Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Short Stories Are Back!

I grew up with short stories - The Brothers Grimm, Edgar Allen Poe, Twain's dark tales, Hawthorne, Agatha Christie. Two of my favorites were The Lottery (Shirley Jackson) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (James Thurber), but narrowing it down to only two was hard. There were so many good ones with dramatic endings and twists that left powerful impressions on me.

When I began writing, I started with short stories because I could vary my POV, settings, etc. in a short amount of time. I used them as testing grounds to find my passion and my voice. Even back then, getting a short story published was almost impossible because the market had dried up. Nobody was reading short stories anymore.

Eventually, I placed two of mine in literary journals. Passages North at Northern Michigan paid me in copies. A Room of One's Own out of Canada promised $35, which I never received. After that, I moved into long fiction, writing mysteries.

I'm thrilled to tell you that short stories are back and they are as popular as ever. Short stories are experiencing a resurrection thanks to a little device called an eReader. Authors are able to publish short stories through Kindle, Nook, and all the rest. And people are downloading them in mass quantities.

Several of the Cozy Chicks have published short stories. Below are the links to our Kindle editions where you can read more about them (and even download them). If you don't have a Kindle, you can download the free PC computer version here or download the free MAC version here.
Deb Baker - Secret Pages / Whatever It Takes

L.L. Bartlett - Bah! Humbug / Cold Case / Abused: A Daughter's Story

Lorraine Bartlett - We're So Sorry, Uncle Albert / An Unconditional Love / Prisoner of Love

Kate Collins - (YA stories)  Janey Webster - Experienced Babysitter / Jason Jerviss at Your Service

Leann Sweeney - Dying Embers

Heather Webber - Sweet Dreams / Definitely Maybe

So what about you - do you read short stories? What are some of your favorites?


Anonymous said...

So true about short stories, which I think is great. We loved short stories growing up didn't we? I think with all the limitations on time, maybe short stories will be a huge hit!

Thanks for the free short story downloads.

Erin Al-Mehairi, blogger

Dru said...

Since I got my e-readers, I've been reading lots of short stories.

What I like most about short stories is that I can read 2-3 in a short period of time and it breaks up my regular reading.

Sheila Connolly said...

I find short stories frustrating but for a good reason: if it's a strong story, it leaves me wanting more.

I've published a grand total of one, Size Matters in Level Best's Thin Ice last November (one of the other stories in the anthology has been nominated for an Edgar award).

My favorite? William Trevor, who writes poignantly about Ireland.

signlady217 said...

Sorry, but short stories make me crazy! I just start really getting into it and then it's done! I always want to know what happened next, to "so-and-so" and "such-and-such", etc., etc.

Aurian said...

No, I don't read short stories, only the anthologies my fav. author writes so I don't miss anything of the overall storyline of a series I love.

Breaunna said...

I had no idea you could download Kindle for PC to your computer! I downloaded the software & already have made a couple of purchases. I am saving up for the actual Kindle or hoping to receive one as a gift. It's nice to know that when I do get the real thing I can transfer the books from my PC version to the real Kindle & vice verse. I am anxious to make more purchases but I can see already I am going to have to set a monthly budget for e-books :)

This just made my day on this cold day when I'm snowed in :)

Lynn in Texas said...

Deb, your post just reminded me of the time many years ago when the first thing our new puppy chewed on was my cherished hardback copy of THE COMPLETE SHERLOCK HOLMES, which included all the novels and short stories. We used to joke that Rufus literally "cut his teeth" on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!(I know, groan)

Although I prefer novels, I do enjoy well-written short stories, especially mystery anthologies, and humorous collections by writers like David Sedaris, Jancee Dunn, Patrick McManus and the late Lewis Grizzard.

Every so often I reread Agatha Christie's THE THIRTEEN PROBLEMS, a collection of Miss Marple short stories, based on "The Tuesday Night Club".

My all-time favorite short story is Eudora Welty's "Why I Live at the P.O." found in the Library of America's EUDORA WELTY: STORIES, ESSAYS and MEMOIR. Still makes me smile after all these years.

Heather Webber said...

I love short stories--when they're really good, they're such an art form.

Thanks for linking to mine! I have a couple others I should put online, but they're super short, and I haven't figured out the best format.

Heather said...

I do like the occasional short story. While I like those of Poe and Hawthorne, two of my favorites are A Rose For Emily by William Faulkner and The Last Leaf by O Henry.

Shushan said...

I hope you are right about Short Stories becoming popular again. That's what I like to write. Maybe I should blow the dust off a few manuscripts ;)

Peewee54 said...

i love short stories and any kind of mystery is great. thank you