Finding short stories

At their best, they are a whole world in miniature, they are like perfect small gifts. Like a brief encounter, they can be transforming and transfixing, but, unlike long relationships, they never flag. Alexandra Pringle

Like poetry, short stories do not receive the attention of novels, even when they’re collected.

Short story writers often publish initially in magazines and literary journals. Increasingly, however, short story prizes and promotions are attempting to bring more readers to the form.

Some of the world’s greatest fiction writers have published short stories. The form enables experiment and is decidedly not just an apprenticeship for writing a novel, as writers like Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore and Helen Simpson prove.

I want my stories to be something about life that causes people to say, not, oh, isn’t that the truth, but to feel some kind of reward from the writing...Alice Munro

The Guardian website publishes many short stories, podcasts of writers reading their work and writers discussing the short story form. Chris Power profiles the work of short stories through the ages, including Katherine Mansfield, Grace Paley, Anton Chekov, Guy de Maupassant and John McGahern. theguardian.com/books/series/abriefsurveyoftheshortstory

Book Trust runs programmes and campaigns to encourage reading. booktrust.org.uk/books/adults/short-stories/booklists/69/

Book Trust list of magazines publishing short stories booktrust.org.uk/books/adults/short-stories/magazines/

The idea for National Short Story Week came from Ian Skillicorn, founder of Short Story Radio. Its website recommends books, lists short story writers and links to The Story Player where you can listen to stories read by actors as well as writers themselves. nationalshortstoryweek.org.uk

Small Wonder at Charleston is a short story festival based at Charleston Farmhouse. The website and blog have lists of short story writers. You can also read original commissioned work. charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/small-wonder/stories/  smallwondershorts.wordpress.com

Cork Short Story Festival lists short story writers and others who have appeared at the festival. corkshortstory.net/sirr_valerie14.html

London Short Story Festival 2014 was set up by Spread the Word. The festival website features information about various contemporary short story writers. lssf.co.uk

The New Yorker was one of the leading publishers of short fiction in the United States. Its archive contains major writers such as Eudora Welty, J D Salinger, Muriel Spark and Vladimir Nabokov. newyorker.com/books/double-take/fiction-from-the-archive

Bookish is the commercial website of three publishers: Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group USA and Hachette Book Group to provide information on their books and recommend reading lists. It features a number of short story writers. bookish.com/best/contemporary-short-stories

Alexandra Pringle quote telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10831961/The-irresistible-rise-of-the-short-story.html

Alice Munro quote nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2013/munro-lecture_en.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s