Aubrey HirschSometimes I’m asked why I write, and it’s a difficult question to answer. An easier question, though, is why I write flash. That I could talk about all day!

I love to write flash because it’s short. I can conceptualize a piece of flash fiction and write it down in one sitting, in one big burst of energy. Then I can write it again. And again. And again. I can go through four or five completely new drafts in the time it might take me to draft one longer short story. If, after a few stabs, the piece just doesn’t work, the let-down is smaller because the time investment is smaller. As a result, I take more risks, try more ideas, and often surprise myself!

I love to write flash because it’s small…and big at the same time. A short short story can start with a small idea, a line of dialogue, a tiny scrap of concept and explore it until it becomes something bigger. A piece of flash is like a devotional or a meditation. I enjoy being able to focus on one effect until I’ve taken the reader where I want her to go.

I love flash because there’s room to play! You aren’t asking your reader to commit to twenty pages of the same character or voice or structure, so you have room to try some tricks you might not be able to sustain for 4,000 words. It’s very freeing to be able to try something new without worrying if it will wear on a reader after fifteen pages.

What are your reasons for writing flash fiction?


Aubrey Hirsch is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. You can find her work in journals like The RumpusAmerican Short Fiction Third Coast, Hobart, SmokeLong Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review, PANK and Annalemma Her posts appear regularly in this spot the first Monday of every month.  She recently had two stories longlisted for Wigleaf’s Top 50.  “Chairman of the Boards,” FLYWHEEL MAGAZINE and  “Multiple Sclerosis FAQ,” FICTION SOUTHEAST.