May is one of our favorite months each year because we dedicate all of our content to a celebration of the short story form. This year was no exception. In case you missed any of the literary goodies, here is a quick and easy guide to last month’s content, complete with links. Dive in.
THE SHORT STORY TODAY:
- Our Short Story Showcase started off strong with an essay from founding editor Kim Winternheimer on what it is like to publish a short story collection in today’s literary climate. A gem from the piece: “If we want more stories, if we recognize more stories, there will be more opportunities for short stories to share the spotlight.”
- We were proud to feature “Creation Story” from Katie Chase’s awesome new debut collection Man and Wife, which was released last month.
- We also dove deep into craft and examined the nuts and bolts of fiction writing. We collected a list of five of our favorite craft books, which offer advice on everything from writing fantastic tales to motiving yourself to work through writer’s block.
- Rebecca Makkai contributed an essay on character folding. The first line: “You probably knew, when you started writing, that you’d signed on for murder.”
- C. Michael Curtis, who has been editing fiction for The Atlantic since the sixties, chatted with us about what the publication looks for in submissions, its attitude toward the slush pile, and advice for new writers.
- We spent a week on the study of strange fiction, starting with an interview with the great Kelly Link. Here’s a sneak peak from our chat with her: ““I want to write short stories even when I don’t like writing them.”
- Next, our editors discussed stories with unreal elements and what we love about them.
- Be sure to check out this kickass piece of original fiction by Thomas Pierce, “A Rogue Planet,” about a planet with a face that suddenly appears in our solar system.
STORIES THAT TEACH:
- Last week we took a close look at three different stories for the literary lessons they can teach us. First up: David James Poissant deconstructed “Heaven” by Steven Barthelme.
- Kim Winternheimer took it down to the sentence level in her essay on “Ghosts and Empties” by Lauren Groff.
- Sadye Teiser talked about writing with authority and Aimee Bender’s “The Rememberer.”
Appropriately enough, our Short Story Award for New Writers—which includes publication, over $2000 in prizes and review by multiple agencies—also opened this month. Here’s to a great May, and to continuing to celebrate the short story form all year long.