In writing this list of Top 11 Flash Fiction Magazines we weren’t worried about the amount of traffic these magazines get. Every Writer has gone from 7 million views a month down to 100,000 and back up again in the time we have been publishing, so I think judging a literary magazine’s quality by their number of visitors is a little short sighted. Instead we looked at the amount of time they have been publishing and the quality of the work they are putting out. We also stuck to flash fiction magazines that only (for the most part) publish fiction under 1000 words.
For writers and readers alike, bigger isn’t always better. When it comes to impactful storytelling and showcasing emerging literary talent, a few carefully chosen words can speak volumes. That’s why flash fiction continues to surge in popularity – with readers increasingly seeking out literary magazines specializing in ultra-short stories.
From surreal slipstream to imaginative realism, dystopian visions to intimate snapshots, these miniature masterpieces distill entire worlds into 500 to 1,000 words. Though their run times may be brief, they linger with you long after the last line, forging profound connections through brevity and insight.
To celebrate bite-sized brilliance in contemporary literature, I’ve compiled a list of my 11 favorite publications championing today’s top flash fiction. From avant-garde ezines and pioneers in the form to recent rising stars, these are the best places to enjoy fiction in its smallest yet most impactful package. Whether you’re looking to recharge with a tiny tale between tasks or immerse yourself in an issue, these trusted online sources I’m spotlighting offer glimpses into startling realities – no lengthy time commitment required.
So grab your favorite beverage, settle into a comfy seat, and get ready to dive into exceptional flash fiction fit for your coffee break or commute. If you think size dictates substance, these ravenous literary mags are ready prove otherwise, one short-short story at a time.
Note: All of these magazines publish high quality work and writers. We basically ordered the list from oldest to newest.
Here is our list of the Top 11 Flash Fiction Magazines
Launched in April 2000, 3:AM Magazine is an online literary publication edited from Paris by Andrew Gallix, a Sorbonne university lecturer who has served as editor-in-chief since its inception.
With the defiant slogan “Whatever it is, we’re against it,” 3:AM publishes a range of contemporary literature including literary criticism, creative nonfiction, original poetry and short fiction, and interviews with prominent authors and philosophers. The eclectic, avant-garde site aims to provoke and stimulate readers with its diverse perspectives and unconventional points of view.
Brevity (Nonfiction only)
For over twenty years, Brevity has published concise personal essays alongside craft articles and reviews. Though committed to emerging writers, this pioneering journal has also featured Pulitzer honorees, NEA fellows, Best American Essays authors, and contributors from Egypt to Malaysia.
Anthologized everywhere from Creative Nonfiction to writing textbooks, Brevity’s stories distill powerful truths. Each piece proves that profundity need not be lengthy. Now reaching over 13,000 monthly visitors online while its blog garners 80,000 followers, this venerable platform continues to curate insight and inspiration in bite-sized servings.
Since 2003, Every Writer has juxtaposed classic short stories against modern flash fiction, giving timeless narratives and emerging voices equal space to stun readers. Their pages feature Pulitzer laureates alongside up-and-coming scribes, with newfound talents published beside literary legends.
Yet whether highlighting established eminences or providing a platform for budding wordsmiths, Each captivating tale passes through their open and ongoing submission process, the editorial team curating an eclectic collection of impactful short works. In this transcendent space, slices of life mingle with fantastical visions, the only requirement being stellar storytelling condensed into a tiny package.
Founded in 2003 by Dave Clapper as an online bastion for flash fiction, SmokeLong Quarterly continues its legacy of literary brevity under editor-in-chief Christopher Allen. Though past EICs like Beth Thomas advanced the publication, Allen now leads a team of associate, freelance, and volunteer editors – many of whom work as private writing coaches.
United by a passion for microscopic masterpieces, the SmokeLong editorial crew curates ultra-short stories and prose poems that leave a lasting impact. Whether highlighting rising talent or showcasing award-winning authors, this quarterly journal publishes bite-sized narrative gems spanning an array of voices and genres. As champions of flash since 2003, they prove powerful storytelling sometimes comes in small packages.
First launched in 2007, Flash Fiction Online is a free online literary magazine showcasing brief yet boldly imaginative stories. With complete tales told in just 500-1,000 words, these dynamic flashes of fiction pack a punch with their tight, vivid prose.
Ranging across speculative and literary genres, FFO publishes three compelling originals and one reprint per monthly issue. Emerging and established authors from around the world fill the pages with bite-sized yet impactful tales, perfect to enjoy on the go.
Backed by columns and editorials exploring the art of flash fiction, this ezine sticks with readers long after they reach the end. So dive into the free online issues or check out the annual ebook anthologies. With FFO, great storytelling comes in small packages.
Originally launched in 2007 by a small Vancouver-based startup, Every Day Fiction is now published by Tied Star Books, headed by Camille Gooderham Campbell. Campbell previously co-founded Every Day Publishing Ltd. alongside Jordan Ellinger and Steven Smethurst to get EDF off the ground.
After years of nurturing EDF’s growth, Campbell now continues the legacy by publishing the online magazine through her independent press. Still based in Vancouver, she ensures the site’s dedication to publishing quick fiction bites from new and established authors remains unchanged since its inception.
Since 2014, Flash Fiction Online has committed to curating exceptional bite-sized stories across captivating subjects. Powered by a dedicated editorial team, this online magazine handpicks dynamic and imaginative flashes, bringing wide-ranging tales to word-savvy readers.
Their meticulous selection ensures only the best compact fiction comprises their issues. From sci-fi to literary realism, emerging and established storytellers fill their pages with bold micro-narratives, packing macro impact into 500-1000 words. By featuring these brief yet transporting tales, Flash Fiction Online helps readers glimpse entire worlds during their commute, lunch break, or idle scroll.
In operation since 2008, Wigleaf stands as a trailblazer in publishing compact yet stirring literary tales. Their issues showcase a meticulously curated selection of fiction flashes conveying incredible emotional resonance in less than 1,000 words.
Rather than loud or showy, these mini masterpieces captivate through raw vulnerability and beautiful subtlety – each one a painfully wonderful glimpse into the human experience. By elevating emerging talents alongside recognized literary voices, Wigleaf has built a beloved home for most intimate and emotionally-charged stories that linger with readers long after their brief runtimes. For this pioneering journal, great fiction comes in small, powerful packages.
Quenching literary thirst since 2013, Cheap Pop serves up free flash fiction every Tuesday and Thursday when submissions are open. Inspired by Michigan’s nickname for soda, this online journal bubbles with bite-sized narrative sips to refresh readers’ minds.
While initially focused on micro fiction, Cheap Pop’s editors soon realized compelling flashes need not differentiate between strictly fictional or nonfictional tales. So whether conveying lived experience or imagined scenarios, each brief yet engaging story passes through their ongoing submission process before being served up semi-weekly.
Showcasing emerging talents and recognizable names alike, Cheap Pop features flashes spanning all subjects – no theme restrictions, no regional limitations, no poetry. Just tiny tasty storytelling doses, like a free vending machine for vivid snapshots of the human condition.
Since 2013, Cease, Cows has provided a home for extraordinary literary glimpses into the human experience – showcasing prose and poems alight with insight. Seeking the strange and wondrous within the mundane, they publish impactful flashes up to 1500 words, especially prizing imaginative realism, slipstream, the metafictional and postmodern.
Yet whether conveying the dystopian or the dream-like, the absurd or the apocalyptic, each piece explores the deeper questions of existence through writing with fire for blood and truth as its beating heart. Ever since their peculiar name was borrowed from magical realist icon Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Cease Cows has attracted bold voices sharing poetic snapshots, surreal vignettes and revolutionary mini-tales lingering long after their brief runtimes. Surprising, cerebral and sometimes searing submissions are encouraged – but fantasy, sci-fi and horror need not apply.
Established in 2014 by Meg Pokrass as an online home for flash narratives, New Flash Fiction Review now also features interviews with luminaries, prose poems, and slices of creative nonfiction – all packing a punch at 1000 words or less.
With an esteemed editorial board curating each issue, NFFR stories have earned accolades from Wigleaf, Best Small Fictions, and beyond. Authors first published in their magazine continually win recognition, including award nominations selected by NFFR’s dedicated editors. Through this amplification of emerging voices and micro masterworks, Pokrass and her team have cemented NFFR’s reputation as a beloved bastion of bite-sized brilliance in contemporary literature.
Whether one is a devoted flash fiction fan or looking to dip a toe into impressively tiny tales, hopefully this list included some new favorite literary magazines to add to your reading list. Feel free to leave a comment with which of these publications you enjoy most or if you have any other beloved sources for bite-sized brilliance that should be checked out. Recommendations are always welcome for exceptional emerging writers, standout stories, and great places to read imaginative flashes. That’s part of the beauty of flash fiction – with such compact run times, there’s always room for more mesmerizing micro fiction.