Tag Archives: national short story month
Libby O'Neill: 5 Top Short Story Writers

Libby O’Neill: 5 Top Short Story Writers

  1. Eudora Welty 2. O. Henry 3. Raymond Carver 4. Flannery O’Connor 5. Tim O’Brien

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Leaves of Glass

Ilse Munro: Turning Fragments into Fiction

…then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart’s choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write […]

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World on a String

John Abbott: Short Stories Are Exciting Challenges

I read short stories because they entertain and because they can give insight into how we live our lives. I write short stories because each one offers up its own world. I love the challenge each one presents. I write novels and poems, too, but the short story is more demanding than either of those […]

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kids arts and crafts tools

John Oliver Hodges: Short Stories Are Arts and Crafts Sculptures

Short stories are essential to any meaningful way of life; without them we are doomed—so I hope you tell and receive stories at the office, on the job site, with strangers by the pool or on the subway. The stories you tell out loud are likely anecdotal and voicey and take after the dirty joke […]

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Gems IV

Berit Ellingsen: Short Stories Are Like Gems

I once asked a friend of mine, when we were both graduate students in science and struggling in the lab with our thesis experiments, what her dream job was. “Gemologist,” she said, and I could hear in her voice what a beautiful but seemingly unattainable dream that was. Right away I felt that my own […]

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Cutting The Cheese

Nathan Leslie: Short Stories Are a Slice of Life

In my fantasy world grocery stores would carry short story collections, placing them right next to the cash registers—next to the Kit-Kats and Twizzlers. One of the ironies of American readership is that novels sell better than short story collections. This has always struck me as counter-intuitive. Short fiction is not only arguably a superior […]

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Story Girl

Michael Wayne Hampton: We Share the High Points of Our Lives in Our Stories

My friend Christina told me a great story yesterday. She’s had the same gynecologist since she was in high school. He’s an absent-minded old man with the demeanor of a country doctor. Each year she goes in, gets in the stirrups, and talks about school while her gynecologist jokes about her mix-matched socks and pokes […]

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Edgar Allen Poe - The Raven

Matt Mullins: On Edgar Allan Poe and the Short Story

There would be no National Short Story Month without Edgar Allan Poe, the man at the fountainhead of genre.  In his criticism and his stories themselves, Poe essentially defined what the short story should do: become a bomb in the reader’s hand that explodes with meaning before it can be set down. Poe believed a […]

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dinner at home

Susan Rukeyser: Short Stories Are a Digestible Meal

The short story is a sit-down dinner. It opens with an amuse-bouche to stimulate the salivary glands. Then comes a parade of flavors and textures, each adding a layer of understanding: the bitter crunch of melancholy, velvety arousal, tough and chewy survival, sharp loss. The end will almost certainly be a blend of sour and […]

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Hands Writing in Class

Simon Kearns: Flash Fiction Is Worth a Thousand Words

The novel is a painting. The short story, a sketch. Flash fiction is a photograph, and, as we know, worth a thousand words. Personally, I prefer a word count between 200 and 500. I like flash fiction that plays with form, that turns the reading into a game. In my own work I often seek […]

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