Stories by
Ben White (@benwhitemd)

Five years ago, we created @nanoism to be the very first paying publication for literary Twitter fiction, celebrating the very best stories that fit in the cracks of your day. Five years later and Nanoism remains the longest continuously running magazine dedicated to #TwitterFiction of all time. We’ve published nearly six hundred stories from over four hundred writers and inspired people across the world to think big but write small.

Well that sounds a bit over the top, doesn’t it?

Really, we just appreciate a good story and love to celebrate it in the world’s favorite tiny format. In honor of our five-year anniversary and this year’s #TwitterFiction festival, we’re doing a contest. It’s simple:

  • You send us one story of up to 140 characters (of course) by April 1st at 11:59 PM to contest@nanoism.net.
  • No titles, please. We don’t publish them. The whole thing must fit in one tweet.
  • We don’t want bios or cover letters or anything extra. We’ll get that from you later if we need it.
  • You don’t pay us anything. You do spread the word and tell your friends.
  • We anonymize the submissions and then pick our very favorite.
  • The winner gets $100.
  • Yes, that’s almost a dollar per character.

Here’s the bonus kicker: We’re finally doing the Nanoism anthology we’ve always promised. Not only is every contest entry eligible for publication on our site and Twitter feed, but the very best will included in our ultimate compilation of teeny-tiny stories.

So send us something you love.

We accepted themed submissions during the very first official #twitterfiction festival, and it resulted in our first daily publication schedule in Nanoism’s almost four year history. Here were our selections:

Wednesday: the classics, revisited

  • 516 by Sean Vivier
  • 517 by Mari Ness

Thursday: generations

  • 518 by Christopher Hivner

Friday: legen—wait for it—dary

  • 519 by Cheryl Chancellor

Saturday: the practical and mundane

  • 520 by Leann Orris

Sunday: an alternate present

  • 521 by Matan White

Now, back to our usual routine for promoting itty-bitty stories week in and week out.

We’ve been at this a while. Over 3.5 years in fact (a lifetime in internet years). So if people are going to be writing and talking about Twitter Fiction, you can bet your tweets that we’ll be publishing right alongside ’em. There’s a five day festival going on, and we’ll be publishing a brand new piece every day in a daily contest.

For the festival, our submissions process has changed. Unlimited submissions, every day. Send as many as you want, as long they are inspired (loosely) by these daily themes:

Wednesday:  the classics, revisited
Thursday: generations
Friday: legen—wait for it—dary
Saturday: the practical and mundane
Sunday: an alternate present

Send your pieces to editor@nanoism.net. Try to leave room for the story to end with “#twitterfiction” and don’t forget your third-person bio. All submissions will be considered for regular publication (naturally). Each winner will be published the following day.

Happy writing.

After over three years of Nanoism and reaching our 500th story last week (milestone!), we’re making a very significant change to our publication schedule. In fact, it’s a pretty big change for a site featuring such tiny tales.

From now on, Nanoism will be publishing one story per week (on Wednesdays). Everything else stays the same. Okay, so maybe not that big of a change.

We still love reading these tiny tales. Our new schedule will give each new selection some serious time at the top of our site.

This year we converted $50 in prize money into $400 of charitable donations to wonderful organizations working from animal health to global health, clean water to fighting hunger. Thanks to everyone who donated! Without further ado, here are Robert Swartwood’s selections for this year:

  1. Johnna Talbot
  2. Pat Tompkins
  3. Sarah Stanton

Honorable mention: Jackie Bateman

Winners will be published beginning this week, starting with our honorable mention and running through Monday the 23rd, when our big (but equally small) winner will go live.  Thank you everyone for your generosity.

Dearest Nanofans,

You may have thought 2011 would come and go without an opportunity to participate in yet another great bite-sized creative-writing contest extravaganza. But you’d be wrong, since we’re squeezing our annual contest into the last sliver of the year. For those of you familiar with our charity contest last year, the gist is the same. It’s the holiday season, and what better way to end the year than with stories that fit anywhere and with money flowing to those who need it most.

The Details:

  • The contest is open starting now until 11:59pm on January 1st, 2012.
  • Everyone and anyone gets one free entry to the contest.
  • Every dollar you donate to the charity of your choice (after December 5, 2011) gets you another entry.
  • Every dollar you donate also nets you a chance to win one of our randomly-awarded prizes, which are listed below.
  • This year’s judge is none other than Robert Swartwood, the father of Hint Fiction (our well-titled sibling in the world of itty bitty stories). Mr Swartwood has also graciously donated an ebook copy of his new very short fiction collection, Phantom Energy, to all donating contestants.

(If you’re in need of a charitable inspiration, we heartily recommend Partners in Health, an NGO healthcare group that help build hospitals as well as staff, teach, and provide healthcare in some places that need it desperately, including Haiti, where their amazing work continues).

Cash Prizes (+publication/fame):

1st place: $25
2nd place: $15
3rd place: $10
Honorable mentions: A virtual pat on the back.

The prize pool (for those who donate)

Everyone will receive an ebook edition of Phantom Energy, as well as a chance to win prizes from some amazing publications that deserve your support all year long:

Logistics:

  • Email entries to contest@nanoism.net (once again, you get one free one) up until 11:59pm on January 1, 2012.
  • Please also email proof of your charitable donation (dated after December 5, 2011) in some form or another (forwarded confirmation email, photo, scan, whatever) to let us know to count your additional entries. All entries will be considered for publication.
  • You can send your free entry first then charitable ones. All together. Some now, some later. It doesn’t matter.
  • Other than your new donation, all we need for now is your name and the stories. Cover letters, extensive contact info, and bios are unnecessary.
  • If you’ve been randomly selected for a raffle prize, we’ll contact you for your info (and to make sure you don’t receive a prize you already own!)

Questions, concerns, want to donate something for the prize pool? Ask in the comments or email us.

Today marks the official debut of Nanoism’s first international chapter: Nanoismer!

I’m thrilled to see the nano spirit and framework in another continent and language. Thanks to founders Ebba Åkerman and Elena Tillman Sperandio for being inspired and embracing Nanoism with such gusto. Check out the site, follow @nanoismer on Twitter, and “like” Nanoismer on the digitally-bound social contract that is Facebook.

And go learn some Swedish!

Thanks to the generous support of the folks at Folded Word and many fine writers from across the globe, our contest converted $100 of student-loan debt into $650 for Partners in Health, a fantastic NGO that does astonishing work as a healthcare-provider and local-health-infrastructure-builder in Haiti (and around the world). As a bonus, thirty people will receive great literature from the independent publishing community; many more than that made a tax-deductible donation; and Ethan Canin got to read himself some Twitter-fiction!

Without further ado, the winners:

  1. Ann Marie Gamble
  2. Ann Marie Gamble (yes, that’s right—she won twice!)
  3. Tara Barnes

Honorable Mentions:

  • Tara Barnes
  • Jackie Bateman
  • R. Gatwood

We’ll be publishing the winners next week: 3rd place on Monday, 2nd on Wednesday, and our big (but still tiny) winner on Friday. Notable entries (and there are some exquisitely good ones) will appear in the coming months.

Thank you again to our readers, writers, and supporters. You are all generous, wonderful, and assuredly good-looking people.

[This contest is now closed. View the results here.]

Nanoism just passed its first birthday, and to celebrate we’re doing a big contest. This time, we’re doing it to raise money for Partners in Health, a fantastic NGO that is a major healthcare provider in Haiti. We have both free and paid entries, cash prizes, giveaways from some great independent publishers, and a most excellent judge, Ethan Canin. The details:

What we want:

  • Twitter-fiction.
  • Really. A story must be 140 characters (spaces included!) or less, no titles.
  • Read our submission guidelines and archives if you’re unfamiliar with the premise. There are a surprising number of  different approaches to this form.
  • Every submission will be considered for publication. We wear glasses; it will be okay.
  • Contest ends Friday, April 30 at midnight.

The cash prizes (+ publication/fame):

  • 1st:  $50
  • 2nd: $30
  • 3rd: $20

Details:

  • Everyone gets ONE free story submission to the contest.
  • A $5 donation earns you another 5 stories.
  • Every paid entry also earns you a chance to win something great from our prize pool of great literature from the independent publishing community (listed in detail below).
  • You can enter as many times as you want. In fact, we encourage it.
  • To recap: $0, 1 story; $5, 6 stories; $10, 11 stories; ad infinitum.
  • Ethan Canin—award-winning and best-selling author of America, America and other books—has kindly agreed to be the final judge.
  • The very generous folks at Folded Word have also pledged to match the donations up to $250, which means the first 50 paid entries will effectively double their donations!

The prize pool

We’re giving away dozens of great raffle prizes from fine publications that—contest or not—could also really use your support.

How to enter:

  • Donate $5 (or more, donate more!) directly to PIH by following this link. You must also forward a copy of the email receipt to us from PIH to prove that you’ve donated after March 25.
  • If for some reason you can’t do that, contact us via email and we’ll work it out (paypal, personal checks, cash in envelopes, whatever it takes—we’ll make sure it gets there).
  • Send your entry/entries to contest@nanoism.net by April 30.  If you are using a different email address or name than the one on the donation receipt, make a note of that in your submission.
  • You can send 1 entry then 5. All 6 together. Another 5 later on. It doesn’t matter.
  • Other than the donation, all we need for now is your name and the stories. Cover letters, extensive contact info, and bios are unnecessary.
  • If you’ve been randomly selected for a raffle prize, we’ll contact you for your info (and to make sure you don’t receive a prize you already own!)

Questions, concerns, want to donate something for the prize pool? Ask in the comments or email us.

Here is a list of Nanoism’s 2009 nominations for Best of the Net, Best of the Web, and The Micro Award. A big New Year’s thank you to the writers who have given us the honor of reading their work. And as always, thank you for reading.

Sundress Best of the Net 2009

Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web

The Micro Award