on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity:
Flash fiction is shorter than the normal range of short stories, which are generally 3,000 words or more. The precise length remains somewhat elusive. Some literary journals ask for 2,000 words or less, others set maximum word counts in the hundreds. Each publication has its own style, its own format, and its own needs, so whether your 1,953-word short story qualifies as “flash” is entirely up to the editors.
Flash fiction is very popular. There are dozens of sites where you can read flash fiction on a daily basis. This is perfect for people who are commuting on a train, waiting to see a doctor, or have other brief, potentially interrupted periods of time to fill.
Below is a list of paying markets for flash fiction. I have included links to submission guidelines, payment information, and word counts where available. Make sure you follow their guidelines carefully. (Editors don’t consider submissions that fail to follow guidelines.)
None of these magazines charge submission fees.