Posted by: kimberlysullivan | November 9, 2012

It’s National Short Story Week!

National Short Story Week logoFor all you short story writers out there – and for all those who’ve “always meant to write one” – here’s your chance: 12-18 November marks National Short Story Week!

I’ve always loved reading short stories, but I’ve only recently started writing them myself. To be honest, I was always a bit intimidated by the idea of writing short stories. I love short story authors like Edith Wharton, Henry James, Vladimir Nabokov, Alice Munro and Helen Simpson. It’s one thing to enjoy reading those masters of the short story, but another to try penning them myself.

I actually began thinking about trying it myself when I read Stephen King’s excellent On Writing. By the way, you don’t have to be a Stephen King fan to get a lot out of this book. King suggests taking a pause after finishing a novel and putting it aside to make it appear fresh before returning to it for revisions. He suggested that it’s best to work on short stories for a while, before turning your attention back to the novel.

Pen writingOnce I began writing short stories, I really enjoyed it … and not only as a way to ‘ kill time’  between writing a novel and revising it. When you write longer works, it’s rewarding to be able to focus on a  tiny slice of  life. When you are used to writing novels of 90, 000 -100,000 words, a well-crafted story of 2,000 -3,000 words is a worthy challenge.

I’m so pleased to learn about a week dedicated to focusing on the short story – writing, reading, and listening. On the web site, there are links to short stories available on-line (both written and in audio formats), author interviews, a list of writing contests, and UK-based magazines and journals that accept short stories.

So, lots of resources for you fellow short story writer and readers to explore. Happy Short Story Week!


  1. Do you know I didn’t have a clue about this? I love writing short stories – it’s such a rush. I think they are enjoying a revival in the UK at the moment. Perhaps they’ve always been more appreciated in the States? Not sure. Either way I’m thrilled as my collection is coming out next year!

  2. I know, Catherine. I’m new to it, too. I knew of Short Story Month (in May). Who knew there was a week, too? Lots of nice resources on the site, however, including journals and e-zines of interest to the short story writer. Still looking forward to reading your collection next year!

  3. I have to say, Kimberly, your short stories are excellent. I’ve still been too intimidated to try, but it’s something I’m thinking about. Thanks for all the links!

    • Well, Chantel. I understand perfectly, because I was the same. But I’m sure you would do a great job doing shorts, too! Maybe when you’re between projects… and I’ll look forward to reading the result. : )

  4. Writing a short story intimidates me. Much easier to churn out 100-200K words. It doesn’t make much sense on first blush, until you sit down to write that short story. Every time I’ve tried a novel was the result. Is there a support group for Novelists Anonymous? Or Wordy Writers?

    Once NaNo is done, maybe I’ll try the short story again.

    • Thanks so much for reblogging. I think there are some nice resources on the site for short story writers and those who’d like to start – including contests and journals accepting stories from new writers. And I enjoyed your comment and understand exactly what you’re saying. I also lean towards novels and I know how an idea for a short can balloon into a larger work (which is great!) But sometimes, it’s nice to focus on just one moment in time, or one particular emotion or decision and stay in that moment. And then you have a short story.

      Best of luck with NaNo! Hope to join all of you on the writing marathon next year.

      • I think I’ll try it after NaNo. Maybe a Christmas short story push. Cheers!

  5. Reblogged this on From My Mind to the Page and commented:
    Some of you may be too intimidated to join NaNo and write a whole novel. Have you ever considered a short story? If so, then next week is the week for you. I’ve reblogged an excellent post by Kimberly Sullivan about next week’s National Short Story Week. Read what she has to say about the art and challenge of the short story. She’s posted some awesome links to explore. So it. I dare you. Double dog dare.

  6. Thanks for all the links, Kimberly. Great post. I hope to get to them this week!

  7. Glad you saw this, Julia. Lots of nice ideas for UK-based journals e-zines accepting short stories….

  8. Kim, for me, I always find that the easy way to write a short story is to focus on a scene and a character. I ask myself what I want to happen in the scene and then I free write with a “what if…” Give it a shot, it’s much easier if you think about it that way🙂

  9. […] in November, I wrote a post about National Short Story Week. In that post, I included links to markets for short stories and contests. I also decided to enter […]

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