Editorial: Holiday Season

For some, holidays conjure up Norman Rockwell-like images of a cozy family gathered around a perfectly trimmed tree while basking in the warmth of their good life. But for others, the holidays are complicated. Memories and expectations mix with something darker of which we do not speak—at least not openly—but it’s there, all along, beneath the edges. 

While it’s easy for holiday stories to slip over the edge of sweet and into the saccharine, “The Tree Hunt” by Marissa James manages to walk the fine line between fond holiday memories and the sharper edges beneath the tinsel.

Whether the distance separating us from a loved one is arm’s length or lightyears, relationships are never easy to gauge. In “The Space Between Us” by Emmie Christie, a long-haul truck driver possesses an uncanny ability to gauge the distance between things. But what happens when the distance between is measured, not in physical degrees, but in the complicated dimensions of the human heart?

“Distant Fire of Winter Stars” by Jonathan Louis Duckworth is one man’s struggle to survive against the elements. But it’s also a poignant look at the relationship between father and son. In a story full of loss and longing, only time can heal. 

“The Birthday” by Mike McCormick, which first appeared in Flash Fiction Online’s February 2013 issue, beautifully encapsulates the complicated dynamics of family—and our urge to fix the ones we love.

Finally, this month’s Flash Fiction Flashback features an interview with FFO author Kate Heartfield about “Hairbrush, Socks, Pencils, Orange.” And be sure to check out the story itself from Issue #15 (December 2014).


  • Wendy Nikel is stepping down as Editor in Chief of FFO. Join us in thanking Wendy for a fantastic year. Read more HERE.
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100th ISSUE CELEBRATION! Here at FFO, we’ve been putting together an amazing retrospective celebration and subscription drive leading up to our 100th issue, which will allow us to continue publishing dynamic flash fiction in 2022 and beyond.

To help us meet our funding goals, we launched our 2022 Super Subscription. For the one-time cost of $100, 2022 Super Subscribers will receive perks both during our 100-day countdown…

  • Over two dozen interviews with previous FFO authors, sent directly to your email
  • Access to our superfan channels in our Discord server
  • Coupon for a FREE copy of any one of our annual anthologies
  • Your choice of a FREE ebook donated by one of our authors (selections include ebooks from Marie Brennan, Floris M. Kleijne, Frances Pauli, and others!)
  • A chance to win a $100 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card
  • An opportunity to vote in the preliminary round of the very first-ever FFO Reader Awards

… and throughout the 2022 calendar year…

  • 12 monthly issues of Flash Fiction Online (Jan 2022 – Dec 2022)
  • Newsletters with exclusive interviews, essays, and bonus content from our newly published 2022 authors
  • Access to our monthly Discord chats, Editorial Roundtables, and other special events until Dec 2022