Web nominations. www.taramasih.com