New literary form, 'hint fiction,' focus of contest at Penn State York

March 08, 2011

Excited by the possibilities of the hint fiction form, the staff of “Any Other Word,” Penn State York’s online literary magazine, is running its own hint fiction contest now through the end of March. Author and editor Robert Swartwood coined the term “hint fiction” in 2009 and defined it as a story of 25 words or fewer that suggests a larger, more complex story.

This contest is only open to Penn State York students; each student may submit up to two stories, each 25 words or fewer; all stories must have titles (not included in the word count); stories should be sent electronically to the faculty adviser of “Any Other Word,” Noel Sloboda, at In addition to being adviser for the magazine, Sloboda is an assistant professor of English at the campus.

Entries will be read blindly (without the author’s name). Authors of the top three submissions, as determined by the “Any Other Word” student editors, will be awarded copies of the “Hint Fiction” anthology as well as a new Moleskine notebook. Winners will be announced by April 14, 2011.

Swartwood’s vision inspired a 2010 collection published by W.W. Norton, which features work by such notable authors as Joyce Carol Oates, F. Paul Wilson, Ha Jin, Stephen Dunn, and Joe R. Landsdale. Learn more about Swartwood and his collection by visiting online.

Read previous issues of “Any Other Word,” at online.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 10, 2011