In his delightful comparison of the novel to the short story, Steven Millhauser writes that "Smallness is the realm of elegance and grace. It's also the realm of perfection…By excluding almost everything, it can give perfect shape to what remains." What, then, of the short story's relative, the flash? Among the brilliant "57+ Moves in Contemporary Flash Fiction," Selecting Editor Matthew Salesses, author, literary activist, and all around wonderful compatriot, includes "unfulfilled desire," "unexplained shocking events," "Ending with a decision that will have consequences past the story," "never resolved problems," and "obvious ambiguity, especially with endings." Flash fiction opens up the page, becomes larger and more fluid, and gives back to us so that we can see what remains: vitality, provocation, enchantment.

I want to thank Matthew and our Wigleaf team: Associate Editors Amber Sparks, Shome Dasgupta, and Sean Lovelace; Readers Laura Ellen Scott, Casey Hannan, Tawnysha Green, Miguelzinta Solis, and Michelle Dove. Thanks to Scott Garson, whose generosity and support makes my role a pleasure and an honor. A special thanks to the little magazines of the world, whose devotion to the written word continues to inspire us all.

Marcelle Heath

[official p.s.—thanks also to Philip Bond, for use of the art on the main page.]

Marcelle Heath is a freelance writer and editor with stories in or coming from The Kenyon Review, matchbook, Necessary Fiction and others. She lives in Portland.

To link to this directly: http://wigleaf.com/16top50foreword.htm

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