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.


Recent News on TSS


Abi Hynes reviews Live Literature Event 'Bad Language' and the headliner Lara Williams and her new short story collection 'Treats'
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Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn talks to Clare Reddaway about short fiction and short drama, will insights on the short story as spoken word.
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Charlie Hill, novelist and short story writer, explores those early days when he first began to explore short stories.
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TSS short story competition SHORTLIST announced.
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TSS welcomes Leon Craig to the Award-winning family. Leon has had short stories published in Oxford’s Notes Magazine & Oxford ‘Failed Novelists’ Anthology. Her story ‘Mute Candice’ was recently shortlisted for The White Review Prize 2016.
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The Short Story adds to their growing number of resources with a new Podcasts Page, featuring twenty-five short stories by Sherwood Anderson from his seminal short story collection 'Winesburg, Ohio'.


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.


Latest Illustration

Spider Cup

Illustration by Clare Hobbs, for the short story ‘Some Place New’ by TSS January Award Winner Santino Prinzi. 

If you would like to illustrate for TSS, please contact us.