Serial Box, publisher of serialized stories, wants to get your Mondays off to good start by sending a burst of microfiction to your iOS device.

Starting July 9, the fiction-publishing web site will send a push notification to your iPhone or iPad via its Serial Box app with a 150-character-or-less tiny story that you can read while waiting for your bread to toast or bus to arrive. And squeezing a bit of storytelling into an iOS notification for Microfiction Mondays has to be more pleasing than being notified you are late for a meeting.

Serialized novels

Serial Box creates its serialized novels in the style of a weekly TV show or podcast but delivered in ebook and audiobook formats, with each weekly episode of the serialized book running 10,000 words and an entire serialized novel spanning 10 to 16 weeks. You can find original novels running from sci-fi and mysteries to romance and YA (or young adult).

See: Inside iOS 12's best new app features, from Measure to Screen Time

You can read along each week or binge-read the entire serialized fiction at the end. Each episode costs $1.99, or you can buy a season pass to a serialized novel for $16.99 to $22.99. Each pilot episode is free. And if you are looking for summer reading, Serial Box lets you subscribe to an entire series for $1.99 this season, but you need to grab the deal by the end of June.

Read along with the Serial Box iOS app. Or if you prefer, download DRM-free ePub, Kindle, PDF, and MP3 files from your library on the Serial Box web site to read or listen to the book on a mobile device or Kindle reader.

Short bits of fiction

Flash fiction is short pieces of creative writing less than 1,000 words; micro fiction is usually under 300. The concentrated, evocative short stories can be consumed quickly and are, at least in writing circles, a popular form of modern fiction. You can find lots of good examples of micro stories on the web -- from the respected Wigleaf short fiction site to the popular online magazine Brevity.

Another respected online literary journal plays on the brief style of writing in its name: SmokeLong Quarterly, taking its name from the idea that reading a piece of flash fiction should take about the same length of time as smoking a cigarette. (I should note here that a family member coedits a flash fiction website called 100 Word Story.)

Microfiction is not confined to writing circles, however, with the New Yorker magazine frequently publishing works of microfiction and even W.W Norton publishing micro fiction anthologies. And it's not necessarily a new idea. Writers from H.P. Lovecraft to Ernest Hemingway have written flash fiction.


1. Novel serializer Serial Box will send a push notification containing a tiny story once a week to your iPhone to bring a bit of art to your life.

2. The fictional tidbits are perfect for reading between the busy moments of a Monday.

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Clifford Colby follows the Mac and Android markets for He's been an editor at Peachpit Press and a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWeek, MacUser, and Corporate Computing.