Anthology Update: Week Three

The three baby hedgehogs above represent how many weeks the Hint Fiction anthology has been open for submissions (a stretch, sure, but ain't they cute?).

As of this moment the number of stories submitted to the anthology has reached 1,587. Last week the number was 1,129, which means 458 stories were submitted this week.

So far 178 stories have been added to the "maybe" pile -- out of the 458 stories this week, only 55 were tossed in.

Next week I'll do a more specific breakdown. I'll also talk about some of my thoughts regarding the process so far. (Sneak peek: according to Google Analytics, the Hint Fiction page has received about 4,500 unique hits, while the page featuring the winners and honorable mentions -- good examples of Hint Fiction -- has gotten about 2,350 hits ... that's about half the hits, and what, I ask you, can you take away from that?)

That interview with NBC went well. I have no idea when and if my segment will air (she's doing two stories, one on Twitter and another on writers using Twitter as a writing forum), but when I know, you will know.

One of the questions asked is one I'd like to bring up here. Basically, what are my thoughts on people saying that Hint Fiction and Twitter-fiction and other forms of very short stories are only popular today because people have short attention spans?

My answer? Yes, people do have short attention spans nowadays, but is that any reason to disregard or dismiss very short stories like Hint Fiction? Absolutely not. That Hemingway piece was written back before the Internet even existed; there have been many other very short forms written before the Internet and age of ADD too. Ultimately, Hint Fiction and other very short forms are exercises in brevity, trying to tell an impacting story in as few words as possible. If anything, it should help writers hone their self-editing skills. Also, through the years -- centuries, even -- writers and artists and actors (anybody creative and talented) has managed to adapt to the changing mediums. The Internet and now Twitter is just another thing that writers are using to their advantage. When the next big thing comes along, writers will figure out a way to use that to their advantage too. In the end, is there a lot of crap out there floating around the web? Yes. But is there some brilliant pieces of work, too? You better believe it.

(For the handful of you now remembering the original essay on Hint Fiction, yes, I did make fun of the fact people nowadays have severe forms of ADD and can't sit still for long periods of time, but what seemed lost on a few people was the sardonic tone of the essay -- basically, it wasn't meant to be taken too literally.)

Also, remember how I had mentioned a local school district was partnering with the local library to do a community-wide reading program and they wanted to have three writing contests and include Hint Fiction as one of the contests? Well, here's the link.

Finally, on a more personal note, I'd done a post awhile back about our pet rat Ralphie and how it looked like he had another tumor and would soon die. Well, miraculously, that tumor (or whatever it was) went away, and he appears to be in very good health. What's more, yesterday was his birthday. Truthfully, we don't know his exact birthday, but August 21st is the date my wife assigned it, so he is now officially two years old. Here's hoping he makes it to three.