short stories Archive

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Prayer for the moth, but also for the spider” by Caitlin Horrocks

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I can’t tell you the last time I prayed. At least, not in the way that the narrator does in Caitlin Horrocks‘ recent story, “Prayer for the moth, but also for the spider,” in issue 21 of Memorious. I spent twelve years in Catholic school, so I can recite a mean

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Buried Voice” by Angie Kim

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I don’t often love stories told from the perspective of kids. I think it’s difficult to write a child that feels believable—or interesting, to be honest. For me, stories with a child or teenage narrator too often devolve into the overly cute. The narrator is too precious. The character’s

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Come to Bratislava!” by Benjamin Reed

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I knew I was into Benjamin Reed’s story “Come to Bratislava!” in Big Fiction when the main character, a forty-three year old man named Edgar, makes an observation about the phrase “You are my rock.” I’ve never liked this way of articulating someone’s importance and essentiality—hearing it uttered usually

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Three Small Town Stories” by Dinah Cox

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I’ve recently become friends with a new handful of people, and out of this group, one woman in particular. Then, over the last weekend, I got to see some old friends from grad school, and in talking about our lives and the new people we’ve met since we graduated,

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Creative Writing Instructor Evaluation Form” by April Wilder

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Last week I came into the office where I work, sat down, ate an enormous bagel, and laughed so hard that the guy sitting behind me wheeled his chair over to my desk and said, “What’s so funny?” I pointed at my screen where April Wilder’s story “Creative Writing

One Year In—Writing the Novel: Benjamin Percy

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After one year of writing my novel, I took stock of what I’d accomplished—which seemed like very little. Would writing always feel like flailing? How do novelists find their way through? For guidance, I turned to published novelists, whose interviews are presented in the One Year In: Writing the Novel series.

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “The Operating System” by Carol LaHines

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This week after reading “The Operating System” by Carol LaHines, I tried to think of the last time I made a big mistake—or thought I did—and was forced to wait out the consequences. Our minds do strange work when we need an answer and aren’t allowed to have it.

The Internet: Savior of the Short Story?

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When my daughter was in her first few months of life, I made a sort of peace with the nighttime feedings by reading through a short story collection. One story usually lasted the amount of time she needed to feel satiated, and I had something to look forward to

Writing is Like Making Snowballs

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It snowed today. It was supposed to snow, but only for a minute, and it was not supposed to stick.  Instead it snowed all day and as the sun went down at 4:30 (alas) the snow was still there on the lawn.  And while part of me is so

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Spider Legs” by Danielle Lazarin

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Sometimes a story seems to find you at the right moment. Last week I was talking to a friend about our preferences in fiction. After writing this column for most of a year, I’m beginning to get a pretty solid grasp on what kind of stories I tend to