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Short Stories

Follow Your Fantasy: Reshaping Erotica in a Post-Fifty Shades World

Jennifer Walker | Posted 03.27.2014 | Books
Jennifer Walker

In a post-Fifty Shades world, erotica has metaphorically climaxed as a genre all over the publishing industry, but with publishers on the look out for...

The Itsy-Bitsy Book Club 2014

Anna Leahy | Posted 03.24.2014 | Books
Anna Leahy

The book must be one neither of you have read. If you need a recommendation, browse your nearest physical bookstore, perhaps simultaneously, if you live far from each other, so that you can choose together.

Literature, Longevity and Mavis Gallant

Fran Moreland Johns | Posted 03.13.2014 | Arts
Fran Moreland Johns

Mavis Gallant died recently at the entirely respectable age of 91. On top of the lack of maternal love and affection, Gallant endured other unimaginable emotional assaults and upheavals, realities that underlie her fiction.

Belonging to Wyoming, Belonging to the World: An Interview With Author Nina McConigley

Stacy Parker Le Melle | Posted 02.23.2014 | Books
Stacy Parker Le Melle

I love outsider stories, especially outsider-in-America stories -- the stories of characters that show up in places central casting would never expect them to be. Same for the stories of characters that have every right to be someplace.

My First Panic Attack

Sarah Fader | Posted 04.20.2014 | Healthy Living
Sarah Fader

Not only was I going to die someday, but I was very small in comparison to the rest of the world, which was rather large. I couldn't get over how small I felt. I was an ant and the universe was expansive and I was drowning in the hugeness of it all.

When Characters Relocate in Literature

Dave Astor | Posted 04.09.2014 | Books
Dave Astor

As I prepare to move from a house to an apartment this year (what -- freelance writers don't make hedge-fund salaries?), I've become particularly aware of relocation scenarios in literature. Yes, a major plot device in fiction involves characters going to a new place.

How To Breathe New Life Into Your Short Stories

| Posted 01.23.2014 | Books

By Writer's Relief staff: We’ve all been there: You begin to revise your short story, but the more you rewrite, the more unenthused you feel. Yo...

This Holiday, Share Your Gay Gifts With the World

Kergan Edwards-Stout | Posted 02.12.2014 | Gay Voices
Kergan Edwards-Stout

In those pre-internet days, I would scour every book and newspaper in hopes of finding the slightest reference that someone else might be gay like me.

13 Adventurous Hiking Tales

Maptia | Posted 01.25.2014 | Travel
Maptia

From the inaugural Storytelling Theme on Maptia, we bring you the inspiring tales of thirteen mountainous adventures from all over the world. You can see them laid out on the map below.

When Authors Create Title Characters of the Opposite Sex

Dave Astor | Posted 02.04.2014 | Books
Dave Astor

Do women write the best novels starring women? Do men write the best novels starring men? In many cases, yes. But while there's a lot to be said for "living the gender," there are also some great literary works featuring title characters who are the opposite sex of the author.

How to Write a Monster Story

Michael Noll | Posted 01.26.2014 | Books
Michael Noll

Everyone loves a good horror story. Try to write one, though, and you will quickly discover that it's not enough simply to create a monster. You must also create a reason for the monster to exist. The monster is often a manifestation of a character's inner monstrosity.

Here's How To Sharpen Your Mind In Less Than 10 Minutes

Maddie Crum | Posted 11.26.2013 | Books

What's that? Your job leaves you with scarcely enough time or energy to cook occasional healthy meals, let alone lose yourself in a great book? We're ...

The Red River Virus

David Wildman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Fifty
David Wildman

He doesn't know how long it's been since he first squeezed his eyelids shut to double the darkness. He's been thinking about how the closing of eyes d...

Déjà Vu Can Happen to You

Dave Astor | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Dave Astor

Ever read something in a novel and feel you've read something similar in a novel by a different author? I'm not talking about plagiarism, but a variation on a scene or theme.

The Lost Father

Babette Hughes | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Babette Hughes

Did this really happen? I believe so. But it really doesn't matter, not to me, because I have absorbed so many reports and whispers and been told so many confessions and recollections for so long that they have become part of me and are fixed as the moon.

Return of the Rabbi: A Short Story

Brett Gallaher | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Brett Gallaher

"Good morning, everyone. You all knew this day was coming. I am returning to Earth," Jesus said, awaiting an outburst of excitement. To his surprise there was only an awkward silence, accompanied by faint whispering amongst the crowd.

Author Kergan Edwards-Stout Shares His Gift for the Holidays

Gregory G. Allen | Posted 12.08.2013 | Books
Gregory G. Allen

I first came to know Kergan, however, as an author. Our debut novels launched at virtually the same moment, leading to our paths intersecting on a great many occasions, and I'm happy to say that we became friends.

What Makes A Good Short Story

Heidi Pitlor | Posted 12.07.2013 | Books
Heidi Pitlor

Here are some things I wish I saw more frequently: humor, genre-bending, humor, risk-taking, a more direct addressing of real world matters, humor.

Learning to Write About New York

Terence Clarke | Posted 11.30.2013 | New York
Terence Clarke

I lived in Manhattan for two years, during the late 1990s, and felt, the whole time, that I was little more than a tourist. I was aware of John Updike's remark that "the true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding."

Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Anne Margaret Daniel | Posted 11.24.2013 | Books
Anne Margaret Daniel

A glittering success as a writer when he was just 24, Fitzgerald died 20 years later still a young man, with most of his works unread by the public in 1940, and his status as one of the finest, and most popular, American writers yet to be established.

The Casual Versatility of Some Hardworking Writers

Dave Astor | Posted 10.15.2013 | Books
Dave Astor

And literature's MVP (Most Versatile Producer) is... Actually, I'm not sure. But any author who can write very different types of novels deserves an award.

Skiing the Cirque

Joseph Olshan | Posted 09.23.2013 | Books
Joseph Olshan

Unlike some of my contemporaries who can research an era hundreds of years ago and miraculously and imaginatively inject themselves into lost time, I feel creatively confined to the perimeters of my own life.

Unlike Rowling, They Were Denied Literary Fame

Dave Astor | Posted 09.18.2013 | Books
Dave Astor

J.K. Rowling tried to go under the radar by using a pen name for The Cuckoo's Calling, but many other great authors spent all or part of their careers involuntarily missing out on the literary cachet and cash they deserved.

Lilly in the Valley

Kalia N. Baker | Posted 09.07.2013 | Black Voices
Kalia N. Baker

Lilly stood in the middle of the room, biting her bottom lip to control the quivering. Traveling through her petite and trimmed frame was an unprecedented and undisclosed amount of nerves, crippling her.

Super-Short Travel Disaster Stories

Travel + Leisure | Posted 06.26.2013 | Travel
Travel + Leisure

As much as we celebrate the joys of travel, we know it's not all fun and games when you're on the road. Disaster can strike in ways large and small.