Short books are great for when you’re traveling, waiting in line,need a read during your lunch break or just want to read something quickly.
A short book is a book that can be read in less than six hours. Most of the time, the books themselves are 200 pages or less and they don’t take long to complete at all.
Keep in mind though, they aren’t necessarily easy reads and most of the time you’ll find yourself thinking about them after finishing them.
A short book is anything less than 200 pages. It can be shocking to see such a small number when you think about how many pages there are in most paperback novels.
However, with so many books being published these days, it’s likely that if you go into a bookstore and just browse around, you’ll only find the bestsellers or books that are at least 300 pages, which will take you a lot more than one hour and thirty minutes to read.
Make sure you keep an eye out for short books when looking for something to read because they’re getting harder and harder to find.
You can ask your local bookstore if they have a list of the shorter books that are available, or you can check online. There’s going to be a variety of lists there for people who love short stories, and why not try one out?
Short stories give you a little taste before deciding whether or not you want to invest in the longer version later on.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (99 pages): A classic that’s sure to be a quick read.
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (100 pages) : Another book that you probably heard about at some point in school. It takes less than an hour to complete if you read quickly.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (100 pages) : A wonderful book about millionaires, love and deception. A must read.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (190 pages): Holden Caulfield is one of those characters that you’re going to remember long after reading this book.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (309 pages) : A touching book about two boys growing up in Afghanistan. It’s a lovely read that will make you think twice about the world we live in today.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (162 pages): Another classic that you can’t go wrong with.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (156 pages) : This dystopian society might just give you nightmares.
1984 by George Orwell (176 pages) : Another dystopian book that is hauntingly disturbingly. It’s a classic and you can’t go wrong with it.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (95 pages) : A wonderful story about a horse and the people who love him. Read it, you won’t regret it!
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (95 pages) : A lovely little story that you can finish in a couple of hours.
Short books are fun and a great way to get entranced by the beautiful words of literature. Why not try one out today?
Some short books are free online, but others cost about the same as a regular paperback.
For example, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is 9.99 on Amazon and The Old Man and the Sea costs between $10 – $15.
If you want to buy something that costs less than ten dollars, be sure to check out the bargain bin at the bookstore. You just might find something that you love and that’s a steal!
There’s not really anything special that you need to know before reading a short book, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
It can be easy to get lost in reading them, so try your best to stop after an hour and thirty minutes if you have other things that you need to be doing.
You might struggle with finishing a short book because it’s just too easy to get into reading them. It can almost feel like cheating!
You should keep the length of the book in mind when reading it. For example, if you’re looking for something quick to read during your lunch break, don’t choose a book that’s over 300 pages.
You might find yourself wishing that the short stories had more detail or were longer because you enjoy them so much!
It can be easy to struggle with finishing a short book because you don’t want it to end.
Short books are a great way to get into the short story world and discover new authors that you love!
You can usually find some shorter stories on your favorite author’s website, or on Amazon. If they’re not there, then check around at the bookstore and see if they have anything that you might like.
If you know of any other great places to find short books, feel free to let us know in the comments below!
Short stories: There are lots of different types of short stories out there, but one type is called a short story series. Short story series are a series of short stories that all take place in the same universe and have overlapping characters, plots, etc.
Here is a list of some short story series:
Other shorter series: There are a lot of different series out there that aren’t as long as a normal series, but they are still series.
Here is a list of some other shorter series that are worth checking out:
Short books if you like Harry Potter: If you’ve read the Harry Potter series and loved it, then there are some short book series that might interest you.
Here they are:
If you’ve read the Hunger Games and enjoyed it, then there are some short book series that might interest you.
Here they are:
Of course, there are so many other great authors and books out there, so you might find some of those interesting as well.
Here is a list of some short book series that we think that you’ll enjoy:
There are a lot of different short books that have poems inside them.
Here is a list of some that we recommend:
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (192 pages) – This book has around 60 poems, most of which are very short, but there are some longer ones as well.
Poems for the Dead by Alan P. Scott (52 pages) Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (160 pages) – This book has one very long poem that takes up most of the pages, but there are some shorter poems within the text too.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (217 pages) – This book has multiple short chapters that are written in letter form. It’s not really a book club book, but it does have some themes that might be interesting to discuss.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (137 pages) – This book is mainly composed of letters and conversations between the characters, so it’s a little easier to get through than most books.
It has some dark themes that might be good for discussion.
I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis (9 books) – The first book is called “I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941” Spirit Animals Series by various authors (5 books) – The first book is called “Wild Born”
Geronimo Stilton Series by Geronimo Stilton (27 books) – The first book is called “Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt” A to Z Mysteries Series by Ron Roy (26 books) – The first book is called “The Wrong Side of the Law”
There are some great short books in the Bible as well.
Here is a list of some that we recommend:
Job – The entire book is one very long poem about a man who loses absolutely everything and his journey to find out why. There are some themes for discussion, but mostly it’s just a really interesting story.
There is no real main character in this book, so it’s less about the actual story and more about the themes themselves.
The entire book is only 42 chapters long (or verses), so you can read it in one or two days!
Psalms – The entire book is one very long poem with 150 different poems inside of it. It’s basically just a list of praises and complaints, so it doesn’t really have any human characters or story line.
There are no chapters either, so you can read one poem at a time whenever you want!
There are many awesome short chapter books that you can read if you want to find ones that are shorter than the Harry Potter series.
Here is a list of some awesome ones:
There are a lot of mysteries that you can read under 200 pages, so we’ll list some of our favorites below:
The Cat Who… Series by Lilian Jackson Braun (22 books) – There are around 30 short chapters per book and they all focus on getting to know the different characters. Each mystery is solved in one or two chapters, so the stories are all pretty quick.
The Hardy Boys Series by various authors (129 books) – There are around 25 short chapters per book and each mystery is solved in one or two chapters.
If you’re just learning how to read for the first time, then it’s best to find books with fewer than 100 pages.
Some of our favorite short children’s stories are:
The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper (32 pages) – This is actually one long poem about a train that makes it over a mountain. It’s abo ut believing in yourself and trying your best, so it’s a great lesson for everyone to learn.
The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff (32 pages) – This is the first book in the Babar series and it’s all about how Babar goes from being King of the Elephants to finally conquering his fears. It’s all about conquering your fears, so it’s really great for everyone to learn.
Every Living Thing by James Herriot (94 pages) – This is the first book in the Herriot series and it’s all about how James learns to become a vet. It’s also just about animals in general, so there’s not really a story line.
There are some awesome short children’s book series that we think you’ll enjoy:
There are around 10 or 12 chapters per book and there’s a new mystery in each one too, so they’ll definitely keep you on your toes!
If you’re looking for some new reading material, here are a few short books worth checking out. These quick reads provide rich insights in an easy-to-digest format. From leadership to relationships and everything in between, these stories have something for everyone! Check them out today on Amazon or your favorite bookstore.
If you are looking for short story ideas, this blog post will give you some inspiration. We have compiled a list of short stories with different themes that may appeal to your tastes. Find the perfect one for your next reading adventure!
Let’s dive deeper into what short stories ideas are out there.
Have you ever thought about writing your life story but felt daunted by the task? Think about those pivotal moments in your life that have changed you as a person and how they shaped you into the person you are today. You can wrote these into a series of short stories or one full blown book, it’s up to you!
I’m sure there are a few things you’ve gone through in your life that would make for an interesting read.
Think back to when you were a child and the funny, quirky things only children do. When I think about it, I have so many memories that I wish I could relive just one more time.
I remember my first day of school, the first time I rode a bike all by myself and how terrified I was at the prospect of going to high school.
Thinking about these moments is bringing back so many memories that honestly, I’d love to have them written down for me to look back on again in years to come.
There are some topics out there that have been written about so often, you may struggle to come up with enough new ideas to write a short story.
Instead of trying something completely different, why not think about writing a short story based on an idea that has already been done?
Let’s say that your favorite topic is cats, get out some pencils or open up your word processing program and start writing.
Don’t be afraid to abandon the story if something better comes along while you’re writing it. If you can come up with new ideas on what might happen next, great! Write them down and save them for later drafts. I
f not, don’t worry about it and just go with what comes naturally.
Writing a short story doesn’t have to be long and winded like the great classics of literature such as War and Peace, Moby Dick or The Hunchback of Notre Dame (all super long books that I have no intention of reading).
There are actually competitions out there that only accept stories under 500 words. Why not take a chance on creating something unique in just a few words? You can do it!
One popular type of short story is the twist ending. You should try to come up with a twist ending so mind bending that your readers won’t see it coming from a mile away.
It should leave them feeling as though you have cheated them out of an opportunity to solve the mystery themselves.
A good twist ending should leave the reader thinking about why they didn’t work it out beforehand and hopefully questioning what they think is true.
If you live in the middle of nowhere, your favorite place might be at home because everywhere you go is like your favorite place.
I’m moving to Cabarita Beach this month and my favorite destination thus far has been Bangalow, NSW.
Writing a story based on your favorite place should be easy because you know it so well. Make sure you include every little detail that makes this place unique to you or else your readers may think it’s not your favorite place at all.
Still need more ideas? Here’s more short stories ideas generator
Food is a popular topic in literature and, as such, it’s no wonder that many writers have tried their hand at writing stories about food.
Just think about some of your favorite foods and let your imagination run wild! If you’re feeling stuck, why not try writing a story from the point of view of a food item?
You can make it humorous or heartfelt – either way should be interesting to read.
I used to work at an Italian restaurant where my coworker would always use song lyrics as topics of conversation while we were serving our customers. I noticed that people would stop and listen to her whenever she wanted to share a lyric but as soon as she finished saying what she had to say, they would walk away again.
This seemed like something that could be turned into a short story so I started jotting down song lyrics about love lost and found. Just be careful about copyright laws though.
If you’re struggling to come up with an idea, why not try writing a story based on your memories of childhood?
Think about some of the things that happened during your youth and let them inspire you to write something new.
You could even use fictional characters in these real life events if you wanted to or create some entirely new event. Anything goes!
The world is filled with many mysteries, but the biggest mystery of all (at least to me) is how people can see the earth as a tiny ball spinning through space when you are standing on it!
This would be an interesting topic for anyone who loves science fiction or just wants to have some fun with their imagination.
I’ve always thought that my wallet was like a miniature city in itself because of all the compartments and pockets within it.
There’s one pocket for my credit cards, another for my business cards, one for my notes, one for my coins and so on. Each of these items had their own story to tell if we could just open them up and listen!
You can do the same with any object that you use every day – your keys, glasses or even refrigerator magnets.
If you’re feeling a little sappy, why not try writing a story about love and romance? It doesn’t have to be traditional in any way. You can write from your point of view or that of your favorite fictional character; you can write something new or create something based on an existing idea (such as Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”).
Everyone has something that scares them – haunted houses, the dark…even social situations sometimes. Think of what terrifies you the most and try to work it into a short story or perhaps even a novel! You can take inspiration from other stories if you want – perhaps your idea will be the next great horror story.
A child’s mind is something that needs to be protected because it is so young and pure, but it can also inspire some great stories. For example, you could write about the innocence of childhood with your own characters or by writing a story from the point of view of one of your favorite fictional children.
Have you ever been so wrapped up in a book that the character’s adventures seemed to come alive? I’m sure we’ve all experienced this at some point and it would be fun to write about something similar!
You could even include other elements from your life or just have a little fun with your imagination. Just imagine what you could write about!
The world is a harsh place and as we grow older, we lose things as well as gain new ones – old friends who move away or die, relationships that end and sometimes we even lose hope or faith in something we once believed in.
You can write about these losses and introduce new characters to find hope again (or perhaps show how they’ve changed due to this). Short stories ideas
When we were children, there were always things that scared us – monsters under the bed or in the closet, ghosts hiding in dark corners…the list goes on.
Think of your favorite things to be afraid of and write a short story about them! You can even include other elements from your childhood such as toys, friends etc.
When we’re young, we often take our family for granted because they are just always there – but that changes as we grow older. We often move away for work or school and sometimes, family members become ill or pass on.
Write about the love between family and friends with your own characters or by writing a story from the point of view of one of your favorite fictional children.
Every day, people go to school, work or even just lounge around at home – but what are their goals and dreams? You could write a short story about someone who has just been accepted into the college of their choice, achieved the career they’ve always wanted…or perhaps meet up with an old friend to find out how they’ve changed since high school.
Children’s books can be inspiring for people of all ages. If you’re looking to write something new, perhaps try your hand at creating a short story with simpler language and more illustrations than usual! You could even adapt an idea or character you’ve seen elsewhere.
Everyone knows that Mother Earth is something we should be protecting instead of destroying.
Write about how nature is our friend and it’ll always help us if we let it or perhaps you could write a story where the main character has to find the balance between nature and modern technology.
The world is full of unfortunate people who are abused or taken advantage of by others – but this is not right.
Perhaps you could write a story about an unfortunate person whose life improves after meeting someone special…or perhaps the main character finally stands up to their abuser.
Short stories are a great way to keep yourself entertained and learning new things. We hope that you enjoyed these short story excerpts, as well as the analysis of them. It was our pleasure to share this information with you! Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time on The Short Reads.
If you want to publish short stories, there are many different ways to do so. You can submit them for publication in literary magazines or with publishing houses that specialize in shorter works. Short story collections are also a way to get your work out into the world and increase your chances of being discovered by an agent or publisher who might like what they see. So where should you publish? Read on!
1. The best places to publish short stories
2. Pros and cons of each place
3. What you should consider before publishing your story
4. Do your research before deciding where to publish your story
5. How much does it cost to publish a short story online, in print, or both
6. Tips for writing a great short story that will get published!
There are many places to publish short stories. Some pay, others do not, but every one of them is an opportunity for you to get your work read, reviewed, and discussed by critics and readers alike.
The New Yorker has published some of the most celebrated works in America since its inception in 1925.
If you get a story published there, it will be read and talked about for years to come. In addition to publishing work from some of the most celebrated writers alive today, they also accept submissions from emerging authors.
They have a rigorous selection process that takes place throughout the month so you need to expect a long wait before hearing back from them—if you are accepted, you will be asked to join their contributor’s stable.
The pay is good too at $200 for original fiction.
Tin House is a small literary magazine that accepts stories, flash fictions, and novel excerpts from emerging writers who have not yet been published in any other major magazines or book publishers.
They pay $100 for short stories and up to 3,000 words, as well as publishing a number of flash fictions per year.
They also feature emerging novelists on their website from time to time. You can find many Tin House contributors’ work in other magazines as a result of being published here first.
The Paris Review is one of the most famous literary magazines in America. It features stories and poems from emerging and established writers alike, as well as book reviews and interviews with prominent figures in literature such as Salman Rushdie and Junot Diaz.
Their pay scale for fiction is $0.25 per word up to a maximum of $250 (sold to one of their many international publishing partners). You can expect to hear back from them within 6-8 weeks.
Ploughshares is another of the most respected literary magazines in America, thanks to its New England pedigree and circulation at prestigious universities around the country.
They pay $50 per printed page up to a maximum of $300 for first time authors and offer a generous discount to return contributors.
They publish a number of poems as well as short stories, but their selection process is notoriously slow—you can expect to wait around 9 months to hear back from them if you’re accepted.
The New York Times magazine recently announced a short fiction contest open to all writers, with the winner receiving $15,000 and publication in the magazine.
There is no hard word count for this contest but they want stories between 2-5 pages in length (about 1200-1800 words). This is an excellent opportunity for emerging authors who lack a literary agent or book publisher to get their work published.
Playboy, like The New Yorker, is an iconic fixture in American culture and literature (after all, they featured short stories by Jack Kerouac and Haruki Murakami).
They pay $3000 per story for original fiction—which is more than most book publications will offer you!
They also feature several short stories per year—both original works and reprints of popular stories from other magazines.
If you are one of the few authors who make their final round, your story will be forwarded to Playboy’s editors for consideration.
The New York Times is another publication that offers a short fiction contest for emerging writers, but the contest is open to all writers over 18 years of age (no matter where you live).
The winner receives $15,000 and publication in the New York Times Magazine. They also offer a number of opportunities for published authors to write short pieces for them as well–which will pay $300-$1000 depending on how long they are.
Tin House has one of the quickest response times from submission to acceptance or rejection, but their pay scale is relatively low compared to other magazines on this list.
The Paris Review gets a little more complicated because they have a strict 3 month wait time before you can submit again and they only accept submissions through an agent or by post—which means you have to physically mail your story to them if you aren’t a US citizen.
Ploughshares tends to have a much longer wait time but they pay the highest rate of all the magazines on this list ($50 per printed page) as well as offering a generous discount for reprints and first-timers.
The New York Times magazine offers a wonderful opportunity for emerging writers to get their work published but they only accept submissions through an agent or by post (so it’s not open to everyone).
Playboy is one of the best paying markets on this list, but you must be over 18 (no matter where you live) and be willing to write under your real name.
The New York Times is also a wonderful opportunity for emerging writers to get their stories published but they only accept submissions through an agent or by post (so it’s not open to everyone). The pay scale isn’t as high as Playboy but you have better odds of being accepted.
A place only accepting submissions from agents or by post makes me nervous because that means they don’t want your work to be judged by anyone other than their editors. This makes me think that maybe the pay isn’t worth it–and you’re only wasting your time if you take the risk.
The acceptance rate for The Paris Review is well below 1% and Tin House is only slightly better. If you’re trying to get your story in print for the first time, you probably shouldn’t start with either of these magazines.
I would recommend sending your story to less competitive markets if it’s been rejected or ignored by 5 other places before sending it to Tin House or The Paris Review.
1). That you are not on the list of finalists for another publication (no matter how little money they pay) until after the contest is over.
2). That your story will be printed anonymously if it makes the final round and published in the New Yorker, Playboy, or The Paris Review.
3). That the editors reserve the right to publish your story online or use it for any other purpose that may arise in the future (including publishing it again in another magazine without notifying you).
5). The specific rights they are purchasing (worldwide English, digital, post-print…etc)
6). If you can submit again if you are unsuccessful the first time.
7). How soon after they are notified of their finalist status they must submit their story.
8). If your story will be forwarded for consideration for any other publications or part of a contest that is still accepting submissions.
9). What happens to your submission if you withdraw it from consideration.
I know what you’re thinking. “I don’t want to miss out on getting my story published!”
But honestly, even though each of these magazines all have one or more things going for them than the others–they all cost you time and effort if they reject your work.
There is also no guarantee that the other finalist stories won’t be picked over yours and you won’t win the contest.
It may seem like a no-brainer that if your story is selected as a finalist then it must be the best of the bunch but that isn’t necessarily true. Editors often like to shake things up and pick stories outside of the genres they usually publish (like choosing a nonfiction story in a fiction contest).
There is no harm in submitting your work to more than one publication at once or waiting until you get an acceptance before publishing–as long as you don’t tell the other publishers that’s what you’re doing.
So…if you can wait and if it doesn’t cost anything to submit, there’s no reason not to send your story out as many times as you want.
Just remember, the more places you try and publish your work, the longer it’s going to take to see if it gets published anywhere.
If you’re lucky, free.
It’s possible to get published for nothing but it may take a lot of time and effort. Self-publishing is great because then you don’t have to pay the fees that publishing magazines charge or worry about being paid by anyone.
You can always try to sell your self-published work later if you don’t want to do the work yourself.
If you’re not sure how much it will cost, just ask–the worst they can say is “no.”
Tips for writing a great short story that will get published!
Tip #1: Don’t write about sex, drugs, or rock and roll. Think literary fiction or a literary memoir.
Tip #2: Write something that doesn’t have an obvious moral lesson. Anti-heroes are cool but not as cool as ambiguous endings. If you can avoid it, don’t have your character learning a life lesson at the end.
Tip #3: No narrators, no dialogue tags, and minimal action. A really good way to avoid a plot is to have a first-person account of someone going on a walk. Memories are great too–because they can’t really do anything except remember something that happened to them in the past.
Tip #4: A great way to make your story longer is to have it be about nothing. A lot of people do this by making the setting more important than the actual characters or action in a story. Since characterization is really hard, you can trick readers into thinking they’re getting a well-developed character by having them interact with lots of objects and places.
Tip #5: No poetry! Poetry is something you read at a reading (see above) and it’s not really considered “literature.” If you write in verse, most publishers will print it but they’ll stick your name in the fine print somewhere and none of the cool kids will know that it’s yours.
Tip #6: Make sure your story is under 2,500 words long. There are some magazines that might publish up to 3,000 words but honestly–anything over that and you’re just wasting trees.
Tip #7: If you write about death or class issues, make it really easy on everyone involved–including yourself–by not going into any detail. All you need is a quote from a dead guy and a token person of color or some kind of “outsider.”
Tip #8: No humorous stories! Humor isn’t really taken seriously so if you’re trying to get serious literary cred, skip the jokes.
Tip #9: Most short story contests aren’t worth entering. You can win a contest and it won’t get your work published at all or you can get a publication to buy your story for money–and that’s the only place they’ll publish it. S
ome small magazines might include a contest as part of their submission process but none of them are big enough to get you anything more than bragging rights.
Tip #10: If someone says that they don’t want to publish your story because it isn’t right for their magazine, that doesn’t mean they hate you and/or your writing–just take it as a compliment and send it off somewhere else.
There are many places to publish short stories, and it’s up to you which one is best.
But for the sake of time and effort, we recommend publishing your story on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Wattpad or Scrivener.
These sites enable you to write a story in chunks while still keeping an audience engaged with new episodes; they also offer detailed analytics that will help you see what parts of the story resonate most with readers. If you’re not ready to self-publish yet, there are plenty of other options out there – just do some research first!
We’ve outlined the best print options for you above. Check them out
Within 6 hours, The Decoder, hit #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle Short Reads.
Here’s what C T Mitchell said
For those not familiar with this Australian mystery thriller bestselling author, here, part of Chapter 1 of The Decoder
The city was quiet at the crack of dawn. The suburbs were relatively normal with just the flicker of the orange sun over the trees. Children were rousing from their slumber waking to a new day. Los Angeles was a bustle of activity but this one moment of solitude was something many didn’t have.
Tanya considered herself one of the lucky ones. Emily was her only child, perfect in her eyes but sometimes she could get on her last nerve. The constant demand of motherhood wasn’t uncommon but she was trying to juggle a career and a life at home at the same time. It wasn’t easy doing it alone, frazzled and hanging by a thread of her sanity but somehow, she persevered.
She was standing mesmerized by the laundry in the basement of her apartment building. It was spinning hypnotically. She didn’t put herself out there afraid of what most men wanted and how far they were willing to go to get it.
Being invisible had its advantages and she tried to stay below the radar in a job that had her working her fingers to the bone. It meant sacrifice and sometimes her daughter fell through the cracks despite her best efforts. She was 8-years-old with an opinion about everything.
Dressed casually in a tight pair of jeans and baggy dark sweater didn’t exactly flatter her figure. Her hair was up in curlers but she was relatively sure her quiet paradise would not be disturbed. What she wasn’t expecting was a male voice clearing his throat.
“I’m sorry and my intention was not to scare you. I live across the street.” William proffered his hand and was summarily rebuffed with a cautious eye of disapproval.
He always depended on his charm and seductive blue eyes to make any woman feel comfortable in his presence. It was the first time he couldn’t find the right words to encourage a friendly banter.
Her diminutive stature and beguiling green eyes caught him off guard. He was hovering over her with the scent of her perfume heavy in the air. It was sweet and high intoxicating. It was making him light-headed and dizzy. It wasn’t what he was expecting.
Tanya was subtle about the way she roamed her eyes up and down his masculine form. She loved tall men and he was quite compelling in the way he looked at her. She couldn’t stop thinking about how it had been too long since she had been satisfied beyond words. Her skin became clammy and her pulse raced a little bit faster. The white t-shirt was bulging with his muscles threatening to tear through the fabric with the slightest movement.
To continue reading The Decoder, click here getbook.at/thedecoder
Australia doesn’t have many publicly acknowledged Mafia Don’s or families.
We fall a long way short of our American cousins. The Gotti’s, Gambino’s and the movie famous Corleone’s are familiar names to most punters.
In Australia our ‘bad’ families keep a quiet profile avoiding the limelight most of the time except if you are part of the Williams family (not very Italian sounding I know) who go on a shooting spree every now and then.
In Sydney the supreme title goes to the Ibrahim family. Their patriarch is John Ibrahim, owner of strip cubs in the once notorious Kings Cross. These days the Cross is becoming a trendy redevelopment area and the brothels are moving a few streets back.
But John is still the pin up boy of the ‘Sydney Mafia’. So much so he’s been invited by the Sydney Crime Writers Festival to present Australia’s highest crime literary wards at this year’s Ned Kelly Awards.
And this is where I got the chance to be up close but no personal with this crime enigma. Here’s what I learned from Mr. John Ibrahim.
What length is a story is short? It sounds like a brain teaser, but the question is asked by many aspiring short story writers – what is the right length for my short story?
Of course, the answer will be different depending on the author, the story and the intended publication. But even though there isn’t a single solution to creating the perfect story length, there are a few consistent ways to decide how long a short story should be.
A short story is a work of fiction that is relatively quick to read. That’s about the only thing that is set in stone – while most short stories focus on a single plot line, with few characters, through a short space of time, other short stories might be more complicated.
Authors might use a short story format to explore an interesting character, or to quickly set up a world for a storyline to play out. Short stories come in a wide range of genres, although some genres are more popular for short stories than others.
More than the length or genre, the most important part of a short story is the impression it has on the reader in a short amount of time. The author has to find the sweet spot between carefully choosing their words and telling a meaningful, impacting story that will stay with the reader.
Of course, there are many opinions on the correct word counts for each classification of story length – however, the following types of story length are based on generally accepted word counts:
There is a very famous piece of microfiction attributed to Ernest Hemingway – legend has it that in order to win a bet, he wrote a story using only six words:
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
Microfiction (sometimes called microflash) is extremely difficult to write well, but there is a market for this story length. Publishers can easily fit microfiction onto a page, making it desirable for some publications.
Flash fiction delivers humour, romance or fantasy in a bite-sized story. Often found in magazines and online publications, flash fiction is a snapshot of a story that can be included on a page and quickly consumed by the reader.
The most common word count for a short story falls within this range. Each publication will have its own preference, but 7,500 words is a widely accepted upper limit. That being said, others consider any work less than 10,000 words to be a short story.
Once an author exceeds 10,000 words, they have left the “short story” grouping and are creating a novelette (7,500 to 25,000 words), a novella (10,000 to 70,000 words) or a novel (50,000 words or more). Each of these word lengths have their own strengths and weaknesses, but they are unlikely to achieve the convenient length and punchy impact of a short story.
Obviously, there’s a lot of leeway in how long a story can be and still classify as a short story – a work of 500 words and another of 7,500 words are both short stories, but are likely to be very different.
There are other factors to think about in order to decide the right length for a storyline. Some aspects to consider when deciding the right length are:
But ultimately, the story should be as long as it needs to be – no more, no less.
If the short story isn’t specifically written with a publishing destination in mind, it might be helpful to keep it on the shorter side to increase its appeal.
Publishers and competitions will almost always have submission guidelines available, and the word count is an important factor that decides whether or not a story will make the cut.
Modern readers are often time poor and reading on mobile devices, so a short story that is gripping but can be quickly consumed is likely to find a wide audience.
The most basic definition of a short story is a work of fiction that is between 500 to 7,500 words long, but there are many other factors that can influence the exact number of words included in a short story.
Short stories have to keep the attention of their readers. They have to fit in well with the publication they are destined for, meeting word counts and other criteria. They have to leave an impression on their readers. And of course, they have to be worth reading.
If a story is well told, it will have appeal regardless of the length. Creating a short story is an excellent way to provide readers with an easily consumable piece of fiction that draws them in and leaves an impression.
Really, the perfect short story length is however long it takes to accomplish that feat.
In a world of 7 billion people there are possibly 3.5 billion pricks. One thing is for sure there are 7 billion arseholes.
The trick for us is to determine who isn’t a prick or arsehole in order to live a better life.
Here’s my observations and lessons I’ve learned.
Are Short Stories Popular? You bet they are. They are loved by both veracious and non readers and allow the writer to hone his/her craft. Out attention is small – short stories fill the need.
Short stories remain popular because they can using be read in a single sitting.
Veracious reads love short stories as do non-readers wanting to get into reading.
Fiction short stories are the most popular particularly in the large genres of romance and crime fiction.
Are short stories popular?
Who reads short stories?
What short stories are read most?
Short stories remain popular because they can using be read in a single sitting.
Veracious reads love short stories as do non-readers wanting to get into reading.
Fiction short stories are the most popular particularly in the large genres of romance and crime fiction.
There was a time when good writers could make an extraordinary income from short stories, and often even full-length novels were published piece-by-piece in major publications.
Times have changed, but are short stories popular still? This type of writing has had a slight lapse in popularity, but with today’s modern lifestyle short stories are becoming more important than ever.
Short Story Authors
While great novelists can write short stories and vice versa, confining a story to a limited number of words (normally under 7,500) and keeping the writing compelling takes a very special set of skills.
As a direct result of the limited word count, authors must make every sentence count. That makes for a more defined purpose for the story, and therefore a more precise delivery.
They must be attention-grabbing and have a satisfying conclusion, while still drawing readers to come back for more.
For the author with many ideas, it’s a great opportunity to turn out a number of stories and to see which ones perform well.
Writing many stories at a time is fantastic practice, and it hones important skills like developing characters and improving dialogue.
Short stories might bring in less money per piece, but the author is able to finish them much more quickly.
Many of the most famous authors started out writing short stories, or began writing after their major novels took off – George R.R. Martin, Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Roald Dahl and Jane Austen are just a very few names from an extremely long list.
Many writing courses also prefer writers to create short stories instead of excerpts from longer works.
Why Short Stories?
Short stories are a quick window into a world, and readers generally come in cold with little understanding of what to expect.
The author has a very short window in which to grab their attention, introduce them to the world, create a storyline, and finish in a way that leaves readers keen for the next story from that author.
Because of the format, authors can jump into wildly different worlds, without the concentrated effort of creating context and world-building that usually applies.
The same goes for characters – readers are devoid of expectations, allowing authors to create quirky, memorable characters with pared down dialogue that advances the story.
Short stories allow authors to push boundaries, and to trial ideas that would be difficult in a novel. Cliff-hangers are common, and the reader understands that they are just peering through a window to see a quick flash of a story, with the implied understanding of a whole other world to explore and consider long after the story is finished.
Practically, short stories are a quick escape, easy to finish in comparison to a full-length novel. Short stories are not only popular, they are ideally suited to modern readers.
Why Do Modern Readers Choose Short Stories?
Of course, full-length novels are a “safer” option. There isn’t as much pressure to perform as well in such a short space of time, and readers feel like they are getting their money’s worth.
Printed publications are declining, some of which were traditionally a source of short stories. However, short stories are still popular, and with modern times come modern reasons for readers to choose a shorter option. Here are some reasons why short stories are popular.
American fiction (and short story) writer Lorrie Moore says, “A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage.
A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.” There will always be beauty in all forms of writing, but is it true that modern times can continue to keep short stories popular? In this fast-paced age, it could be that this type of storytelling is more adapted to society than ever before.
Are short stories popular? You bet – YES!
The best short stories can can be intoxicating but a best short story collection can completely engulf your life. You start off with a short story over lunch. It seems harmless enough. You can knock back your ham and salad sandwich on rye while escaping through the fast paced words of a short piece or novella, soaking up the sun in your city’s lush green park. All seems very innocent.
Then you become engrossed in the story. You quickly devour the 1000 word piece or scramble through the 10,000 word novella. The author hooks you. Worse still you become addicted. You’re looking for the next short read by your new escape artist. Damn your alarm buzzes and it’s back to work. Your anxiety levels rise. It’s 24 hours to your next lunch break.
Then utopia hits. There’s a train ride home tonight. You need another fix but just one short story won’t feed your addiction. You’re on the train for an hour. You don’t want to look like a crazy person on the subway (although you may fir in) so you hit Amazon during your afternoon tea break.
Whola! You discover your author friend has a series and his short sties are available in the best short story collection 2018. With one click you hit buy. Your stress levels drop and you spend the rest of the afternoon in anticipation of a great train ride home that night.
So what’s in the best short story collection 2018 that’s going to rock your world:
In “Deep Down,” Reacher tracks down a spy by matching wits with four formidable females—three of whom are clean, but the fourth may prove fatal.Rounding out the collection are “Guy Walks into a Bar,” “James Penney’s New Identity,”
“Everyone Talks,” “The Picture of the Lonely Diner,” “Maybe They Have a Tradition,” and “No Room at the Motel.”No suitcase. No destination. No middle name. No matter how far Reacher travels off the beaten path, trouble always finds him. Feel bad for trouble.
Dead Wrong – Society is broken when trust is broken. A 30 year old secret reveals the shocking truth.
Dead Boss – A narcissistic boss – thought he could take whatever he wanted. But not everyone agreed
Dead Stakes – A Malaysian casino tycoon, a greedy property developer and a dead chef. What’s the connection
Dead Lucky – Winning Lotto can be deadly
Dead Silence – Hookers, drugs and a dead Mayor. The a video tape surfaces
Enjoy these top-rated mystery-thriller books FREE as part of your Kindle Unlimited Prime Subscription. You can read the ebooks on your Amazon Kindle Fire, on a computer via Kindle Cloud Reader or on any smartphone or tablet with the free Kindle reading app. The best short story collection continues.
3.The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Refugees is a collection of perfectly formed stories exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family.The stories were written over a period of twenty years by Viet Thanh Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American novelist and short-story writer, the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.In the collection we follow a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, and a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will.
4.The Collected Stories By Jean Rhys
Jean Rhys was a Dominican-born British writer who was better known for her longer works, especially her novel Wide Sargasso Sea which she wrote as a prequel to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. This new Penguin edition collects all of her stories – stories in which she deals with diverse but almost exclusively sombre topics such as suicide, alcoholism, loneliness, lovelessness and poverty.
The stories span several geographical as well as thematic frontiers – wherever her characters go they find little but callous characters in impersonal cities where women are ignored or maligned, expected to “grow another skin or two” and “sharpen” their “claws” if they want to get on. Among the more solemn of recent short story collections, this book fully exhibits Rhys’s extraordinary talent for prose without which these sullen stories would be unreadable.
5.Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
Multiple award winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman returns to dazzle, captivate, haunt, and entertain with this third collection of short fiction following
Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things—which includes a never-before published American Gods story, “Black Dog,” written exclusively for this volume.In this new anthology, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath.
Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction—stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013—as well “Black Dog,” a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection.
Trigger Warning explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them to reveal our vulnerabilities and our truest selves. Here is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explore the realm of experience and emotion. In Adventure Story—a thematic companion to The Ocean at the End of the Lane—Gaiman ponders death and the way people take their stories with them when they die. His social media experience A Calendar of Tales are short takes inspired by replies to fan tweets about the months of the year—stories of pirates and the March winds, an igloo made of books, and a Mother’s Day card that portends disturbances in the universe.
Gaiman offers his own ingenious spin on Sherlock Holmes in his award-nominated mystery tale The Case of Death and Honey. And Click-Clack the Rattlebag explains the creaks and clatter we hear when we’re all alone in the darkness.A sophisticated writer whose creative genius is unparalleled, Gaiman entrances with his literary alchemy, transporting us deep into the realm of imagination, where the fantastical becomes real and the everyday incandescent. Full of wonder and terror, surprises and amusements,
Trigger Warning is a treasury of delights that engage the mind, stir the heart, and shake the soul from one of the most unique and popular literary artists of our day.
6.Brides of Grasshopper Creek by Faith
Book 1: Mail Order Bride Hannah: Hannah is thrilled to finally be on her way to the Frontier. She and her new husband Bradley have been planning this trip for as long as they have been planning their lives together it seems, and now that they’ve left Independence, Missouri on the wagon train west, it appears that all of their dreams are coming true.Within just a few short weeks of leaving, however, the harsh realities of life on the wagon train strike Hannah hard and she is forced to realize that the adventure she envisioned with Bradley is not at all what it seemed. Will Hannah overcome hardship when her adventure out west takes a tragic turn for the worse?
Book 2: Mail Order Bride Caroline: The Lord guides Caroline to an ad in the newspaper from a gold miner in Bannack who is searching for a lovely woman to become his bride. Soon, she joins the wagon train and anxiously makes the journey out west to start her new life.When she arrives, however, she discovers that the man she chose may not be the man she thought he was. She must decide where her loyalties lie—and if she can find it in herself to look beyond Bailey’s past and accept him for the man he is today.
Book 3: Mail Order Bride Louisa: After the death of her sweetheart, Louisa feels that there is nothing left in life for her, and wonders what she could possibly do to fill the years that lie ahead. When her sister suggests for Louisa to become a mail order bride for one of the men in the frontier, Louisa is appalled, but with the prospect of her sister and brother leaving on the wagon train with their cousins, Louisa knows that she must make the decision to either be left alone without any relatives and only her painful memories, or to enter marriage with a man she doesn’t know.
Book 4: Mail Order Bride Emily: Emily has never quite fit in with the rest of the high society young women who are supposed to be her peers. Raised in privilege—and expected to live up to the part now that she is old enough to marry—Emily cares more about her dream of becoming a teacher than the idea of hosting fancy tea parties and being courted by potential suitors. Feeling that she cannot continue being told what to do any longer, Emily makes the bold decision to go out west so that she can start a school and teach the children of the Frontier. In order to fulfill her dream, however, she must become a mail order bride.
Book 5: Mail Order Bride Charlotte: After the death of their parents, Charlotte and her brother Victor only have each other left in the world. Well past marrying age at thirty years old, Charlotte has nearly resigned herself to spending her life taking care of Victor when she suddenly discovers that he has been planning for them to move away from Philadelphia and seek out their futures in the Frontier town of Bannack. Though Victor refuses to admit it, Charlotte knows that having a single sister following him around is limiting to him, so she decides to take responsibility for herself and find a man who is looking for a wife.
Book 6: Mail Order Bride Betsy: Betsy always knew that love would find her eventually, and until then, she would be happy watching the young men who lived in her mother’s boarding house court their sweethearts on the front porch. Everything seemed perfect until the War came too close to home, and what was once an elegant and privileged boarding school became a bloody hospital. Left the suffer the aftermath, Betsy decides that her only hope is to get out of her hometown and go as far away as she could. In order to do that, however, she would have to find a husband.
7. 99 Stories of God by Joy Williams
Need a heavenly touch to add to your best short story collection? Despite their brevity, short stories are often considerably denser than novels. Packed with meaning and often intentionally elusive, it is often difficult to read a collection cover to cover and Joy Williams’s latest collection of stories is exactly this type.
Williams is an American writer whose novels and story collections have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and several other prestigious awards. The bizarre 99 Stories of God is full of Kafka-style micro-fictions that take minutes, hours or even days to properly process. Williams’ paragraph- or sentence-long “stories” are unusually inscrutable, lacking entirely in narrative and often austere in language.
The source of their allure is puzzling, but it is strangely fulfilling to decipher a story’s meaning after it has been sitting in the back of your mind for some time (which they do). One of the more curious recent collections,
99 Stories of God is a clever if occasionally frustrating exercise in short fiction.
8.Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
A best short story collection with a Japanese flavour. Haruki Murakami needs little introduction: a literary sensation abroad as much as in his native Japan, he has won multiple international awards for his novels such as Norwegian Wood and 1Q84.
In a 2004 interview with The Paris Review, Murakami remarked that one of the best things about writing books “is that you can dream while you are awake”. The dreamlike quality of the stories in Men Without Women is undoubtedly one of its chief attractions.
Murakami’s womenless men live in perpetual daydreams, a state of mind often prompted by a loss of some kind. In one story, for example, an ageing plastic surgeon grows obsessed with a younger, idealised woman whose perfection causes him to fade, quite literally, into nothingness. Murakami’s latest is a hypnotising study of male loneliness.
10. Cozy Mysteries 12 Book Box Set by Hope Callaghan
Book 1-Who Murdered Mr. Malone? Nothing exciting ever happens in the small town of Belhaven. Nothing that is, until a body was found in the woods behind the local elementary school.With the entire town in an uproar, “Garden Girl” Gloria Rutherford makes it her personal mission to find the killer or killers and solve the mystery with some help from her friends.With a little amateur detective work, Gloria is able to uncover enough clues that point right to the murderer.
She’s about to discover, however, things aren’t always as clear cut as they would appear.
Book 2-Grandkids Gone Wild” Garden Girl” Gloria Rutherford, has her hands full. Her mischievous and energetic grandsons are coming for a weekend visit. To top things off, she discovers someone is living in her barn. But who and why? As this amateur sleuth investigates what’s going on in her own backyard, another murder victim turns up in their sleepy little town. Hot on the trail of a murderer, trying her best to make sure her grandkids don’t end up in the ER and facing a budding romance, Gloria and her small town of Belhaven are once again about to be turned upside down.
Book 3-Smoky Mountain Mystery Life is good for “Garden Girl” Gloria Rutherford. Spring has finally sprung, love is in the air, and no dead bodies have turned up in the small town of Belhaven…lately.It seems as if it’s almost too good to be true. Just as Gloria starts to get settled into her familiar routine, she receives a mysterious message from her older sister, Liz.Certain that her sister, the drama queen, is once again bent on turning Gloria’s life upside down for no good reason, she almost chooses to ignore the dire message that she may be in danger.
When a key to her sister’s place shows up in her mailbox after Liz mysteriously vanishes, Gloria jumps in with both feet to track her down.
Crisscrossing the country with one of the other Garden Girls in tow, the two amateur sleuths find themselves on an adventure of a lifetime.
Gloria soon discovers her sister’s mysterious disappearance is the least of her worries. + nine more best short stories
10. Best British Short Stories 2017 by Nicholas Royle
Best British Short Stories invites you to judge a book by its cover – or more accurately, by its title.This new series aims to reprint the best short stories published in the previous calendar year by British writers, whether based in the UK or elsewhere.
It includes stories by Daisy Johnson and James Kelman, among others. The editor’s brief is wide ranging, covering anthologies, collections, magazines, newspapers and websites, looking for the best of the bunch to reprint all in one volume.
The best short story collection offers a varied mix to cover all tastes and should keep the reader content in 2018 – for at least some part of it.
Come back to www.bestshortstorycollection.com for regular updates.Share
Have you ever wanted to write short stories but procrastinated for so long you never got started? You’re not alone. Millions of people around the world want to write a book but through a number of obstacles never get started. I understand their pain. I was a ‘fully paid up, card carrying member’ of the ‘one day’ club. But one day, things changed. I decided to write my short stories. Here’s my step by step approach on how I wrote 25 short stories in just 25 months AROUND a full time job.
Actually more than that. I wanted to be a published author. See my books on Amazon; maybe even in book stores. That would be cool I thought. I had seen plenty of famous authors living in country estates and driving flashy European cars. That was the life for me. BUT
Thirty years of procrastination can do that to you. I doubted if I could actually write a book. At best I was a B+ English student at school. My vocabulary existed of either one syllable or possibly two syllable words. My A grade mates knew words as long as my arm – and they could spell them. Pretty damn scary to me.
I also doubted that once I did actually write the book, who would publish it. I was a nobody and no big name publisher would take a chance on me.
But assuming I could overcome these hurdles, who the heck would read my book. And would they think it was any good or at least ok. I don’t know about you but these fears were very real to me. I didn’t want to put a ton of time into something and end up failing – again. I had started many only ventures before and they were all disastrous.
However I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing either. I needed to bite the bullet, face up to my fears and give this a crack. I had been a fan of crime writers for years, so mystery books would be my genre. It is a big genre with very successful authors in it such as James Patterson, Lee Child and Peter James to name just a few. Why should these guys have all the market. I thought “It’s not fair that they hog all the market. I need to get my books out as well”
I did some research. I found an online writing club who’s founder understood my problems. He knew my fears about writing a book and publishing it were very real. He had coached hundreds of would-be-authors before. Some had got onto the dizzy heights in the book world; while others were happy just to get a book out; something that could sit on the coffee table and perhaps a few friends may buy.
I liked his approach but I definitely wanted to be in the ‘James Patterson graduation school’
Every morning I woke at five and wrote to seven. I googled, editors, book cover designers, formatters and a whole lot of other stuff. I found courses, read marketing material and hung out in the my online writing group on their Facebook page and asked a ton of ridiculously stupid questions.
But people were kind. They gave away their tips for free. I listened to those who were actually doing what I wanted to do and applied their advice. I engaged others to do my covers. Sure not everybody was brilliant. I did lose some money but eventually I’ve found two exceptional designers for all my short stories. Through trial and error, I honed my online team. It’s an evolving group of professionals that will continue to grow and expand with me. I love them!
IT’s pretty dam good. I’ve had nine books hit #1 Amazon US & UK within the mystery thriller and suspense genre. Over that time my social media following has exceeded 40,000 people. I have the best reader list of 10,000+ I chat with every single week. My author brand is moving forward.
In April 2017 Austin Macauly UK signed me and are producing Murder Secret into a paperback for me which will hopefully see it in book stores throughout the UK from early 2018.
Juggernaut India love mystery eBooks and has given me a 25 + book publishing contract which will expose me to a very exciting market from November 2017.
none of this would have happened if I had remained stuck. I never would have authored any books if I allowed my self doubt and fears rule my life. I’m glad I found a writing group, listened to their advice and actually got started. Without acting upon my dream I would now be sitting around saying “what if”. Twenty five short stories in twenty five months is just the beginning. I hope you act upon your dreams too.Share