Do you feel that shorter attention spans are giving short stories a leg up? I personally don’t feel so, because a story well-told is a story well-enjoyed, short or stretched. Short stories have always been a popular form of writing. It is also the cloth where a wannabe writer cuts his first teeth.
Many of our greatest authors have also inked memorable short stories. O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) is a personal favorite of mine. He even has an illustrious award for short stories in his name. Isaac Asimov is another.
Short stories are not only great writing practice for the beginner author, but it’s the same for the child who can be put on a diet of classic reading through short stories.
The best thing is that you can speed read a variety of genres and writing styles in the time it takes to do a bus commute. So, pick your favorite flash fiction from the ten websites mentioned here.
A short story site that has been worth a visit since 1997; you can check out the huge alphabetical list of literary stories, most of them classics in their own right. The site has more than 2000 short stories on its roster. You will find Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain, P.G Woodhouse, H.H. Munro, Gabriel GarcÃa MÃ¡rquez and more of the greats here. The site also picks a Short Story of the Day from its large lineup. The first thing though that welcomes you to the site is the riddle where you have to identify an opening line.
From the classics, we come to a short story website which is a collaborative project that presents readers with a new piece of short science and speculative ‘flash’ fiction each day. The stories hover around sci-fi related topics and the world of tomorrow. The collection at the site is the work of motley of in-house writers and reader submissions. The site also has an active forum. The other thing of interest is the podcasts of the stories.
East of The Web features stories on crime, fiction, non-fiction, horror, humor, romance, sci-fi, and children’s. There’s an entire section on interactive stories too. The stories are rated and you can arrange them according to the ratings they enjoy. Complementing the short stories is a section which has enjoyable word games. A teacher resource section might be worth a look into if you are interested in study materials. And if you really enjoy short stories and want to read them on the go, download the free iPhone app.
Classic Reader publishes out of copyright books online. So you can turn virtual pages of a lot of full unabridged classics. You have a short story section and the site says it is the largest and fastest-growing section on ClassicReader.com. You can search through the site by using the Author Index and Title Index. You have authors from Louisa Alcott to Oscar Wilde to choose from.
The site says in its introduction that today, fewer and fewer people read short stories. So, the short story resource makes a small attempt to rectify that. You can search through the site by author and title. The collection is small but it’s worth a read because of the classics.
Five Chapters publishes a short story in five parts every week (Monday to Friday). The archives list about 242 stories by 222 writers. All the stories are by contemporary authors. Stories are in the range of 5000 and 10,000 words. You have to follow the stories daily as the five parts are presented like a series.
The short story matters. Using this comprehensive short story website you can read and submit short stories. Enter events and competitions and also use the tips on how to become a better writer. You can read the stories by downloading them in PDF format. The Story website is supported by the BBC and the BBC National Short Story Award.
Flash fiction is a ‘short short’ story that’s even briefer than a short story; though the distinction is a bit vague. The site represents the genre well by bringing to us a wide variety of flash stories. Each story is told in 1000 or fewer words. You can also catch the audio versions in the podcasts.
Fictionaut is a neat little site which caters to short fiction and poetry. The site is built around a community of writers and short story enthusiasts. Fictionaut also allows you to showcase your work and get some exposure. You can go through the stories which are recommended or most read. You can even download them in PDF format.
It’s the design which caught the eye. The site brings short stories and Flash Fiction, detective whodunits, and podcasts for your reading and listening pleasure. You can also get stories by email. The stories are mostly authored by Adam, so this is more in lines of a personal site. The author describes his work as ‘surreal or at least the very least weird’.
Creative writing finds expression and practice thanks to the art of short story-telling. These ten websites are just a sample of the ones readers and creative writers can try out. Tell us about the ones that aren’t on this list.
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