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Do you write short stories?

Discussion in 'Writer's Lounge' started by C. Lee McKenzie, December 14, 2017.

  1. I recently stumbled (my way of doing research) onto Creative Writing Institute's offer to publish "winning" short stories. This year's anthology was titled Lost and the only requirements were $5 to cover some costs and this sentence in the story you created. "I'm completely and utterly lost." That described me and my story, so I entered it, and my story, Matilijas, was a Judge's Choice.

    I thought some writers here might want to note this annual contest for the future.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: December 14, 2017
  2. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for sharing that. I'm sure there will be a few writers along shortly.
  3. Ellie Jane

    Ellie Jane Member

    Thank you for sharing this and congratulations on receiving Judge's Choice! I'm going to pass the information along to my friend. I recommended an expensive money grab a couple or so months ago and will be glad to redeem myself!
    C. Lee McKenzie likes this.
  4. Jordan

    Jordan Active Member

    I've tried my hand at short stories, but they always grow bigger than I anticipated. Thanks for sharing. It's always nice to know about legitimate contests.
    C. Lee McKenzie likes this.
  5. Belle

    Belle Member

    I've never really tried writing short stories. I don't know if it's something I would enjoy, but I do like reading them. Congratulations on becoming Judge's Choice, that's quite an accomplishment!
    C. Lee McKenzie likes this.
  6. natalie

    natalie Member

    Wow, that's wonderful! Congratulations! I would love to give short stories a shot sometime but I have such a problem with being concise. I guess trying to write short stories more would help with that though, haha. Congrats, again!
    C. Lee McKenzie likes this.
  7. Donna

    Donna Member

    I know exactly what you mean Jordan. I think I tend to put too much detail in my stories. What starts out as a short story ends up being the beginnings of a novel. :)
  8. I like writing these to force myself to choose the precise word I need and the simplest, most effective structures. I think practicing short stories or even poems makes me a better writer of longer pieces.
  9. Angel

    Angel Munificent Critic

    Sometimes a short story can be more difficult to write than your average novella. I always find it tricky to narrow down to just the words you need, instead of what you want.

    Then again, it is also a great excuse to bring out more than the usual florid, purple prose, vocabulary to find really appropriate words to fit the story you are writing.
  10. Jackie

    Jackie Member

    I think short stories are incredibly difficult to write. Everything has to be chosen so carefully; each symbol, each detail, each word. I try to write them just so I can help myself learn how to cut out all the fluff that's really not necessary. I have a problem with rambling and/or trying to say things poetically when, really, there's a better and more direct way to say it. A late congratulations to you, @C. Lee McKenzie!
    C. Lee McKenzie likes this.
  11. It is a toss up: beautiful, elegant prose v. tell the story and make it clear. I like to try for both, so it takes me forever to write a story. When I'm flummoxed, I read E. B. White. He had the knack for beautiful prose and clarity.
    Jackie likes this.
  12. Jackie

    Jackie Member

    Having them both is the dream! I think that can be a difficult task no matter how long the story is - finding the right balance between the two is key - but the challenge is far greater when you're writing short stories. Even if it takes you longer to write, you still get it done and that's what counts! That's a wonderful suggestion. It's been a while since I've read some E. B. White.
    C. Lee McKenzie likes this.
  13. Try his collection of essay sometime. They are a testament to someone who lived an observant and joyful life.
  14. Gemini

    Gemini Member

    Well apparently you do a good job of both or else you wouldn't have won this award! Belated congratulations! I wish I had the ability to write short stories. Apart from the difficulties you all have already mentioned, I find it hard to come up with a solid plot that can be developed in such a short amount of time. I also would have a hard time saying goodbye to characters because I always do.

    For you short story writers, do you tend to use characters more than once in your short stories?
  15. luri

    luri Member

    I have never participated in a short story contest because I have never written a short story. However, I once participated in an essay competition and won the first prize. The prize money was $5, plus publication on the website. Since the contest was free, I was really happy to be featured in the online literary magazine. Sadly, the website is already closed.
  16. sliara

    sliara Member

    No, I don't write short stories anymore, I used to do that though when I was younger and I had a lot of free time. Right now though I'm quite busy and I have a lot of things to do that's why I don't have much time to spare.
  17. luri

    luri Member

    What do you think is the standard length of a short story? Some people call 1000 words of fiction a short story and some say a short story should be at least 10K words.
  18. Lily

    Lily Member

    I remember looking it up a long time ago and seem to recall a figure of 7,500 words or so is considered a short story. That number stuck in my mind but I could be remembering it wrong. There are also long-form short stories, novellas, novelettes, and flash fiction (I write all of those except for flash fiction).

    Update: I've just looked it up and found some detailed information on Reedsy.
    Word Counts: How Long is a Novella, Novelette, and Short Story?
  19. Hova

    Hova New Member

    First of all, congrats on your achievements. Second, this is like the best piece of information I have received all week.

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