Hint Fiction Contest V

From now until the end of the month, submissions are open for this year's Hint Fiction contest, judged by Roxane Gay. 

What is Hint Fiction?

A story of 25 words or fewer that suggests a larger, more complex story. Think of Hemingway’s apocryphal six-word story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” It doesn’t have a title, but those six words convey a punch. Not only that, they stand on their own. They’re not the first line of a story, or a random sentence plucked from a longer story.

About the judge:

Roxane Gay is the author of the books AyitiAn Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women, and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. Her story “The Copper Miner’s Sad Sad Song” appeared in the Hint Fiction anthology; her story “I Know Things about the Girls Next Door” appeared in the special hint fiction issue of Wigleaf.

The prizes are as follows:

  • 1st place $100, 2nd place $50, 3rd place $25.

  • All winners and runners up will receive signed copies of the Hint Fiction anthology.

  • W. W. Norton has donated copies of New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, edited by James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro, to the winners and runners up as well.

There is no entry fee.

Still not sure what Hint Fiction is? It’s strongly recommended you check out the anthology, which is still available in paperback. It’s also available as an ebook on KindleNookKoboiTunes, and Google Play.

You can submit your stories here.

New Hint Fiction Contest

Next month it will have been 10 years since I published a silly little essay called “Hint Fiction: When Flash Fiction Because Just Too Flashy” at Flash Fiction Chronicles (which no longer seems to exist) and hosted a contest at my blog.

It was meant to be something fun, nothing serious, though I was fortunate that author Stewart O’Nan agreed to be the final judge. His involvement no doubt helped give the idea legitimacy and caught the attention of the publishing industry, most notably W. W. Norton who subsequently gave me a contract to put together an actual anthology of hint fiction stories.

In 2010, W. W. Norton published Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer, which is still in print. It was received well critically for the most part, and still continues to sell, and from what I can tell based on emails and what I see online, it’s used in various creative writing programs around the country.

For the first couple years I continued the tradition of hosting hint fiction contests (James Frey was the judge in 2010, Joyce Carol Oates in 2011, and Benjamin Percy in 2014) but after a while my own writing started to take more and more of my time, and I just lost interest in hosting any further contests.

That is, until now.

I mean, we’re coming up on the 10-year anniversary, people! How could I not let that go by without celebrating with a new contest?

This year's judge is the one and only Roxane Gay. She’s the author of the books AyitiAn Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women, and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. Her story “The Copper Miner’s Sad Sad Song” appeared in the Hint Fiction anthology; her story “I Know Things about the Girls Next Door” appeared in the special hint fiction issue of Wigleaf.

The submission period will be from April 1 to April 30 at this website. You can submit up to two hint fiction stories. After April 30th, I will come up with a top 15 - 20 stories which will then be sent to Roxane so that she can review and pick the winners.

The prizes are as follows:

  • 1st place $100, 2nd place $50, 3rd place $25.

  • All winners and runners up will receive signed copies of the Hint Fiction anthology.

  • W. W. Norton has donated copies of New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, edited by James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro, to the winners and runners up as well.

There is no entry fee.

Still not sure what Hint Fiction is? It's strongly recommended you check out the anthology, which is still available in paperback. Also, Norton has kindly lowered the price of the ebook for a limited time, so you can purchase it for just $1.99 on KindleNookKoboiTunes, and Google Play.

So check back here April 1st. In the meantime, have fun!

Books I Enjoyed In 2018

This isn’t a year’s best list, or a top 10, or any of those things.

This is just a list of books I read and enjoyed this past year, consumed either by hardcover/paperback or ebook or audiobook.

I don’t know when it happened, but I’ve started this awful habit of starting a book and then soon after starting another book before I’ve finished the first. Sometimes it snowballs, and I’m reading several different books at the same time. My hope in this upcoming year is to put a stop to that and only read one book at a time. Or maybe at least two books at a time. Okay, maybe three.

Anyway, again, these are books I read and enjoyed this year. Some were published in 2018, and some were not. I’ve put asterisks next to the titles where I listened to the audiobooks, and because of that I’ve included the narrators in parenthesis, as oftentimes the narrator really makes or breaks an audiobook.

Oh, and most importantly, these are in no particular order because, again, it’s not a year’s best list or top 10. Just books I read and enjoyed for one reason or another.

FICTION 

  • PAST TENSE by Lee Child (read by Scott Brick)*

  • THE DRY by Jane Harper (read by Stephen Shanahan)*

  • THE COLD KISS by John Rector

  • THE MAGICIANS OF ELEPHANT COUNTY by Adam Perry

  • ON CHESIL BEACH by Ian McEwan

  • HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by J.K. Rowling (read by Jim Dale)*

  • ECHOES IN DEATH by J.D. Robb

  • TALES OF FALLING AND FLYING by Ben Loory

  • THE OUTSIDER by Stephen King (Will Patton)*

  • HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by J.K. Rowling (read by Jim Dale)*

  • THE HELLFIRE CLUB by Jake Tapper

  • LITTLE FIRE EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng

  • HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE by J.K. Rowling (read by Jim Dale)*

  • THE FIRST RULE by Robert Crais

  • CROOKED HOUSE by Agatha Christie

  • THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A.J. Finn

  • HELLBENT by Gregg Hurwitz (read by Scott Brick)* 

  • THE WANTED by Robert Crais 

NONFICTION 

  • THE FIFTH RISK by Michael Lewis (read by Victor Bevine)*

  • FEAR: TRUMP IN THE WHITE HOUSE by Bob Woodward (read by Robert Petkoff)*

  • A HIGHER LOYALTY: TRUTH, LIES, AND LEADERSHIP by James Comey (read by the author)*

  • A COLONY IN A NATION by Chris Hayes (read by the author)*

  • RUSSIAN ROULETTE: THE INSIDE STORY OF PUTIN’S WAR ON AMERICA AND THE ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP by Michael Isikoff and David Corn (read by Peter Ganim)*

BOOKS I’M STILL READING AND ENJOYING

  • SHELTER IN PLACE by Nora Roberts

  • NO DOORS, NO WINDOWS by Joe Schreiber 

  • WILD CHILD: STORIES by T.C. Boyle

  • EDUCATED: A MEMOIR by Tara Westover (read by Julia Whelan)*

Now, what about you? Any books you read this past year you’d like to recommend?

Full Throttle For the Holidays

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For a very limited time, my six-ebook bundle Full Throttle is $4.99 (USD) on all platforms. It includes The Serial Killer's Wife, No Shelter, Bullet Rain, Legion, Man of Wax, and The Inner Circle.

Kindle US | Kindle UK | Nook
Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

Merry Christmas!