The origin of 55 Fiction can be traced to a short story writing contest organized by New Times, an independent alternative weekly in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1987. The idea was proposed by New Times founder and publisher Steve Moss. New Times, while often mistakenly believed to be part of the New Times chain of papers, is actually part of the smaller, San Luis Obispo-county based New Times Media Group, which also owns the Santa Maria Sun.
A literary work will be considered 55 Fiction if it has:
- Fifty-five words or less (A non-negotiable rule), however some publishers actually require exactly 55 words, no more and no less.
- A setting,
- One or more characters,
- Some conflict, and
- A resolution. (Not limited to moral of the story)
- The title of the story is not part of the overall word count, but it still can’t exceed seven words.
Books based on 55 Fiction
Two books have been published on the concept. They are based on the submissions for the 55 Fiction Contest organized by the magazine. The books are:
- The World's Shortest Stories: Murder, Love, Horror, Suspense, All This and Much More in the Most Amazing Short Stories Ever Written, Each One Just 55 Words Long. ISBN 978-0-7624-0300-4.
- The World's Shortest Stories of Love and Death: Passion, Betrayal, Suspicion, Revenge, All This and More in a New Collection of Amazing Short Stories-Each One Just 55 Words Long. ISBN 978-0-7624-0698-2.
The books have been highly prized by college creative writing professors and high school teachers, who often either suggest or require that their students read them . The publisher of the 55 Fiction books, John Daniel, of Daniel & Daniel Publishers, Inc., McKinleyville, Calif., continues to print editions of them.
Development in contemporary society
With the advent of the internet in the 1990s and especially after the popularization of blogging, the spread of 55 Fiction concept was accelerated. People started to write their own 55 Fiction works in their blogs, often inviting others to write one themselves. There were also cases of non-commercial hosting of 55 Fiction Contests on the blogs with reasonably good success.
The 55 Fiction Competition
The 55 Fiction Competition has been continuously organized by New Times ever since it was introduced in 1987. The competition is an annual event with open participation.
- ↑ Ron Wiggins (October 11, 2001). "PAPER CHALLENGES WRITERS TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT". Palm Beach Post. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=PBPB&p_theme=pbpb&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EF3F22AEE950D98&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Mini- és maxiregények". Nyelv és Tudomány. June 27, 2011. http://www.nyest.hu/hirek/mini-es-maxiregenyek. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- ↑ "NEW TIMES PUBLISHER DIED OF EPILEPSY". The Tribune. May 17, 2005.
- 55 Fiction on New Times
- 55 Fiction New Times article with entry rules by Steve Mossta:55 வார்த்தை சிறுகதை
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