Keep it Short

Short storyThere seems to be a flurry of affection for the short story of late. Between the inaugural Costa Short Story Award and the revived publicity for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, we’re having a grand love affair with that small and mighty type of writing.

And, following my own advice, this will be a rather brief post … But what is it about short stories that we love so much? Is it the immediacy and urgency that they lend to tale-telling? Or is the idea of something brief and new to add detail to our lives?

The Sunday Times longlist and the Costa shortlist are so full of sparkling names (including one of my favourite authors of all time, Helen Dunmore) that they practically buzz with excitement off the page. In fact, it’s not only inspired me to read them all (an easier job than attempting to read the long- and shortlists for the big novel prizes), but I am also inspired to write more short stories. After all – I began writing short stories before I discovered poetry and novels. You may even be seeing more short stories on the blog!

What are your feelings about short stories?

Have you ever written one and will you try now?

Sunday Times EFG Private Bank short story award longlist
Caroline Adderson – Erection Man
Junot Diaz – Miss Lora
Helen Dunmore – Spotted Dick
Adam Foulds – Tunnelling
Mark Haddon – The Gun
Sarah Hall – Evie
Cynan Jones – The Dig
Philomena Kearney Byrne – Honda Fifty
Toby Litt – Call it ‘The Bug’ Because I Have No Time to Think of a Better Title
Belinda McKeon – Eyes on Me, Eyes on You
Mark McNay – Ten Years Too Late
C D Rose – Arkady Who Couldn’t See and Artem Who Couldn’t Hear
Ali Smith – The Beholder
Graham Swift – I Live Alone
Claire Vaye Watkins – Rondine al Nido
Samuel Wright – Best Friend

Costa Short Story Award shortlist
Small Town Removal by Guy le Jeune
Millie and Bird by Avril Joy
Dislocation by Sheila Llewellyn
Trompette de la Mort by Chioma Okereke
Don’t Try This at Home by Angela Readman
Mown Grass by Salley Vickers

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