5 Best Books on Writing Short Stories

Writing short stories in a way that is engaging and that reader love is a great fabulous task indeed. When you are ready to express your inner creativity in short story form, you need to follow fascinating techniques and strategies so that your story will be able to win the audience’s hearts. In doing so reading the following best books on writing short stories would be your real friend in need.

Best Books on Writing Short Stories

Brand Name Image Rating Price
How to Write Short Stories And Use Them to Further Your Writing Career (Bell on Writing) by James Scott Bell 9.2 View on Amazon
How to Write Winning Short Stories: A Practical Guide to Writing Stories that Win Contests and Get Selected for Publication by Nancy Sakaduski 9.1 View on Amazon
Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays: The Essential Guide to Getting Your Work Published by Windy Harris 9.2 View on Amazon
Write a Collection of Short Stories in a Year: How to be a Short Story Writer and Get Published by MV Frankland 9.0 View on Amazon
On Writing Short Stories by Tom Bailey 9.0 View on Amazon

1. How to Write Short Stories And Use Them to Further Your Writing Career

It is the ideal time for you to learn the master key for writing great short stories, and the strategies for using them to advance your writing career. As most writers will tell you, the hardest fiction form to master is the short story. To be successful, a short story needs to have an emotional wallop, and be under 7,000 words.

In this book, writing teacher James Scott Bell explains the essential ingredient for a successful short story, no matter the genre. He shows how any writer whether a planner or “pantser” can use this key to unlock infinite story possibilities.

Which is part of the strategy for short story writing today. With the coming of the digital revolution in publishing, short fiction presents possibilities beyond a one-time sale to a literary journal. Writers can use stories to increase discoverability, grow as a writer, generate some side income, and get back in touch with the sheer joy of writing.

This book uses examples from the best stories by undisputed masters of the craft, including Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, John O’Hara, John Cheever, Stephen King, and Irwin Shaw. In addition, five complete stories are included to show you the master key in action.

Once you’ve been through this book, even once, you’ll be well on your way to crafting short stories that readers love which will build your fan base and boost your long-term writing career. The author writes clearly and succinctly, not burdening the reader with lots of extraneous detail. You will love all his instructional books, especially this one for their directness.

In this book, Bell discusses the essential elements of short story structure and the critical key to writing these successfully. He discusses several other important elements of short stories and gives complete examples in the latter part of the book. Moreover, he then discusses various publishing strategies and shows a step-by-step process for how to publish on the Kindle platform, something that very much appreciates and will use every time you go to self-publish your works.

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2. How to Write Winning Short Stories: A Practical Guide to Writing Stories

If you are ready to learn how to Write Winning Short Stories that is a concise and practical guide that includes developing a theme and premise, choosing a title, creating characters, crafting realistic dialogue, bringing the setting to life, working with structure, and editing, this book is absolutely for you.

The author, who manages an annual short story competition, offers guidance on manuscript formatting, submission options, contest entry, and how to get the attention of a publisher or contest judge. The book is perfect for anyone who is considering writing a short story. It will give beginning writers a practical playbook for getting started and help experienced writers build their skills.

Based on the author’s experiences running an annual short story contest and working with dozens of writers to help them improve and perfect their stories, combined with extensive research (the bibliography contains 80+ sources), here, in one concise little guide, is the best advice and most successful tips for writing winning short stories. Each chapter concludes with a handy checklist for reviewing what was learned and checking stories for possible areas of improvement.

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3. Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays: The Essential Guide to Getting Your Work Published

Short stories and personal essays have never been hotter or more crucial for a successful writing career. Earning bylines in magazines and literary journals is a terrific way to get noticed and earn future opportunities in both short- and long-form writing.

Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays capitalizes on the popularity of these genres by instructing on the two key steps to publishing short works: crafting excellent pieces and successfully submitting them. In this book, you’ll learn how to:

  1. Develop different craft elements including point of view, character, dialogue, scene writing, and more specifically for short stories and essays.
  2. Recognize the qualities of excellent short works, using examples from recently published stories and essays in major journals.
  3. Understand the business of writing short, from categorizing your work and meeting submission guidelines to networking and submitting to writing contests.
  4. Master the five-step process for submitting and selling like a professional writer.

In addition, the book features advice and examples from a multitude of published authors, Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays is a must-have for any writer’s bookshelf.

At a time when the publishing world appears saturated with how-to books on writing, author and editor Windy Lynn Harris has crafted a guide that truly stands out as an easy-to-read, no-nonsense compendium of original wisdom on the art and science of short prose.

Unlike many other volumes on the market, Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays offers insights into two related but distinct challenges writing successful stories and essays and marketing those works once they are written. The book abounds with first-rate advice and draws upon numerous practical examples.

Harris clearly has mastered the distinct crafts of writing and publishing and she can help you do so too. If you’re only going to buy one book to launch your career as a writing professional, this is the book.

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4. Write a Collection of Short Stories in a Year: How to be a Short Story Writer and Get Published

This is a book that will help you break out of your writing ‘pigeon-hole,’ as you explore writing genres from crime to fantasy to writing for children and seven more. If you follow the processes laid out for you, you’ll find it delivers exactly ‘what it says on the tin. You will write a collection of ten short stories in a year.

Following a story-by-story approach, the author of this book will take you all the way from generating ideas for each story, to finding publication, whilst developing the skills necessary to be a successful author of short stories. For example, character creation, show, don’t tell, creating an atmospheric setting, structure, and much, much more.

Indeed, the book goes beyond just supporting you as a writer. You will also be helped to overcome issues that many authors face, such as finding time to write, creating your writing space, dealing with a lack of writing confidence, or writer’s block.

Maria Frankland is the author of seven successful psychological thriller novels and has poured every aspect of her own story-writing strategies into this course, which was initially delivered face-to-face, before being distilled into this book.

If you want to write a collection of short stories, then this book will not only achieve that, but you’ll learn more about your writing self than you ever thought possible. This book is accompanied by a separately available optional companion workbook.

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5. On Writing Short Stories

On Writing Short Stories, explores the art and craft of writing short fiction by bringing together nine original essays by professional writers and thirty-three examples of short fiction. The first section features original essays by well-known authors including Francine Prose, Joyce Carol Oates, and Andre Dubus that guide students through the process of writing.

Focusing on the characteristics and craft of the short story and its writer, these essays take students from the workshopping process all the way through to the experience of working with agents and publishers. The second part of the text is an anthology of stories many referred to in the essays that give students dynamic examples of techniques brought to life.

Tom Bailey brings the text up-to-date with new and revised essays, alongside classic pieces by Robert Coles and Frank Conroy and a foreword by Tobias Wolff.

The new book comprises two parts: expository essays on craft; and an anthology of short stories.

Tom Bailey contributes an excellent exposition of short-story writing basics: character, plot, setting, metaphor, and voice. Other essays on craft include Francine Prose’s ” What Makes a Short Story”; Joyce Carol Oates’s “Reading as a Writer: The Artist as Craftsman”; and C. Michael Curtis’s “Publishers and Publishing”.

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