Monday, April 30, 2012

May Is Short Story Month

When I was a kid... oh, boy, here we go. But seriously, most of us remember reading stories in school by O. Henry, Guy de Maupassant, and Edgar Allan Poe.  The short story was part of my literary education from grade school through college. Later, I read short stories in magazines like the Ladies Home Journal, and regular contributor, Rosamunde Pilcher, is still one of my favorite authors. But as I grew older, novels became my entertainment of choice, and it wasn't until I got my Nook last year that I rediscovered the short story.

E-books have changed reading habits for gazillions of people. Not only are we able to buy books in the blink of an eye, we can carry small libraries with us wherever we go. It's particularly convenient if one does a lot of research,and these gadgets are so smart, we can even make notes right in the books! But even better than that, we can sample lots of writing because many authors are using the short story format to introduce readers to their work, many of them free stories available for download. It's definitely a readers market out there.

This month we'll focus on the short story here at the Blood-Red Pencil. I'll share with you a project members of the BBT Cafe have going - a short story collection by 20 of the members which I'll be formatting for Kindle this month.  More about that later. We'll also make sure to share with you any short stories and collections we hear about so you have a chance to sample some new writing.

And what a great month to do it in - it's officially Get Caught Reading Month. What are some of your favorite short stories? Any authors you particularly favor? Do you write short stories yourself? Do you think e-readers will renew an interest in short story collections? Share with us some thoughts about the genre.
Dani Greer is founding member of the Blood-Red Pencil, and currently spends most of her time either working on special projects for Little Pickle Press or tending her much-neglected three acres of gardens. These days she doesn't have much time for anything except short stories.

Bookmark and Share


  1. Horray for short stories. Some of my favorite classics are "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" by Katherine Ann Porter and "Good Country People" by Flannery O'Connor.

  2. I was a huge fan of Redbook magazine when my kids were little, and I did not have time to read novels. Each issue had three to five short stories, and I loved them. I also liked Lady's Circle, and my first national sale of a short story was to them. I photocopied the check and have it framed in my office. LOL

    As for classic short stories, I read a lot by Joseph Conrad. Only remember The Brute. And who could forget The Pit and the Pendulum by Edger Allen Poe?

  3. Since I started my blog and also became a guest reviewer(Joyfully Jay), many short stories have come my way.

    Most recent standouts would be

    Lily by Xavier Axelson (was a free read at Amazon)
    New Lease by BG Thomas
    All At Sea by JL Merrow

    The last two are part of Two Tickets To Paradise Anthology published by Dreamspinner Press.

    Sometimes when I read a short story it seems rushed and unfinished, as though the author cut it short prematurely. In the stories I mentioned the characters are memorable and story length is perfect. When the end is reached, I didn't feel as though anything more was needed.

    reviews for both are up at my site

  4. You would think, given my short attention span, that I'd read more short stories ... and maybe I'll shall ... if I don't get distracted by ... oh, gotta go.

  5. You are so correct,Scattered. Short stories must have a beginning, middle, and end. The reader has to feel satisfied, as though they've just had a good snack,not the first bites of a meal. You can't leave them dangling, wondering what happens next.

  6. This sounds like my childhood and teenage years: short stories (The Monkey's Paw, Fall of the House of Usher, The Lottery, etc.) and then speculative fiction magazines & anthologies (Realms of Fantasy, Magazine of SF & Fantasy, Catfantastic, etc.). Short stories helped get my writing out there while I worked on longer pieces, so yeah, I'll never give up short stories though the industry seems to favor novels.

  7. "But even better than that, we can sample lots of writing because many authors are using the short story format to introduce readers to their work, many of them free stories available for download. It's definitely a readers market out there."
    Where are these short stories being published?

  8. Lately I've found short stories more endearing than in the past. I especially like novellas, which are a little bit longer than really short stories, yet not long enough to be full length novels.

    Morgan Mandel

  9. Lots of singles on Kindle. The more established authors are dipping their feet into the self-published e-book pool with a short, rather than give away whole books.

  10. I just googled:

  11. I’m so happy you mentioned May is Short Story Month. I didn’t know that. I’ve had over 50, mostly mystery, short stories published in various publications. Right now I have two stories and one collection available in ebook format. Two stories in the Artie the burglar Cimes series—“Artie and the Long-Legged Woman” and “Artie and the Red-Headed Woman” both published by Untreed Reads (a great publisher of lots of short stories) and available in any ebook format you can name. Then my collection for Kindles just became available in April—three previously published, out-of-print stories, titled “Warning Signs 1.” Many more collections to come. Can you tell I love short stories—both reading and writing them? Thanks again for mentioning Short Story Month and for the opportunity to talk about mine.

  12. At Goodreads M/M Romance group they have several collections of short stories by numerous authors that are quite good and free.

    Don't Read In The Closet
    Hot Summer Days
    Love Is Always Write
    and more


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. If a glitch is preventing you from commenting, visit our Facebook page and drop your wise words there: Blood-Red Pencil on Facebook