Stories from
March, 2010

“Having grandma for dinner is great,” she said. I gently reminded her that Nana surely wouldn’t have wanted her to talk with her mouth full.

Merton Sussex is a Minneapolis-based copywriter, and a writer/editor at He loves his wife, and his dogs.

Sunday morning and I have to leave the orgy because I’m late for ninja practice again.

Ryan Ridge edits Faultline and has work in or coming from Abjective, Juked, Kitty Snacks, Pindeldyboz, Wigleaf, and others.

[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


  • 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 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.

Hamelin is quiet. Our grown-up world runs more efficiently than ever. Once I thought I saw a rat and my heart leapt—but it was only a mole.

R. Gatwood is concise.

Don’t mind the nuclear power plant on the edge of the slums, come burn salt cakes and suck the teat of some rabid wolf with me.

Jessica Otto lives in a house in a marsh surrounded by cats.

If only you writers, explorers, dreamers of the 22nd century and before had left something untouched. Now our dreams can see only the past.

Phil M. Berger lives in Florida, where he writes science fiction short stories, flash fiction, and apparently tweets.

Tea with milk was all she could keep down. Later, champagne settled her stomach. She could hardly wait to take off the tight white dress.

Pat Tompkins writes from California.

Tiles above my bed resemble the sands. Can the mind leave the body? Each day, I try to return to Basra. Where I could move.

Ron Keith (@manylaughs). Writer. Thinker. Dreamer.

I’m sorry, the agent wrote back, but fiction is a business. I read over my work again, trying to find which words meant money.

David Massengill has more flash fiction and short stories at

Basho, abashed, wrote two lines of a haiku before erasing it; that it was written in blood on stone, made him miss dinner.

Jimmy Chen (@jimmychenchen) lives in California with his wife and their temporary cat.