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Posts Tagged ‘short story month 2012’

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Short Story Month 2012 Roundup

Alas, it’s May 31, so this concludes your Short Story Month 2012 coverage here at Fiction Writers Review! Miss a post—or need something to carry you over until we do it again next year? Here’s a mini-index: Reviews: This Will Be Difficult to Explain, by Johanna Skibsrud: “Although the book feels light in the hand, the stories pack a concentrated, emotional punch.” This Isn’t the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You, by John McGregor: “This collection takes the reader in hand, big, sometimes-inexplicable things happen and you may not make it out alive. McGregor’s stories are anything […]


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Get Writing: Just That I Love It

In the illuminating introduction to her Selected Stories, Alice Munro considers the recurring setting of her fiction: “The reason I write so often about the country to the east of Lake Huron is just that I love it.” She goes on to describe how memories of particular images from that geography will motivate her stories in their earliest, most daydreamy forms. For instance, Munro describes the image of “snow falling straight down” that served as the seed of a story. In its finished form, there’s no reference to that image, no trace for the reader to dwell on, but all […]


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Stories We Love: "Show and Tell"

Back when I worked for The Southeast Review, we ran an online feature called, “The Cult of George Singleton,” where we asked writers to weigh-in on his larger than life personality. Katie Burgess, his old student from the Greenville Fine Arts Center, told one of my favorite stories, “One day George… hit a snake with his truck. He… put it in a duffel bag, and took it… to a faculty meeting… A few minutes into the meeting, he opened it up and started yelling, ‘Snake! Sweet Jesus!’ until he cleared the room.” Don’t try it. Unless you’re a short story […]


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Stories We Love: “The Silver Sky”

I read Elizabeth Jonsson’s “The Silver Sky” in a Reader’s Digest anthology, and, judging by a search on Amazon and Google Books, that may be the only place it can now be found. And I would not laud the story as a perfect gem, either, because for most of its seven pages, I felt confused about what I was reading. A German settler returns to the West South African castle of his youth, this time bringing an English wife. He remembers his youth, considers the region’s “heartbreak castles” (built by wealthy Germans before the first world war), dwells on his […]


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Thoughts on shorts: Daniel Orozco

Every story that I write feels like a kind of experiment. The challenge in crafting a story is how to engage a reader emotionally, intellectually, experientially. I’m always looking for some kind of challenge, some kind of structural or narrative constraint to try and figure out. […] I mean, the story “Orientation” is a gimmick. […] But so what? All that matters is that a story, whatever the structure, must be grounded in the humane. ~ Daniel Orozco Further Reading: Read more about Daniel Orozco on Fiction Writers Review Looking for something to read? Check out the Stories We Love […]


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Stories We Love: Two Stories and A Life

On June 9, 1992 I turned seventeen years old and my father gave me a single gift: a book that contained a short story that changed my life. The book was Septuagenarian Stew by Charles Bukowski and the short story was the first in the collection: “Son of Satan.” It’s a simple story, really, just six and a half pages long, propelled by curse-riddled dialogue and clipped, action-filled sentences. Classic Bukowski. But unlike many of Buk’s bum and whore populated tales, “Son of Satan” is told by an eleven-year-old narrator. After the narrator and his two friends accuse another boy […]


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Get Writing: Word Salad

Some of the students loved words like “denial” and “dysfunction.” Characters in fiction “had issues.” It was the early 90s and people talked like this. I’d just gotten a flyer in my mailbox announcing the World’s Best Short Short Story contest sponsored by Florida State University and the late Jerome Stern. I made copies of the 1991 winner, “Baby, Baby, Baby,” by Francois Camoin. We read it out loud. Everyone admired the story’s energy and wild inventiveness. “Baby,” I wrote on the blackboard. I asked everyone to name a food. “Rutabagas,” said the country singer. “Pigs’ knuckles,” said the clown who liked to shock […]




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