How to Submit, "On Being Brief," Reviews, Store


 Submissions  for the Fall 2020 Issue of the new Dribble Drabble Review are now open. This carefully curated, biannual (Spring and Fall), online literary journal is postured to contribute greatly to the big push presently found in the realm of all things little-ature. A solid group of international writers have already responded. Still, we remain open to ongoing submissions of exceptional quality.  Note: we are not accepting virus-themed pieces.

Dribbles should be written at exactly 50 words with drabbles written at exactly 100 words (not including titles). Send your original, unpublished entries to the editor via the contact tab provided; send up to five entries in each category, double spaced, using 12 point Helvetica (or something close), with your name and brief bio (all in the body of your email). Submit prose, poetry, or prose poetry for that matter! Deadline: midnight, CST, on October 31, 2020. Entrants will be notified of acceptance no later than November 10; regrettably, only accepted submissions will be notified due to the sheer number of entries. Too, entrants agree that submission in and of itself will serve as an author's permission to publish.

Simultaneous entries are permissible, but notify us if your piece is selected elsewhere in order to pull it from our pool of prospects. We reserve exclusive first publication rights reverting back to the author upon production of the next sequential edition of TDDR. Too, we do require, upon ensuing printings, that TDDR be indicated as your piece's original publisher.


We will do our best to accommodate special formatting, while we also reserve the right to edit upon need (e.g. We will undoubtedly take most pieces written in past tense and edit them to be in present tense) to more effective draw the reader in scene. This is a non-monetary opportunity; but, there is also no cost to enter. Compensation will consist of supporting our writers with quality presentations of their work, a strong artistic community, and individual promotion.

We look forward to reading your dribble(s)/drabble(s)! But first, let's see if you can take a Hint!


 "On Being Brief"  by Robert Swartwood from His Anthology Hint Fiction

For sale, baby shoes, never worn.

Although Ernest Hemingway is credited for creating the first six-word story, some believe the story of its creation is a myth. The truth is there is no written account of those six words anywhere. They are, as one Hemingway scholar puts it, apocryphal.

Regardless, those six simple words have managed to change the landscape of the short story. There are anthologies and online magazines [like The Dribble Drabble Review] devoted to [little-ature.] They are a testament to the paradox facing every writer: less is more.

I was inspired the first time I heard about the story. Not so much the six words themselves--though they are quite impressive--but by the idea of writing a story in the fewest number of words possible. I  knew each word had to be just right. I tried my hand at these stories but [...] I didn't know in what category to place [them.] The hierarchy of fiction goes something like this: novel, novella, novelette, short story, sudden fiction, flash fiction, micro fiction, drabble, dribble. (At what point does sudden fiction become flash fiction? At what point does flash fiction become micro fiction?) Only two types have clear word distinctions: a drabble is a story of exactly one-hundred words; a dribble of fifty words. [...]

I [propose] that the very best storytelling [is] the kind where the writer and reader meet halfway, the writer only painting fifty percent of the picture and forcing the reader to fill in the rest. That way, the reader truly becomes engaged in the process. Very, very, very short stories, however,  like Hemingway's, do not meet the [reader] halfway. In fact, they really meet the reader a tenth of the way. A reader would be lucky if he or she were to get  one percent of the story. And that's why I called [this anthology Hint Fiction]--because the reader is only given a hint of a much larger, more complex story.

As you can imagine, there [is] resistance. You see, there is a school of thought that doesn't appreciate these very, very, very short stories. These people don't even see them as stories. For them, the stories contain no beginning, no middle, no end. No protagonist, no conflict. Also, predictably, other people [complain] about the length. How can something so brief be taken seriously? If a story is that short, couldn't anyone be called a writer?

It's my belief that the length of a story does not determine the credentials of a writer.  After all, at what point does a story stop being a story? It's always a slippery slope when people begin placing limitations on art, and to immediately dismiss one form because of its length is simply shortsighted.

For me, a story should do four basic things: obviously it should tell a story; it should be entertaining; it should be thought-provoking; and, if done well enough, it should evoke an emotional response.

Now, if those four basic principles can be applied to a story of twenty-five hundred words, why can't they be applied to [fifty or a hundred words? ...]

There are some who will see the popularity of these stories as an indication of our short attention spans. Yes, people have short attention spans nowadays, but should that be any reason to disregard or dismiss [...] other short forms? If anything, [they are] an exercise in brevity, with the writer trying to affect the reader in as few words as possible.

There's a reason why Hemingway's story has survived so long and become so popular. [It is even said that Hemingway, himself, believed it to be the best story he had ever written!] 


It seems very, very, very short stories [written to their bare essentials] speak to something deep inside readers [and authors alike.]

Enjoy this Inaugural Issue, and submit for our Fall Issue today!


A very worthwhile read.


Kevin Russell, USA

OMG, I love the name and concept...

Abby Rose Manis, USA


It's a pleasure to see such a quality debut; there are so many wannabes out there.

John Mannone, USA

Thanks for giving little-ature, as you cleverly put it, this wonderful platform.


Blake Kirkland, USA

Beautifully presented.

Lynn White, USA


Coming Soon! High-Quality Dribble Drabble Review T-Shirts in a Muted, Heathered Red (Unisex S, M, L & XL / Long-Lasting and Comfortable 50% Cotton, 50% Polyester Blend).



Spring Issue, April 2020

Copyright © 2020

As listed on Duotrope