I'm convinced that very short fiction is the perfect medium for the
post-apocalyptic world. Consider the facts: a single work conforms to
the dimensions of most knapsacks and bindles. The stories can be read
over a relatively short period of time, during a brief break in the
journey. They can be passed along from person and person and encrypted
with secret messages: distress signals, directions to the nearest
treetop fortress, plans for overthrowing the zombie overlords
(yes—there will be zombies). And even in the unlikely event
that no such catastrophe occurs (how anticlimactic would that be?), I
still believe that very short fiction will occupy a very real place in
the emerging literary landscape.
This is the fifth year of the Top 50, and in that time we have
witnessed tremendous growth. We have seen some of the most respected
journals in the country bolster their web presence by adding short
short fiction to their repertoire (see: Tin House, American Short
Fiction). Collections of very short fiction are getting out into the
world like never before (see: Ben Loory, Hint Fiction). Schools are
introducing students to the form at an earlier and earlier age. It's
reached the point where many of the people I encounter in my normal
life are already familiar with very short fiction. We're encouraged by
the progress. And— zombies or no zombies—we hope to
continue championing the form for years to come.
A few important acknowledgments…
Thank you to Dan Chaon for putting together such a stellar list.
Thank you to Tang Yau Hoong for providing the artwork this year.
Thank you to my coconspirators, Laura Ellen Scott and Scott Garson, for
dedicating so many hours to this project. Laura will be taking over as
Series Editor next year. She's assembled a crack team of of
Editors and readers. So expect great things.
And a special thanks to Erin Fitzgerald
and Sean Lovelace, who helped us out in a pinch.
Notes on Eligibility:
The Wigleaf Top 50 are chosen from a Longlist of 200 stories.
Stories have to be at or under 1000 words to be eligible, and must have
been posted sometime during the previous calendar year. Stories in
blogzines are not considered (unless the blog is part of a larger
journal with external hosting). Reprints are not considered. Stories
appearing in journals based outside the U.S. are not considered (unless
that journal's billing is explicitly international). Stories that are
not published and/or archived in HTML are not considered. Stories
without unique HTML urls are not considered, unless they are part of
sets by the same author. And stories written by Wigleaf editors or
appearing in Wigleaf itself are not considered. If you're an editor and
want to make sure that your journal's very short fiction is considered for the next
Wigleaf Top 50, please shoot us an email.
Ravi Mangla lives in Fairport, NY. His stories have appeared
in many online and print journals.
To link to this directly: http://wigleaf.com/12top50foreword.htm
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