Here is a secret: Very short fiction is one of the most adaptive forms of life. It can live quite comfortably within a laugh. Or a kingdom. Or anywhere in between, above, or below. It can sprawl across acres and light years, or click crisply within clockwork and atoms.

Here's another secret: Very short fiction doesn't need us, as much as we need it.

Thanks to Selecting Editor Ben Loory, author of the short story collection STORIES FOR THE NIGHTTIME AND SOME FOR THE DAY (and one of Twitter's best prose curators). His choices, as you'll see, are wonderful. Thanks also to Kyle Boganwright, for providing this year's artwork.

In each of its now seven years, the Wigleaf Top 50 has owed much to the fact that those who build the longlist are truly dedicated to their task. The 2014 team -- Mel Bosworth (who is the DJ for next year's party), Marcelle Heath, Sean Lovelace, Scott Garson, Shome Dasgupta, Katrina Denza, Laura Ellen Scott and Tawnysha Greene -- continued that tradition in full force. I'm fortunate to have seen their enthusiasm and skills firsthand.

Now, don't let us keep you any longer. There are secrets to find!

On eligibility:

The Wigleaf Top 50 are chosen from a longlist of about 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 send us an email.

Erin Fitzgerald is the author of This Morning Will Be Different, a collection of fictions published by Tiny Hardcore (via Shut Up/Look Pretty). She lives in western Connecticut.

To link to this directly: http://wigleaf.com/14top50foreword.htm

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