Book Cover: 'The Best Small Fictions' Guest Editor: Amy Hempel Series Editor: Tara L. Masih 2017
Book Cover: 'The Best Small Fictions' 2016 Guest Editor Stuart Dybek, Series Editor: Tara L. Masih
Book Cover: 'The Best Small Fictions' 2015 Guest editor: Robert Butler, Series Editor: Tara L. Masih

An SPD Bestseller
A NewPages Editor’s Pick, August 2016
An Amazon Top 100 Anthology
Pittsburgh Magazine Holiday Gift List 2017

The Best Small Fictions Series

Praise for The Best Small Fictions Series


“I believe The Best Small Fictions series . . . is an extraordinarily important literary event. The art form of the small fiction speaks strongly to the zeitgeist of the 21st century and this sort of focused recognition is long overdue.”

Robert Olen Butler


“[T]his striking new series...has quickly become essential reading."

Amy Hempel


“The Best Small Fictions 2015...could be at the forefront of a burgeoning cultural movement.”

The Newtown Review of Books (read the full review here)


“Readers, don't let the word 'small' throw you off. This year's edition of The Best Small Fictions redefines the word with writing that towers above the rest.”

NewPages (read the full review here)


“[T]here is no more important book published in 2015.”

Sheldon Lee Compton, Enclave


“The best of these fictional vignettes are like a splash of ice water in the face. ...they create their emotional effects with a quick windup and a powerful release, often a final, lingering image.”

Harvard Review


“This year's edition of BSF [2017] is a clear indication that the series is nowhere near a slowing down point, but is, instead, gaining momentum and prestige throughout the world of literature. When the history of flash fiction as a vital form is told, Best Small Fictions and Masih will be in the opening chapter. Of this there should be no doubt.”

Enclave/CCM-Entropy (read the full review here)


“In this extraordinary collection of small fictions...readers are gifted with stories that slap wings onto their backs or drop anchors into their hearts, oftentimes both.”

The Small Press Book Review 


"[A]n excellent snapshot of contemporary super-short story writing, recommended for story lovers and newbies alike."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 2017 (read the full review here)


"Good reading."
Petoskey News-Review, September 2017 (read the full review here)


"Each story is a mini-masterwork, poised not only to entertain and enchant but to potentially serve to instruct the apprentice in the art of creating excellent flash."
C.T. D'Alessandro, April 2017


“Setting aside the number of fantastic short stories collected in BSF 2016, the continued publication of this series and the work done by series editor Tara Masih is, in and of itself, a milestone for the short story form.”
Enclave/CCM-Entropy (read the full review here)


"BSF 2016 is a tome of myriad treasures. It’s striking how different all the stories were, not only in length but in terms content and tone. Perhaps because of the needed precision of the small fiction form, the strength and care that has gone into these stories is always evident. Grant Faulkner’s “The Toad” manages to make road kill profound and human in one hundred words. ...the book felt as if it were a series of places, all seen along the same meandering trip. A trip not soon forgotten."
Amelia White, JMWW (read the full review here)


"There is also a lot that writers of flash fiction can learn about the form by picking up this anthology; the beauty of an anthology such as this, pulling together the best of the form, is that you will always encounter something new, something different, something that pushes the boundaries of flash further than before."
Santino Prinzi, Bath Flash Fiction Award (read the full review here)


"The collection is very accessible, thought provoking and so riveting that you might be inclined to devour it in one sitting, which I found being equally tempting and impossible. However well crafted these essays may be, the gravity of the topics doesn’t offer the opportunity for a casual read-through and you will have no choice but to pause, to re-examine your personal stands and opinions after each and every essay. transcends the old concept of merely preaching tolerance."
Veronika Bacova, Cecile's Writers, October 2016 (read the full review here)


"The Best Small Fictions has its finger on the pulse...each little gem contains a universe, teeth bared. Explore them at your own risk."
Nathan Leslie, Prick of the Spindle


"It will be well worth your while to spend a minute or 60 with some of the brightest concise writing available today."
NewPages (read the full review here)


"The Best Small Fictions 2015 achieves [a] bright, burning end through its broad sweep of stories, leaving the open-minded, open-hearted reader breathless."
Brandon Romano, Fiction Southeast


"What an astonishing book—how practically every fiction seems a vaster story told in brief."
XJ Kennedy, author of Fits of Concision: collected poems of six or fewer lines


"Super-short stories ... have exploded in popularity. Where should newbies start? With Best Small Fictions 2015 ... [r]eaders will be introduced to a wealth of fresh and existing talent ... Discover some haunting voices for yourself this fall."
Rebecca Foster, BookTrib


"The best of these stories drop us, with a minimum of hand-holding, into moments of human extremity."
Jack Feerick, Popdose (read the full review here)


"The Best Small Fictions 2015 is essential reading for anyone who enjoys not just small fiction, but fiction in general. Don't miss it!"
Robert Swartwood, editor of Hint Fiction


"Whatever one calls them—flash fictions, microfictions, short shorts—the number of outlets where such pieces are published continue to grow along with the interest of readers and writers in the form. The time is right for a Best of the Year anthology."
Stuart Dybek, author of The Coast of Chicago and Ecstatic Cahoots


"These small fictions are small only in length, not in impact. Their minuteness provides a different lens upon life—one that illuminates the telling yet elusive moments that bigger stories often overlook. A different slant on the truth emerges not in spite of their length, but because of it. Short shorts often seem like the quiet stepchild in the fiction family—overshadowed by vociferous novels, not quite dressed in the right attire as conventional short stories. A series celebrating these tiny gems is long overdue."
Grant Faulkner, co-founder of 100 Word Story, author of Fissures


"The loud and long message of the seemingly quiet and the definitely short is in ample supply in The Best Small Fictions 2015. From a mother's fury over misspelled words in Dee Cohen's "By Heart," to a father's disintegration in David Mellerick Lynch's "Lunar Deep," there is pathos, depth and welcome language-fireworks in these small gems. Chekhov would be proud of how briefly these writers manage to speak on lengthy subjects."
Ní Chonchúir, author of Miss Emily


"This is truly a well-selected collection and has given me a new appreciation for small fiction. The Best Small Fictions 2015 will make you a believer in small fiction as literature."
Joseph Spuckler, Evil Cyclist's Bookshelf (read the full review here)


"I'll confess: I'm usually not excited by "best of" anthologies. Too often, annual collections seem to ignore the small but vibrant journals I like to read in favor of the slick, well-funded, big-name publications that publish the same small group of established writers. Is there good work in these anthologies? Of course. But do I feel I'm hearing fresh, startling, diverse voices I've never heard before? Not usually. Too many polite, well-modulated murmurs, not enough barbaric yawps. Then along comes The Best Small Fictions 2015, edited by Robert Olen Butler and Tara Lynn Masih, to change my mind about anthologies. These works, ranging from tiny, poetic flash to short-short stories, encompass a range of styles and genres . . . making The Best Small Fictions 2015 a welcome resource for writers and readers of flash and short fiction."
Kathryn Kulpa, KYSO Flash (read the full review here)


"[T]his anthology provides both the instructor and the student with an affordable smörgåsbord of inspiration and models. I . . . would consider this a fine addition to a reading list for both the introductory and the intermediate/advanced level: each short short hands over an exquisite example of something finely done."
Bunny Goodjohn, Mom Egg Review 

Braddock Avenue Books, 2017