Wednesday, October 5, 2011

25-Word Fiction

The Guppies (the Great Unpublished) online subgroup of Sisters in Crime, of which I am an active member, has been soliciting 25-word flash crime stories to celebrate Sisters in Crime's 25th anniversary.

Sisters in Crime (SinC) is an international organization founded in 1986 to promote the professional development and advancement of women writing crime fiction. The early founders, notably Sara Paretsky, saw that female crime and mystery authors weren't being published or reviewed in any of the same numbers as male authors, despite the past influence of blockbusters like Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers (and many others).

SinC is now 25 years old and has made a huge difference in the professional - and personal, most likely - lives of countless women who write crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.

Here's what I submitted to the Guppies solicitation for 25-word stories:

"Just like prison, Doc," George quavered.

Dorothy administered her husband's final dose, winked at Brigitte.

"Death is like prison, too."

The plane to Rio awaited.

Fun, right? Some of the other entries have been very intriguing, to say the least. And I thought 150-word and 600-word flash fiction ( the last entry on my Publications tab) were a challenge!

Our New England chapter of Sisters in Crime threw a gala luncheon In Concord, Massachusetts a couple of weeks ago to celebrate the 25th anniversary. We were honored by several New England chapter founders and early active chapter members - Kate Flora, Linda Barnes, and Margaret Press, as well as past presidents Ruth McCarty and Pat Remick. Current president, Sheila Connolly presided. Our intrepid photographer Mo Walsh's photographs are here (she's here on the right!).

All our Goddess-Luminaries shared their memories of the early days of Sisters in Crime and what being part of a local chapter meant to them as budding writers. (Mo's photo of the Goddesses at left in thumbnail.)

Multiple dozens of writers consumed a tasty lunch, schmoozed, and networked all afternoon. Nobody offered up 25-word flash fiction on the spot, (but then, that was a different contest). Some then adjourned to visit the local bookstore or Louisa May Alcott's birthplace.

SinC New England is a large and active chapter. For the non-writer readers out there, we have a vibrant Speakers Bureau that provides libraries, book clubs, and bookstores with writer panels for all occasions. For writers, we hold workshops and subsidize courses by big-name teachers.

Who would you like to hear talk about writing? Who would you like to learn about writing from? If you're a writer, have you joined Sisters in Crime and the New England chapter? Most important, what's YOUR 25-word crime fiction? Share it here!


  1. Sounds as if you all had a great time! Nice post, Edith.

  2. You have a great chapter in NE, Edith. We're having fun with the 25 word flash over on the Guppies! I'm curious to see if anyone will try one here. They're fun.

  3. I haven't yet succeeded at a 25 word story, but I'm having such fun reading them on the Guppies list so I'll check back to see if you get more here, too!

  4. Thanks for stopping by, EB, Kaye, and Gigi! I hope we get some here, too.

  5. I think mine went something like this:

    "I lent her my cell phone because hers had died. How was I supposed to know that manic was using my phone to target me?

  6. Edith:

    I'm glad I read this post. I'd intended to send my 25 word flash and then forgot. I'm also a Guppy (the cartoonist for the past couple of years) and a member of SinC NE.

    I like your blog; it's very straightforward and easy to follow, unlike Facebook.


    Sharon Love Cook, author of A NOSE FOR HANKY PANKY by Mainly Murder Press.

  7. Hey, thanks, Sharon. I love your cartoons. Look forward to meeting you at a SINC-NE event.