Collection Overview

Curator's Statement

Begin browsing through the collection (click "Start Tour" above) to read the second of three batches of the winning stories submitted to the late summer-early fall 2008 cycle of miniStories.

What is a ministory? We've deemed it to be a story told in 500 or fewer words; and, as Geoff has mentioned, these sorts of highly distilled pieces are distinguished by their intensity. The resulting tales are bite-sized confections which are perfectly suited for online reading. And they come in a surprising array of flavors: some are uncanny, others wry, many are downright funny, and a few are sharply poignant. But don't let the modest word count fool you. The talent revealed by these winning submissions--selected from over 80 entries--is substantial, even if the stories themselves are small.

But don't take my word for it, you can read these tales for yourself. Two batches of stories, eight of the winning twelve short-shorts, have already been published on You can read the final four winning pieces of flash fiction and the grand prize-winner's newly commissioned short story in September.

We've been bowled over by the response to this new flash fiction series; the readings have been huge fun, and the stories themselves are simply outstanding. We couldn't be prouder to showcase them. So, read up and enjoy. And if you've got a story of your own to tell, we'd love to read it. Look for a new call for fiction to be posted on shortly.

--Susannah Schouweiler, editor

This month's batch of four winning miniStories, including the late summer-early fall quarter's grand prize-winner, is:
      GRAND PRIZE WINNING ENTRY:Shoo, Shoo by John Jodzio
      Buried Treasure by Damian Sheridan
      Umbrella Etiquette by Sarah Gunther
      Squirrels by Brian Beatty

Look for a newly commissioned short story by this quarter's grand prize winning author, John Jodzio, to be published on in September 2008.

About the series: miniStories is's quarterly flash fiction competition. This new literary series is coordinated by Electric Arc Radio's Geoff Herbach (author of newly released novel, The Miracle Letters of T. Rimburg, published by Three Rivers Press), and it showcases previously unpublished short stories by Minnesota writers. These winning short-short stories are selected by authors, editors, and publishing industry veterans from across the country. Winning miniStories 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 from each quarter's competition cycle 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 summer quarter of miniStories:
William Walsh, author, Providence, RI
William Walsh's stories and derived texts have appeared in New York Tyrant, Juked, Caketrain, Elimae, Rosebud, Lit, Quarterly West, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and other journals. His first novel, Without Wax, was published in 2008 by Casperian Books, and an as-yet-untilted story collection is forthcoming from Keyhole Publications in 2009. William lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Brady Bergeson, writer, performer, and English professor, Fargo/Moorhead
Brady Bergeson is a writer and performer with the Lit 6 Project and the Electric Arc Radio Show, heard on Minnesota Public Radio and He teaches in the English Departments at Minnesota State University Moorhead and North Dakota State University. His work has appeared most recently in Opium Magazine and a+E. He is currently working on a full length play and folding 1,000 paper cranes out of old issues of the New Yorker magazine.

Dawn Frederick, literary agent,Twin Cities
Dawn Frederick is a literary agent for Red Sofa Literary in the Twin-Cities."

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

Have a story of your own? Send it in! CLICK HERE for the new call for miniStories.

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 previously winning flash fiction here.

miniStories: Late Summer 2008 (the first batch of four stories from this round)
Read the first batch of four winning miniStories from this, the late summer-early fall quarter of's literary competition and reading series.


Collection Classification

access + ENGAGE, Book Arts, Literature, Regional, Unclassified