It doesn’t sound like much, but 55 words can cover a lot of ground. The shortest stories in the universe tie up loose ends, surprise people, kill people, and love people. This year’s stories were cheesy, mushy, dark, funny, and sad—some talked about Trump, COVID-19, aliens, time travel, and God. But out of the hundreds and hundreds of stories that were submitted, only two handfuls of stories were good enough to get published! Each year, New Times and the Sun bring you the best reader-submitted stories for our annual 55 Fiction contest, which is now more than three decades strong. Our 2020 judges include Calendar Editor Caleb Wiseblood, Sun Staff Writer Malea Martin, Associate Editor Andrea Rooks, and Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey. So get ready for tall tales, short turnarounds, and a laugh or two.

—Camillia Lanham

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