Collection Overview

Curator's Statement

Begin browsing through the collection (click "Start Tour" above) to read the first batch of the winning spring 2008 miniStories.

What is a ministory? We've deemed it to be a story told in 500 or fewer words. It is a distillation. It is naturally intense. It is easy to read on the web!

Our first miniStories competition was a fantastic success. The response from Minnesota writers was incredible--for this, the inaugural round of the competition, we received some 130 entries.

Our judges read fast and hard and made difficult choices (the quality in this first batch was really stellar). And, now, we have twelve award winners for the spring 2008 quarter, whose short stories will be published monthly, from April-June, on in batches of four. On Monday, April 21, we also held the miniStories series launch party, featuring live readings in front of a large, enthusiastic crowd at the Ritz Theater by 10 of the 12 winning authors. Look for additional miniStories readings every quarter--the summer miniStories party and reading is scheduled for July 2008. We hope to see you there!

These winning pieces are spectacular stories--we couldn't be prouder to showcase the work of our inaugural miniStories authors.
--Geoff Herbach

This month's batch of four winning miniStories is:
      Tice by Maggie Ryan Sandford
      Fitness by Mark Ehling
      Newt by Jack El-Hai
      Transmittal to HQ by Jill Bernard

About the series: miniStories is a quarterly flash fiction competition coordinated by Electric Arc Radio's Geoff Herbach (author of newly released novel, The Miracle Letters of T. Rimburg, published by Three Rivers Press). This new literary series showcases previously unpublished short stories by Minnesota writers which are selected by authors, editors, and publishing industry veterans from across the country. Winning stories will be published on and in the e-magazine access+ENGAGE. One grand-prize winning author will be selected from each quarter's miniStories winners by series coordinator Geoff Herbach; the grand-prize winning author will receive a paid commission for a longer-form short story which will be published on

There will be readings at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis at the end of each quarter's contest cycle, at which miniStories winners and judges will read their fiction. An anthology collecting the inaugural year's miniStories winning fiction will be published in April 2009 and available for sale at area bookstores.

The judges for the first round of miniStories:
Lindsey Moore, Associate Editor at Crown/Three Rivers Press, NY, NY
Stephanie Wilbur Ash, Books and Literature Editor, Metro Magazine, Twin Cities
David Oppegaard, author of The Suicide Collectors, forthcoming from St. Martin's Press

SUBMISSION SPECIFICATIONS AND ENTRY PROCESS: Any and all genres of fiction submissions are welcome, but writers must be Minnesota residents and be (or become) member artists of to enter the contest. Registration on is FREE. If you need any assistance with creating an page or uploading images we will work with you! Please email us at Any previously unpublished short fiction, from 5-500 words in length, may be submitted for consideration (submissions longer than 500 words will not be considered). Entrants may submit up to, but no more than, three pieces per competition cycle. Story submissions should be emailed as attachments (preferably as Word documents--.doc) to LOOK FOR THE SUMMER 2008 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS IN LATE MAY.

miniStories is a publication and reading series presented by, a project of the McKnight Foundation and the Walker Art Center

Related Links

miniStories archives
Read all the winning miniStories flash fiction here.


Collection Classification

Book Arts, Literature, Regional