by Stephen R. Smith with excerpts by Kathy Kachelries
In order to improve as a writer, you need feedback. It's difficult to write something the size of a novel, and equally difficult to carve out the time required to read one and provide any sort of meaningful critique on it. This severely handicaps the feedback loop so important for the aspiring writer.
Flash Fiction on the other hand allows you to exercise all of your story writing and editing skills while creating works that can be read in a few minutes. This makes it ideal for examining ideas, developing writing skills and getting the feedback needed to help elevate you in your craft. Note that while Flash Fiction stories can be read in a few minutes, you shouldn't expect to write them that quickly.
Kathy Kachelries, founder of 365tomorrows, had this to say about Flash Fiction:
"The most concise and widely-cited example of flash fiction is the story Ernest Hemingway penned, allegedly to settle a bar bet: For sale: baby shoes.