Friday, May 10, 2013

May is Short Story Month

May is Short Story Month, and as you likely already know, we love short stories here at Books, Personally. There are many reasons why - I could go on at length about how, in the last few years, short stories have transformed my reading and the way I think about writing, and how their addictive intensity and precise craftsmanship have spoiled me for anything less finely honed. Some of the most exciting writing out there comes in shorter form, and yet, as Dan Wickett of the Emerging Writers Network so eloquently expressed in last year's excellent essay on the importance of Short Story Month, the short story (and the short story writer) are too often overshadowed in publishing by the celebrity novel (and novelist).

So, how to celebrate? Head first to Emerging Writers Network for reviews of short stories from some of the most dynamic voices in (mostly) small press fiction. You won't want to miss the wealth of story reviews, author interviews, personal reflections and other Short Story Month features over at Fiction Writers Review (in particular, check out the "Stories We Love" posts by "writers on the stories that inspire them"). The Missouri Review is also featuring an eclectic and interesting list of favorite short stories by favorite writers, leading off with Z.Z. Packer, Franz Kafka, and Ben Loory, just to name a few. The Short Review will point you toward some short story prize winners and longlists. Larry Dark, Director of The Story Prize, discusses the significance and endurance of short stories in a guest post over at Akashic Books: "The best stories can endure repeated readings, yielding different truths each time."  Flash Fiction Chronicles is collecting readers' suggestions for favorite short stories throughout the month of May- add your recommendations to the list! Friends over at LitStack offer their Top Five Short Story Collections, and The Poisoned Martini blog recommends short stories especially for mystery lovers.

It is always a pleasure to recommend short story collections here on the blog - a few of my own recent favorites include Holly Goddard Jones' stunning Girl Trouble, Jessica Francis Kane's deeply moving This Closethe collected stories of Lauren Becker, Erin Fitzgerald, Kirsty Logan, Michele Reale and Amber Sparks in Shut Up/Look Pretty, and Tim Horvath's brilliant Understories. I am also very excited about the three new story collections I'm reading now: Lucia Perillo's Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain (W.W. Norton, 2013), Ron Rash 's Nothing Gold Can Stay (Ecco, 2013), and Jess Walter's riveting We Live in Water (HarperPerennial, 2013).

If this marvelous month leaves you wanting even more short fiction, stay tuned for Going Public...In Shorts, a short story/audio bloghop extravaganza that will feature a free daily audioshort every day in June. I'm delighted to be a small part of this wonderful event - narrator David Drummond will be a guest here on June 5th, reading Anton Chekhov's classic tale "The Death of a Government Clerk." Proceeds from the project will benefit the literacy organization Reach Out and Read.

Which short stories are are you reading this May? Share your favorites and/or links to other Short Story Month celebrations in the comments below.

Happy reading!


  1. I wish I had known May was short story month a lot earlier. I wouldn't have picked up a 1000 page epic to keep me bogged down. Happy reading!

    1. LOL - sounds like you'll be busy - hope it's a good one!


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