Stories from
April, 2022

He cried when his mother’s breaths ceased. His brother grasped his shoulder. Later, during their walk, they could only talk about vacations.

Daniel Addercouth comes from a long line of farmers.

And after a while of sitting there and listening to the rain outside my window, It said to me:

“This is the best way you’ll get to know me.”

Sasan Mahmoudi is a second-year internal medicine resident.

Presents unopened. Cake still whole in its box in the cupboard. Balloons already starting to sag.

Again, he looks out the front window.

Robert Keal hails from Kent but currently lives in London.

In 2009, I started this unusual digital literary publication. It was called Nanoism because we (that’s an editorial “we” because this has always been a one-person shop) published “nanofiction,” a play on the more common (but still niche) conventions of micro- or flash fiction. In our case, that was (and remains) stories that fit in the size of an original tweet on Twitter: 140 characters (including spaces).

This was/is the description from our about page:

Shorter than traditional flash fiction, it’s both a challenge to write and quick as a blink to read. Call it nanofiction, microfiction, twiction, twisters, or tweetfic—it doesn’t matter: It’s the perfect art form for the bleeding edge of the internet revolution.

We’re not just catering to the 21st-century attention span, we’re publishing flexible fiction: stories that you can read on your computer or cellphone, stories that fit in the cracks of your day.

Nanoism wasn’t the first “twitterzine” in the world (that would be the long-defunct speculative fiction account @thaumatrope), but it was one of the first, is by far the longest continuously running, and remains the only paying venue for literary/nongenre stories of this extremely tiny size.

Over the past thirteen years, we’ve published 948 standalone tweet-sized stories, multiple longer serials, ran contests to raise money for charity, been on NPR, and had stories featured in best short fiction anthologies and books on craft. On a personal note, I got married, finished medical school, finished residency and fellowship, and had two kids. I did a lot of blogging and less and less fiction. Such is life. I’ve been an overscheduled and generally poor steward for the form and this venture, but it’s been a lovely little journey.

Now, I believe we’re reaching the end. I think that our 999th (or maybe our 1000th?) story would be a nice number to complete the collection. With our current weekly schedule, that means Nanoism will cease publishing new stories around April 2023 after 14 years of continuous operation.

Writers, thank you for giving me the honor of reading and sharing your work. Please, please do send me your submissions until the final story goes up. I have a large slush pile of contenders, but I’ll be picking everything from this point forward as we go.

(Sorry that was far longer than any of our stories, but thank you for indulging me).

As he stole time from their marriage for his siblings, parents, bosses, it dawned on her. Being loved wasn’t the same as being chosen.

Wasila Q. is a hopeless romantic and overthinker.