shining the spotlight on short story collections
We normally only talk about short story collections here at the Short Review, but we’re making an exception in order to take part in the Virtual Book Tour for an excellent new book.
Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story, edited by Short Review author and reviewer Vanessa Gebbie (Words from A Glass Bubble), and published by Salt Modern Fiction, is a collection of articles, essays and interviews on different aspects of the short story by working short story writers – including many Short Review authors and reviewers such as Clare Wigfall, Sarah Salway, Nuala Ni Chonchiur, Alison McLeod, Adam Marek, Elizabeth Baines, Elaine Chiew, Alex Keegan and David Gaffney (and myself – in the interests of full disclosure – TH).
Win yourself a free copy of the book – see the end of this post for more details.
While this is a book aimed at those writing short stories and we know that many of The Short Review’s readers are also writers, I asked Vanessa the following question: Vanessa, this book is called A Guide to the Art of the Short Story, and since TSR is all about inspiring people to read more short stories, what do you think the book can do for readers? Can it help them get better acquainted with the short story and enhance the reading experience? If so, how?
I am told time and time again that Short Circuit is a ‘brave’ book. And I can’t help but shake my head. Why is it ‘brave’? It takes a straight look at the writing craft and the application processes of that craft for 24 different writers – all writing today, all being published today, all winning prizes today. It is not an academic treatise. I do not see how on earth creative writing is an academic pursuit – much as there are factions in the literary world who would like to make it so. It ain’t!
“If I write about ball-lightning that comes from between a woman’s legs when she’s aroused, will friends, privately, think I’m weird?” (From Alison MacLeod’s essay, “Writing and Risk-Taking”)
“I think people who enjoy short stories have a special gland, one that responds to the unexpected with little bursts of pleasure chemicals.”(From Adam Marek’s essay, “What My Gland Wants – Originality in the Short Story”)
Thanks so much, Vanessa! For a chance to win a free copy of Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story, visit the Competitions & Giveaways Page. For more information about the book and about the rest of the Virtual Book Tour, visit TheArtoftheShortStory.com.