Trends in writing come and go just as they do in the fashion world. One of the recent trends in our writing world is Flash Fiction. There is no specific definition for it but you might describe it as short stuff. That's right. It requires you to tell a story in a very minimal amount of words.
There is no set amount for word count. Each publication or contest determines what that should be but the max is probably going to be under 1000 words. Under 1000? That's not so hard, is it? Most will be way under that number.
Try to tell a story in 50 words or less. I've even seen one call for submissions for a 6 word story. Not impossible. It can be done but the author of that story probably puts as much thought and effort into it as one who writes considerably more. Imagine how many times she/he rewrites the story!
More often, you'll see calls for Flash Fiction at 500 words. Even that is a tough assignment. Some writers are just getting going with 500 words.
There are some things to be remembered when writing Flash:
1. Skip the unnecessary words
2. Forget those long descriptions
3. Don't worry about creating a sense of place
4. Keep the characters to a minimum
5. Use a simple plot
6. Limit adjectives and adverbs
7. Be sure you have a beginning, a middle and an end
Try your hand at the short stuff sometime. You'll end up appreciating those who write it.