short story

How a Fiction Anthology Is Made

I’m an avid reader of Writer Unboxed, which has been one of our 101 Best Websites for Writers for several years running now—and when I had the pleasure of moderating the WU panel at last year’s Writer’s Digest Conference, one of my personal highlights was the chance to chat at length...

15th Annual Short Short Story Competition Winner: Parting Gift

“Parting Gift,” by Lish Troha, is the winning story for the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. For complete coverage of this year’s awards, including an interview with Troha, check out the July/August 2015 issue of Writer’s Digest. You can also view a complete list of winners, as well as an exclusive Q&A with our winner....

3 Ways to Save Your Backstory from the Cutting Room Floor

BY SHENNANDOAH DIAZ Backstory is crucial to the novel writing process. It gives your character substance and drive while adding depth, history and realism to your fiction.  It takes a great deal of hard work to develop your character’s backstory. Unfortunately for the sake of the novel, much of that hard...

How to Take Your Short Stories to the Next Level

Are you writing a short story? The first short story I ever wrote was in the 6th grade. It was about a fictitious solar system of salad toppings. No joke. I remember pacing around the house, dictating ideas, plot and dialogue into my mom's hand-held tape recorder and, eventually, piecing it...

How to Broaden Your Short Story’s Scope

Most short stories illumine a single dark corner, narrowly circumscribed. They follow the time-revered rule: Limit your short story to a specific time, place, event, interaction or character’s evolution. But the short story can be a more versatile genre than your high school English teacher sermonized. If we stick to too...

The Best and Worst of Writing Advice

When you gather a panel of writers to discuss the best and worst writing advice they’ve ever received, the conversation promises to be as colorful as it is informative—and this one with spy novelist Alex Dryden,  mystery novelist Lisa Gardner, author Alex Kava, and debut author Daniel Palmer, did not disappoint.