One Hundred Words

A Collection of Short Stories

Fiction - Anthology
252 Pages
Reviewed on 02/12/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Michael E. Smidts offers short story lovers an enthralling collection with One Hundred Words. With over two hundred flash fiction stories covering multiple genres, this anthology explores the human condition in myriad ways. An old racehorse takes her last lap on the course; an elderly man cleverly steals a queen's crown jewels; a father learns only too late that his daughter is a talented singer; after a visit to Southeast Asia, a man learns the depth of his guide's feelings through a letter; a young woman is sacrificed at the altar of the sun god to end an all-consuming drought; a king bans mirrors after seeing his reflection; a woman breaks the line of a family heirloom passed down through several generations.

Michael E. Smidts covers a broad spectrum of the human experience with this riveting collection of tales. One Hundred Words is uninhibited with genre conventions, touching upon a wide range of themes and ideas related to the human condition, featuring stories limited to the count of a hundred words. Despite the short length of these tales, Smidts' storytelling, combined with his sumptuous prose, ensures you can't take your eyes off the pages. You will find yourself emotionally engaged in the stories that delve into surrealism, absurdism, fantasy, slice-of-life drama, literary fiction, and more. There are too many to refer to here, but 'Perfect Date' was one of my favorites from the entire collection. All in all, this is a fantastic anthology. If you enjoy short stories or flash fiction, do not miss out on this book!

Dave Morris

With prose that flows like a river and descriptions that paint vivid landscapes in your mind, Michael E. Smidts ensures that you're not just reading stories; you're living them.
Their ability to convey the complexities of the human experience is nothing short of breathtaking. Whether it's love, loss, or the triumph of the human spirit, each tale resonates on a profound level.

Harvey N

Michael Smidts’ debut collection is a testament to his mastery of storytelling. Each of the 100-word, self-contained stories in this book spans genres effortlessly. The brevity of each narrative amplifies the author’s skillful execution of making every word count, distilling complex ideas into a tight constraint.

I found that these micro-stories leave lingering impressions, long after the book has been closed.

This is a must-read for those who appreciate the art of succinct, impactful storytelling, and sets high expectations for Smitdt’s future work.

Katie N

Michael E. Smidts is a very talented writer and a gifted storyteller.
The way he captures so much feeling and emotion in so few words is truly remarkable.
His astute insight into the human condition is honest and revealing.
His stories cover the full range from humorous to touching and historical to fantastical. I especially enjoyed the romantic ones.
Each story shines on its own but they all come together as a whole to form a memorable cohesive collection.
Inspiring much thought and consideration, One Hundred Words will stay with me for a long time!


What a creative and interesting concept! Each story is exactly 100 words. Step on board Michael Smidts' slice-of-life train an experience 215 stops that bring you full circle with the human experience. Each of these masterfully written short stories cleanses the emotional cupboard that belies a debut offering.

Jill Rey

“One Hundred Words” is so brilliant. Named due to the length of each short story, one-hundred words, readers are quickly spun by the text and spit back out once again. Such a unique and exhilarating reading experience, I can’t say I’ve ever experienced anything quite like it, in the best way possible! Take stories such as “Time Cab: Mourning Rays,” in a present-day world where taxis are often left unused in a world of Ubers, author Michael E. Smidts presents the story of a taxi that can take you to destinations in time rather than simply present-day physical ones. Imagine going to the past to see someone just one more time, even if they can’t see you, that’s the beauty of this short. Other stories, such as “Consolation Prize,” feel so painfully truthful and dramatically real, you can’t help but react. While yet more leave you wondering what’s happening in the fictional characters’ reality to warrant that response and reaction within Smidts’ story. There’s so much baked into these short stories you find yourself yearning to read them again, share them quickly with the person next to you, and keep thinking about the outcome long after the story has ended. This is a compilation of short, short stories, with each never running longer than one page, it is a truly extraordinary collection. Laid out in a style that ranges from a half page, to just shy of a full page, there is so much packed into so few words. The work of true talent to convey so much into such a short number of words, time and time again are what make this read so spectacular. Each story is unique and yet captivating. Smidts’ work is truly remarkable.

Renee Lehnen

Reading Michael Smidts' stories is like eating cookies. One is never enough! Even with this very short form, Smidts manages to evoke emotion, paint a picture, and in many of the stories, twist the plot.

Arielle Bradberry

I found this book absolutely brilliant. The way the author only uses 100 words to write a story that is well written, and enticing. I thoroughly enjoyed each unique story. The book is descriptive, full of variety, and was able to bring out my different emotions. I highly recommend this book, and know that I will read it more than once!


In Michael E. Smidts’s first collection, appropriately titled “one hundred words,” he not only does it very well, he achieves excellence in the genre a couple of hundred times. Each densely packed story explores new themes, new characters, new settings, and ultimately, new ways to compress giant chunks of reality into concise and precisely targeted bullets of imaginative vision. To paraphrase William Shakespeare, each story could be bounded in a nutshell, and count itself a king of infinite space.