Imagine someone gave you space to tell the story floating inside your head. The catch? You only get 100 words to tell it: no more, no less.
That’s the premise behind 100WordStory.org, which hosts both fiction and nonfiction of all genres, as long as the word count is exactly 100 words. (Titles don’t count.) Last spring, the site’s editorial staff released its first anthology: Nothing Short of: Selected Tales from 100 Word Story.
The selected stories within its pages are addicting: 100 words are easily read in a moment, so you flip to the next story. And that one only took a minute, so you turn to the next one. Before you know it, you’ll have read 20 in a single sitting without moving, finding each story to be a little literary marvel in its own right. Some are tragic, others comedic, but all create a large impact in a small space.
“Concision is the quiet stepchild of the writing family. It’s Cinderella. It doesn’t cry out for attention, and its benefits are easily forgotten because writers generally prove their worth with more words,” write editors Grant Faulkner, Lynn Mundell, and Beret Olsen in the introduction.
“But what is hinted at or even left out can be as key in making a story work as any promulgation of words. The most haunting stories are those that don’t provide answers, but open up questions.”