The Masters Review Blog

Jun 5

Short Story Showcase Recap

May was Short Story Month and we brought the goods. Here is a recap of all the fiction, interviews, and essays we published, each of them dedicated to the short story.

"Summary" handwritten with chalk on a blackboard

Short Story Month

“The Masters Review celebrates writing that works, not what is supposed to work, or taught to work, or what is strictly labeled as a story that ‘works.’ This month we discuss stories that surprise us, from flash fiction, to literary science fiction, to magical realism, and back to the basic Freytag — we applaud the short story, and all the different things it has come to mean.”


Fiction: “The Boy and The Bear” by Blake Kimzey

Interview: Ashley Farmer “For me, the beauty of the short form is this paradox of freedom within constraint.”

Essay: A discussion between editors “It’s so interesting how flash can often focus on a single fictional element: it is all plot, all setting, all interiority — but, more often than not, it tells a full story.”

labelsFiction: Unabomber for President” by Logan Murphy

Interview: Kevin Brockmeier “I would love to see a future in which the distinction between literary and science fiction, mainstream novels and graphic novels, realism, surrealism, and magical realism, has become much more permeable, and books are measured by their vitality, their degree of accomplishment, and the fidelity they pay to their own obsessions rather than by the happenstances of genre.”

Essay: Genre vs Literary “What excites me about the new workshop environment is not only the growing tolerance for works of genre fiction that would previously have been snubbed by students, but the increasing interest in this type of fiction.”

magical realismFiction:Goose” by Theodora Ziolkowski

Interview: Aimee Bender “I like how folk tales are often called old wives tales and so there’s a history of these kinds of storytellings coming, often, from women. Not necessarily old, not necessarily wives, but something, at root, in the feminine.”

Essay: Magical Realism: Our Modern Fairy Tales “Perhaps it is the fairy tale’s latest trick to fool us into thinking that we are the ones reimagining its various incarnations; because all this time it has been the stories themselves, speaking to us, using our modern devices to convey what they want to say.”

basicsFiction:The Orchard” by Matthew Mckenzie Davis

Interview: Steve Almond “My conception of plot is primitive: you basically figure out what your protagonist wants and what they’re afraid of and you push them towards that.”

Essay: An Emotional Response: The Universal Story Structure “Freytag’s story arc has the power to change brain chemistry by appealing to our emotions. However, it is my opinion that all effective stories achieve this regardless of structure.”

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