Monday, 17 November 2014

In Praise of National Short Story Week

What is National Short Story Week? Basically, it is an annual awareness event, whose aim is to focus the attentions of the public and the media on the short story and short story writers, publishers and events. Find out more about it here.

The short story is considered by some to be the poor relation of the novel but this couldn't be further from the truth and this week is a good time for the myth to be dispelled. There are wonderful anthologies and collections of short stories around, written by known and lesser known authors, and what better time than National Short Story Week to read some of them or add them to your reading list.

So, what have I been doing for National Short Story week?

This month, I was very excited to publish my own collection Room in Your Heart (romantic short stories previously published in The People's Friend magazine).

First, I had my launch party which, if you couldn't attend, you can read about here

Then, I wrote an article in Writing Magazine about my experiences of putting together my collection for kindle.

Initially, I was only going to bring the story collection out as an e-book but was persuaded to publish it as a paperback as well. I am so glad I did as my collection can now be read by everyone - with or without an e-reader.

Having Room in Your Heart as a paperback has meant that I was able to show the collection to my lovely local bookstore: The Steyning Bookshop. It's a fabulous place to browse and buy books and I was thrilled when the owner asked if she might have a few for her display for short story week - as a self-published author, this is a great honour.

The fabulous Cobblestone Tea House in my village, (where I meet with my friend Tracy once a month for teacakes and writerly chat) and where the seed was sown for the collection, has been really supportive too. They were delighted to promote Room in Your Heart by having my book on show and bookmarks for visitors to take home. I can't thank these local businesses enough.

Having a paperback has also meant I could sell books to members of my local choir and dance groups (I felt very proud when I was asked to sign them). The support I have received from local people has been overwhelming and I am very grateful.

I don't want to finish this post without mentioning the short story magazines. Without them, I would not be doing what I love best - writing short stories! There are fewer now than there used to be but those that still print short stories are much loved by their readers.

Room in Your Heart is a collection of my People's Friend romances and one of my book reviewers said, '... after enjoying them all so much I think that this is one magazine that I really should start reading.' which says it all! You can read her full 5* review here.

But enough about me. I want to share with you two wonderful anthologies which I am sure you'll love:


Fugue a collection of contemporary short stories which includes a story by my good friend Tracy Fells and
Winter Tales an anthology of uplifting stories, by the Write Romantics, with proceeds going to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

There are many more wonderful short story collections which have been written by my writing friends and I would love to name them all but won't as I would hate to leave someone out. What I will do though is leave you with this thought: whatever your reading tastes, find some time to read a short story this week - I'm sure you won't be disappointed!

19 comments:

  1. Great post, Wendy, and thanks for mentioning Fugue. I think you must get a photo of your books on show in Steyning Bookshop now!

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    1. You're welcome, Tracy. It was raining heavily today so I shall postpone my visit!

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  2. I love reading and writing short stories. It's a whole different discipline to novels, capturing characters and a snapshot of a moment in their lives in just a page or two. The best way to spend ten minutes over a coffee and a cake is with a short story!

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    1. I agree, Viv. How else can we get into the heads of so many people.

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  3. I love reading and writing short stories too, and wish you lots of luck with your collection. Great idea to publish a paperback copy too :o)

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    1. I couldn't have done it without my husband, Karen but it's lovely to hold it.

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  4. I loved your book, Wendy, and also have Winter Tales sitting on my Kindle. Well done for everything.

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    1. Thank you Kath - so glad you enjoyed it.

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  5. A great post celebrating the short story, Wendy. Good luck with the sales of 'Room in Your Heart'. I love my Kindle but nothing beats the feel of a paperback version, does it?

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  6. Happy short story week! I shal celebrateby writing some.

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  7. A wonderful post, Wendy. It is so important to support and be supported by small local businesses. The relationships forged from such interactions gives a community such a positive and heartfelt feeling. Makes everyone's life and business worth having. Long live the small community. May your success continue. And keep writing, Wendy, I'm waiting for the next compilation. :)

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    1. We do have a wonderful community here, Nicola - and thanks!

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  8. Enjoyed your post and look forward to reading your book, Wendy! Some friends and I have self published 3 books of short stories so far. I really enjoy reading and writing short stories. There's something very satisfying about fitting a complete story into a 5 minute read (sometimes coffee breaks seem to be the only time I can spend reading these days!)

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    1. Lovely to see you here Janice - three books is great isn't it and there is definitely a place for short stories.

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  9. Great post, Wendy. I adore reading short stories and anything that promotes the form is a good thing.

    x

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  10. Great post Wendy and wish you loads of luck with "Room in your Heart". I so wish I'd published my short story "For A Smile" anthologies in paperback but I was completely daunted by the technology of the process. I was lucky enough to have lots of success with the e-book versions but am sure sales and promotional opportunities would have been so much greater with a "real" book! xx

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