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The Best Small Fictions 2017

(Best Small Fictions Series)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The Best Small Fictions 2017 offers readers 55 exceptional small fictions by 53 authors. This acclaimed new annual series, hailed as a “milestone for the short story,” continues to honor contemporary masters and emerging writers of short-short and hybrid forms from across the globe. Guest editor Amy Hempel chose the winners from a pool of 105 finalists: “They conjure and s ...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Braddock Avenue Books
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4.30  · 
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 ·  63 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“There’s something about [an extremely short poem] that calls for attention. Surrounded by white space, it stands out, glowing like an island inviting us to land. It asks for only a moment of our time, and offers the hope of instant reward.”
X. J. Kennedy

The Best Small Fictions 2017 is guest edited by Amy Hempel. Hempel is a former student of Gordon Lish, in whose workshop she wrote several of her first stories. She has produced three other collections: At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom (1990),
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just yesterday I read an online article that listed the writer’s favorite “very short” fiction pieces. She also mused on the idea that flash fiction was perhaps out of fashion. Through the years I’ve heard the same of any-length short stories, but that’s never been my experience. This series is proof that--to paraphrase Mark Twain--the report of the death of small fiction is an exaggeration.

As with the earlier two volumes, though quality is consistent, the works are satisfyingly varied. Just to
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This is an excellent collection of small fictions, short fictions. I have come to appreciate this form so much since I was first introduced to it by Tara Lynn Masih a few years ago. To have the skill to tell a story, convey emotions so fully in such a short space and to have it be complete, complex, a full experience, is amazing.

There are so many stories I enjoyed or was moved by. One of the most powerful was "Don't Walk" by Joy Katz. Initially I was confused and then I was there with the writer
(3.75) Now in its third year, this anthology collects the year’s best short stories under 1,000 words. Starting with a zinger of a first line is one strategy for making a short-short story stand out, and there are certainly some excellent opening sentences here. Symbols and similes are also crucial to conveying shorthand meaning. Two stand-outs are “States of Matter,” Tara Laskowski’s deliciously creepy story of revenge aided by a gravedigger; and Matthew Baker’s “The President’s Doubles,” in wh ...more
Kenny Chaffin
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Review of The Best Small Fictions 2017

I was so excited to get the opportunity to review an early release of The Best Small Fictions 2017 edited by Amy Hempel (One of my favorite sentence makers! Get her Collected Stories right now!) and Tara L. Masih. And thanks to Braddock Avenue Books for taking the reins to publish this third volume of the anthology which I’ve been loving since before the first one. I LOVE Flash and Microfiction and was very very pleased to find several wonderful pieces of Mi
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: flash fiction fans, short story fans, prose poetry fans
A lot of work goes into this series. And we love the writing that we get to give a special nod to. This is my last year as series editor. It's been quite an experience setting this up, designing it twice, and bringing it out into the world for you readers. Thanks to all of you who helped make it a small press bestseller. As one of our reviewers says, each story is a "mini-masterwork." Hope you will check it out and judge for yourself.
Sheldon Compton
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
My general thoughts about the Best Small Fictions series are probably no secret. I’ve called both BSF 2015 and BSF 2016 the most important books published in their respective years.

This year is no different.

The most important book published this year is now and will prove to be Best Small Fictions 2017.

Now that’s we’ve established that once again, I will say this year has been a particularly good year for flash fiction. The New Yorker has decided to publish flash stories throughout the summer (t
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is amazing to me how big a story can come from such very small fictions . A perfect book to bring to work to read during my 15 minute break . I especially liked , What the Beach Tree Knows by William Woolfitt , The Farmers Market by Hannah Harlow and My Devils by Brian Doyle .
This was a goodreads giveaway , thank you Goodreads :)
CT D'Alessandro
If you logon to Duotrope and conduct a search for publications which feature flash fiction, you will find over 1000 listings featuring every genre, audience and market imaginable. The list is daunting and inspiring at the same time. This speaks to the increasing popularity of short fiction in an age where attention spans have shortened and technology has rendered it possible for a reader to carry hundreds of books on e-readers that can be slipped inside of purses and bags (continue reading at
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
As a contributor to this year's BSF, I am thrilled to be among so many lovely stories in this book. I particularly enjoyed "Election Cycle" by Alex Simand, "Summer" by Keith Woodruff, and "Killerman" by Michael Hammerle. But honestly, just pick it up and open to any page and you will be delighted.
Gene Brode, Jr.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This. Collection. Wow.

I reviewed BSF 2016 and came away impressed by about half of the stories. I got a review copy of this book from Tara Masih this summer. After finishing this collection tonight I came away loving so many of them. Those I didn't love I still really liked or appreciated. BSF 2017 has a great range to it, full of so many styles and voices and effects.

These stories evoke laughter, pain, and a variety of emotions. Among my favorites were Joy Williams' Dearest, and her Polyuretha
Börkur Sigurbjörnsson
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A splendid and varied collection of flash-fiction. Despite having published my own collection in the genre, I did not know much about it before.
J. Bradley
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
The TL:DR version: skip this year's edition. Read Wigleaf's Top 50 Very Short Fictions instead for exciting flash fiction.


This year's edition of Best Small Fictions is incredibly disappointing. It doesn't have the same crackling energy as last year's addition and I wonder if that's because it's the same flash fiction gatekeepers imposing what they feel is truly the best flash fiction, which seemed to be shorter versions of Raymond Carver stories more so than anything else. I would challenge t
Short Story Girl
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Again, another year of great small fictions collected.

As I read, I started a list of all the great stories and the separate reasons they're great. I kept reading and the list kept growing and, by the time I finished the book, my list with its reasons seemed longer than the book.

Read the book. It's that good.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect for teaching

An excellent anthology exploring the landscape of flash fiction. These stories pin you down like bolts of lightning - impossibly strong however brief. Great book to teach emerging writers such as my self.
Kathi Crawford
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are many exceptional flash fiction stories in this series, including authors such as Joy Williams, Tara Laskowski, William Woolfitt, Michael C. Smith, Brian Doyle and more. If you enjoy short stories that make you pause, think, contemplate and consider, read this collection. The Best Small Fictions is available for 2015, 2016 and 2017. Can't wait for the next!!
Kristen Ploetz
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a good book to poke around in if you're a short story writer trying to get an idea of what journals and lit mags are looking for these days, OR if you like short stories but don't want to commit to one particular writer's collection at first. As with any anthology compiled with an editor's subjective tastes, some of the stories chosen were not up my alley, but I was happy to find some new voices to follow. A good book to leave on the nightstand and read from time to time in between other ...more
Jessica Schulte
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Jul 14, 2018
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Nov 20, 2018
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Oct 30, 2017
Santino Prinzi
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Sep 17, 2017
Cody Farthing
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May 31, 2018
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Jan 13, 2018
L.N. Holmes
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Bruce Gunther
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Aug 05, 2018
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Jun 18, 2018
David A. Maney
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Jan 22, 2019
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add me as a contributor 5 32 Dec 07, 2017 04:35PM  
Flash Fiction: giveaway 1 4 Jul 03, 2017 06:43AM  
  • The Best Small Fictions 2015
  • The Best Small Fictions 2016
  • Dictionary Stories: Short Fictions and Other Findings
  • Bear Down, Bear North: Alaska Stories
  • A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks of Short Short Fiction by Four Women
  • Domesticated Wild Things and Other Stories
  • Here's Your Hat What's Your Hurry
  • Things to Make and Break
  • The O. Henry Prize Stories 2015
  • Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work
  • Pieces for the Left Hand: 100 Anecdotes
  • Gotham Writers' Workshop Fiction Gallery
  • Inside Madeleine
  • Beside Myself
  • Karate Chop
  • The Best American Short Stories 2016
  • The Brink: Stories
  • A Tree or a Person or a Wall
Tara Lynn Masih is editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays (winner of a Skipping Stones Honor Award; a Benjamin Franklin silver medal award; and a ForeWord Book of the Year Award), and author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories. She is the founding series editor of The Best Small Fictions. My Real Name Is Hann ...more

Other books in the series

Best Small Fictions Series (4 books)
  • The Best Small Fictions 2015
  • The Best Small Fictions 2016
  • The Best Small Fictions 2018
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