What’s short and sweet and black and white all over? Answer? Robert Swartwood’s Hint Fiction Contest. What is it exactly? Here’s what Rob says at EDF’s Flash Fiction Chronicles:

Me, I want to coin a term, so I’m going to do it here and now: those very, very, very, VERY short stories should be called Hint Fiction. Because that’s all the reader is ever given. Just a hint. Not a scene, or a setting, or even a character sketch. They are given a hint, nothing more, and are asked — nay, forced — to fill in the blanks.

And believe me, there are a lot of blanks. What is the word limit of Hint Fiction? Well, if a drabble is 100 words, and a dribble is 50 words, then how about we say Hint Fiction cannot be anything more than 25 words. One of the biggest hints in Hint Fiction is the title. It’s like the setup to a joke, and the “story” is the punch line. Without the one, the other won’t work.

Check it out the whole article here. Then visit Robert Swartwood’s blog for the HINT FICTION CONTEST, judged by best-selling author Stewart O’Nan. Prizes include a $25 gift certificate to Amazon and a copy of The Best of Every Day Fiction 2008 and who knows what else?

Deadline is midnight April 30th. That’s today!

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