Read our Five Best Small Fictions nominees!

Picture credit: Jason Leung

By turns surreal, familiar, inventive and astonishingly written – immerse yourself in these five stories that we are delighted to nominate for Best Small Fictions 2023! Congratulations to all – and enjoy!

The Metrolope

by Katie Lodge

“René told me about the existence of the Metrolope when he was hammered in my hallway and I said René, you’re talking trash. He needed to get a handle on his life because he was freewheeling. I said sit.”

Read the full story here!

Necessary Measures

by Gerri Brightwell

“Only after the tanks had rolled into the capital, and the intractable president had been hanged, did the officers of the occupying force relax enough to enjoy the spring sun shedding its warmth like the beginning of a new, more hopeful era, drawing them out onto streets where rubble was still being cleared…”

Read the full story here!


by Peter Gordon

“Joel’s walking our mother down the aisle. They’re slowly working their way along a purple paisley runner rug laid down for the occasion and leading straight to the living room picture window in front of which the bridegroom awaits in his skinny blue suit, his forehead speckled with sweat. Our mother’s in an off-white, knee-length dress beaded around the collar and hem, complemented by a lace frontispiece that stops just short of being a wedding veil. Her lipstick is a bright red halo around her mouth. Her hair’s up, per her instructions to Aunt Karen to fix it as high as it’ll go without toppling over.”

Read the full story here!

Mardi Gras

by Louis Gallo

“I’m six or seven, and we’re standing on Canal Street, my dad, mom and sister, who’s too young to remember any of this.  It’s late February but so hot the air ripples like cellophane.  The sky, a scratched sheet of slate, hangs over Masion Blanch; the crowds between us and storefront glass threaten to stampede at any moment.  But you never give up a place on the front row, not for your life.”

Read the full story here!

Demeter Stages an Intervention

by Pauline Holdsworth

“When Persephone leaves, just after the leaves start to blush and the milk in the fridge curdles, she’s wearing shimmery gold lip gloss and an unnatural gleam in her eyes. “I’m going to start packing as soon as I get there,” she says. “I’m telling him I’m leaving for good, and then I’m packing.” Demeter says nothing. Love shows up in her daughter’s body as a fever, and Demeter has lived through enough seasons to know the warning signs: too-bright cheeks, diamond eyes, furtive smiles. She caught a glimpse of a text from Hades last night, as she was clearing windfall apple crumble from the table: You don’t know how much I’ve been missing you. I swear, it will be different this time.

Read the full story here!

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