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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

National (UK) Short Story Week

Just a heads-up to advise that it’s National Short Story Week in the UK 17-23 November.

Maybe National Novel Week will be longer than 7 days?

In my library I’ve got collections of short stories by many of the great writers – that is, those who indulged in the short format. Among them, Somerset Maugham, Katherine Mansfield, Gabriel García Márquez, Alistair Maclean, Jeffery Deaver, Graham Greene, Elizabeth Bowen, Ring Lardner, Roald Dahl, Saki, Noel Coward, John Cheever, Ernest Hemingway, Maupassant, Stephen King and Truman Capote. And I haven’t touched upon the sci-fi and fantasy collection!

One book of short stories is worth getting hold of, if possible: The Story and Its Writer, edited by Ann Charters. My copy’s published 1987. It’s an anthology of the greats from around the world. Each story begins with a lengthy introduction and there are commentaries on several authors plus articles on a brief history of the short story and the elements of fiction.
So-called experts have talked about the death of the short story for years (in a similar fashion to the demise of the western). They’re wrong, of course. Yes, we writers grieve that many of the traditional outlets for stories – notably for adventure tales – seem exceedingly limited. But the online magazines and the rise of the e-readers are causing a worthy resurgence.

So, either why not get writing – or reading?

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