Flash fiction

Readers tell their stories in 59 words

Fiction 59 judges: The 1078 Gallery Literary Committee (from left): Angela Youngblood, Kathleen McPartland, Muir Hughes, Jeff Hull and Sarah Pape. Visit <a href="http://www.1078gallery.org/">www.1078gallery.org</a> for info on literary events coming to the gallery in December.

Fiction 59 judges: The 1078 Gallery Literary Committee (from left): Angela Youngblood, Kathleen McPartland, Muir Hughes, Jeff Hull and Sarah Pape. Visit www.1078gallery.org for info on literary events coming to the gallery in December.

Live fiction
Hear the stories come to life as the winners and honorable mentions (all are invited!) read them aloud Friday, Nov. 11, 6:30 p.m., at The Bookstore (118 Main St.).

For those who don’t know, Fiction 59 is not the only name in the brevity-in-writing game. There’s dribble (50-word stories), drabble (100-word stories), Twitterature (stories and poems of 140 characters or less), even seven- and six-word stories.

For our annual Fiction 59 contest, the only number the Chico News & Review is concerned with is 59. And even though it seems that a few people put too much trust in their digital wordcounters (not the best choice here), many of our community of flash-fiction writers were on count and on point with putting the gimmick to good use in creating engaging, sometimes mysterious, stories.

Actually, it should be noted that this was a down year for Fiction 59 submissions. We still received many great stories by local writers, but the younger categories were noticeably underrepresented. In fact, in the Junior High and Kids divisions, the only entries we received came from one family, so the judges chose a few spotlight pieces instead of winners for those two age groups (see “Kids in the spotlight,” page 23). Whatever the reason for the shortfall, we’ll certainly be more diligent on getting the word out to local schools for future writing contests.

For now, enjoy the mini stories that our judges on the 1078 Gallery Literary Committee chose, and come out to The Bookstore on Friday for the live reading.