I have long preferred BIG (1000 pages +) novels: Uris, Delderfield, Wally Lamb, Dubois, Dreiser. . . yet, I am finding myself enjoying the challenge of the shortest of the short stories.
Six-Word Memoirs: Hemingway's famous one, "For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn." The heartache carried in those six words has spawned inspiration for thousands of writers, especially through the efforts of Smith College to write meaningful six-word memoirs.
Hint fiction, developed by Robert Swartwood, is a story under 25 words. Again, writers are taking up the challenge to put their readers in a new place with 25 well-chosen words.
Flash or sudden fiction is my favorite. The length can be as short as 200 words and as long as 1000. I like the 750 word limit used in the contests of WOW (women on writing). 750 words gives the writer time to develop a scene, develop a struggle, and end with a flash of insight. The Rose Metal Field Guide ot Flash Fiction also suggests that writers make their readers begin the journey with the title. In flash fiction, the title is a huge part of the task.
My first volume of the forms named above, flash, hint, and 6-word memoirs as well as traditional short stories is out on Amazon ($5.50). It will be Kindlized soon for the digital readers out there. The book also includes some writing prompts and tips for use in secondary classrooms as last-minute lesson plans for "those" days when the schedule changes or the xerox malfunctions!
Take a look at this form--it may change your views of writing and of stories that you choose to read.