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On Writing Short Stories

Second Edition

Edited by Tom Bailey

Publication Date - July 2010

ISBN: 9780195395655

456 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

The ONLY brief text/anthology of short fiction--featuring the advice of 9 successful writers on the craft, process, and business of writing


On Writing Short Stories, Second Edition, 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 technique brought to life.

In this second edition, author-editor 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.

New to this Edition

  • Includes new and revised essays: Two new essays on workshopping by award-winning fiction writers Robert Boswell ("After the Workshop: Transitional Drafts") and Antonya Nelson ("Whose Story Is It? The Anonymous Workshop") introduce the latest techniques in the process. C. Michael Curtis updates his essay on "Publishers and Publishing" in order to take into account the rise of electronic and online publishing.
  • Offers an expanded, diversified anthology of thirty-three stories, including works by short-short fiction and non-Western authors. New selections include works by such well-known authors at Jhumpa Lahiri and ZZ Packer.
  • The essay on craft is accompanied by writing exercises that push students to develop their craft as they work through the writing process.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bailey is the author of several books, including Crow Man Stories (2003) and the novels The Grace That Keeps This World (2006) and Cotton Song (2006), as well as A Short Story Writer's Companion (OUP, 2000). His short stories have been anthologized in the Pushcart Prizes, New Stories from the South, Streetsongs: New Voices in Fiction, and cited in The Best American Short Stories. Among other awards for his writing, he has received a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship and a Newhouse Award from the John Gardner Foundation and was named winner of the 2006 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction. He currently teaches in the Writers Institute at Susquehanna University, where he is a professor of English and Creative Writing.

Previous Publication Date(s)

November 1999

Table of Contents

    Foreword by Tobias Wolff

    Part One: On Writing Short Stories

    Francine Prose, What Makes a Short Story
    Joyce Carol Oates, Reading as a Writer: The Artist as Craftsman
    Tom Bailey, Character, Plot, Setting and Time, Metaphor, and Voice
    The Voice of Desire: Character
    The Why? Behind the Power of Plot: Shaping the Short Story
    The Lesser Angels of Fiction: Setting and Time
    "The Connectedness of All Living Things": Metaphor
    The Writer's Signature: Voice
    Frank Conroy, The Writer's Workshop
    Antonya Nelson. Whose Story Is It? The Anonymous Workshop
    Robert Boswell After the Workshop: Transitional Drafts
    Andre Dubus, The Habit of Writing.
    Robert Cole, Why Write? Taking on the World
    C. Michael Curtis, Publishers and Publishing

    Part Two: Short Stories

    Guy de Maupassant, The String
    Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Pet Dog
    James Joyce, Eveline
    Yukio Mishima, Patriotism
    Ernest Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants
    Tillie Olsen, I Stand Here Ironing
    William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily
    John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums
    Cynthia Ozick, The Shawl
    Flannery O'Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge
    John Updike, A & P
    Margaret Atwood, Happy Endings
    Joyce Carol Oates, Heat
    Raymond Carver, Cathedral
    Mark Helprin, North Light
    Jayne Anne Phillips, Wedding Picture, Cheers, Stripper, and The Powder of the Angles, and I'm Yours
    Ron Hansen, Wickedness
    David Leavitt, Braids
    Jumpha Lahiri, A Temporary Matter
    Tom Franklin, Alaska
    Junot Diaz, Nilda
    Rick Bass, The Fireman
    Tom Bailey, Snow Dreams
    Susan Perabo, The Payoff
    Robert Boswell, The Darkness of Love
    ZZ Packer, Brownies
    Andre Dubus, A Father's Story
    Antonya Nelson, Dick
    Susan Mino, Lust
    Tobias Wolff, Bullet in the Brain