The short story form defies definition, with the theory, practice, and criticism of short stories in constant flux. Over the last 150 years short story writers and readers have attempted to pin down features of the short form. Length has always been a primary concern, with Edgar Allan Poe stating that a short story could be read in a single sitting. Although debated, brevity remains a leading preoccupation among writers, critics, and publishers. Other shared characteristics of the short story include (but are not restricted or bound by) unity of effect, a small cast, a short time period, limited locations, beginning in media res, depth through brevity, revelation, and resolution.
Delve into the world of short fiction but exploring The Short Story, a leading website with a passion for examining and promoting all forms of short prose fiction.
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Whether you read some of our competition winners, our interviews with established authors, book reviews, or opinion pieces – you’ll soon discover the vitality and extraordinary diversity of short fiction, from both the past and present. We provide insights and opportunities for readers and writers of short stories, flash fiction, and other short prose forms – all with an eye on excellent content and quality style.
Illustration by Clare Hobbs, for the short story ‘Some Place New’ by TSS January Award Winner Santino Prinzi.
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