Posts by: Jill Schepmann

This Week in Short Fiction

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This week was the third annual #TwitterFiction Festival, held here, there, and everywhere in typical Twitter style. The Association of American Publishers and Penguin Random House partnered to host the event this year, bringing in such big names as Margaret Atwood (@MargaretAtwood), Celeste Ng (@pronounced_ing), Eric Jerome Dickey (@EricJDickey), Jackie Collins (@JackieCollins), and Maggie Stiefvater (@mstiefvater).

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This Week in Short Fiction

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You can count on One Story as a sort of literary sieve, distilling story-sized servings of up-and-coming writers we should know, and soon enough will know, if we don’t know them already. Next week, One Story will host its annual Literary Debutante Ball, a party thrown in honor of those who’ve published stories with them and whose first books were born this year.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Earlier this month, Steven Millhauser released Voices in the Night, a new collection of short stories. On Tuesday, the Boston Globe described the towns of many of the stories in this newest effort as “Millhauserian,” which Eugenia Williamson defines as places where “characters must process their encounters with the uncanny without breaking their rose-colored glasses.”

Such is the case in Millhauser’s “Sons and Mothers,” which first appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Tin House.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Let’s talk about sentences. Let’s talk about how poets, when they let their lines run long to prose, can make sentences sing. And if we’re going to talk about those sentences, we must also talk about details. Details, details, and more details.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Just when you thought you had a full biblio of Shakespeare’s plays, up pops another. Tom Jacobs wrote earlier this week for Pacific Standard on Double Falsehood, a play found nearly a century after Shakespeare’s death and now believed to be at least partially written by the Bard.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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The novella-in-flash: What does it mean? How is it even possible? Kathleen Rooney and Abby Beckel, editors at Rose Metal Press, which specializes in hybrid forms, have recently set about defining this lesser-known form. This week, they spoke about My Very End of the Universe, their 2014 anthology of five novellas-in-flash, with Smokelong Quarterly’s Interviews Editor Karen Craigo.

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This Week in Short Fiction: A Guide to AWP

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It’s that time of year again, where writers young and old, from all corners of the country, come to congregate in one gigantic, frenetic, neurotic, alcohol-infused crowd, in a couple of fancy hotels no one can really afford, to stay in and talk shop (or not, depending on how your writing’s been this year).

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This Week in Short Fiction

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The gamer story. Regardless of its iteration—D&D, Commodore 64, Nintendo, X Box, LARP—there is the hero, and there is the rest of the gang, subjugated as sidekicks and underlings. The gamer story has a long tradition of tropes and structures, arcs and character elements, at the center of which has always been the hero telling the story and in world more like ours, the person role-playing that hero.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Chalk it up to a week where Twitter just felt like too much. Chalk it up to good ol’ nostalgia for the feel of a hefty book in your hands. Or maybe, just chalk it up to an aligning of stars that placed nine exceptional writers under the same roof.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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To help us cope with the passing of Leonard Nimoy, Melville House shared audio recordings of the baritone-voiced Vulcan reading excerpts from Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man. The find is definitely worth a listen, and in this newly revived age of plans for Mars missions, the excerpts of this creative duo serve as an elegant reminder of the Martian imaginings of years past.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Leave it to The Toast to give us a story told by a mermaid as opposed to a story about one. And leave it to The Toast to find a very good mermaid storyteller indeed. On Wednesday, they released “Mermaids at the End of the Universe: A Short Story” by Kendra Fortmeyer, featuring illustrations by Stephanie Monohan.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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For a weekly dose of fiction, checking in at the New Yorker is probably business as usual for most, and this week it’s definitely worth scoping out Amelia Gray’s story, “Labyrinth.” It’s a story infused with Greek mythology, dark humor, and a little small-town creepiness besides.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Alissa Nutting has given us the story of a woman with a transparent panel covering her beating heart. Her story, “The Transparency Project,” arrived via Guernica online post on Tuesday. This story revives the playful Nutting of her 2010 story collection, Unclean Jobs for Girls and Women, after her departure into the darker world of a teacher seducing her students with her 2013 novel, Tampa.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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It’s only February, but 2015 is already proving to be a treasure trove of big happenings in the world of short stories. Take this past Tuesday, when Kelly Link, Charles Baxter, and Neil Gaiman all released new collections, undoubtedly making the world a few orders of magnitude weirder, smarter, and spookier.

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This Week in Short Fiction: Thus Were Their Faces by Silvina Ocampo

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Probably more than anything else, sheer curiosity propels readers through [Silvina Ocampo's] stories. ...more

This Week in Short Fiction

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Austin-based indie publisher A Strange Object unleashed a new digital magazine this week called Covered with Fur. The site is an elegant lesson in design, sleek and simple with just two large rectangles to choose from for its weekly offerings, labeled “Fiction” and “Not.” According to their Submissions page, which is currently open, the “Not” category includes nonfiction writings in the form of microessays, essays, or columns about objects including “treatments of found things, repurposings, archival encounters… [also] writing on design or attachment or loss.”

With their first issue, Covered with Fur sets the fiction bar high with Bess Winter’s story, “Are You Running Away?”

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Robert Stone’s fictional universe was vast. The minds of Vietnam vets. Sailors on the open sea. Hidden romances at a prestigious university. But last weekend, one of our better explorers of the darker corners of American life was lost when Stone died at the age of 77 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Some story collections drop with fireworks and great fanfare, while others make their entrance, it could be said, on tender feet. The latter is the case with the works of Edith Pearlman, who released her fifth story collection, Honeydew, on Tuesday.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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With the Senate Intelligence Committee’s online release of their Torture Report summary and Melville House’s announcement last week that it will publish a bound copy of the summary report at the end of this year, torture has been in the air.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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On Wednesday, Joyland published “You Said ‘Always’” an excerpt from Ester Bloom’s novel-in-progress, The Sex Lives of Other People. In the story, which has the momentous feel of the novel’s opening, the narrator, Annie, gets dumped by her boyfriend after a night of sex, turned down by her soon-to-be ex-husband, disappointed by her sister on the phone, and felled by a bottle of wine.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, last week, men who have taken lives are walking away unpunished, unquestioned even. We have their victims’ names: Mike Brown. Eric Garner. We have their final words: Hands up, don’t shoot. (Six shots fired.) I can’t breathe.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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On Wednesday evening, Phil Klay’s Redeployment won the National Book Award for fiction, making it the first short story collection to win the award since Andrea Barrett’s Ship Fever in 1996. That’s 18 years. But what’s maybe more startling is that the collection, which takes multiple perspectives of people involved in and returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, stands nearly alone as a fictional account that has risen to the national level of attention since the war in Afghanistan began in 2003.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Story|Houston published a beautiful story this week in their Fall 2014 issue, all of which centers around the theme of family, functional or otherwise. “Termites” tells the story of Tamara, aka Tam or Tam-Tam, a youngish woman living in and trying to take care of/sell her family’s childhood home on Staten Island.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Think of the most complicated and intriguing people you have ever met. Think of the way it feels to return to those people again and again, each time finding some new facet of truth, beauty, insight, originality. Michael Cunningham’s “White Angel” is a story like one of those people. 

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This Week in Short Fiction

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It’s that time of year where we’re all craving a good scary story, be it told by candle light, on a screen, or in a book. Neil Gaiman’s middle-reader graphic novel Hansel and Gretel came out on Tuesday of this week, and he recently spoke to TOON Books editor Françoise Mouly and Art Speigelman about it.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Remember Elizabeth Strout’s 2008 Pulitzer-prize winning novel in stories Olive Kitteridge? What if Olive could come to life in a film adaptation? Man. In a perfect world, probably Frances McDormand would play Olive, right? In fact, maybe we could just give McDormand creative control of the whole project, yeah?

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This Week in Short Fiction

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As the story goes, nearly 100 years ago a group of Surrealist artists gathered together and put a new spin on an old parlor game called Consequences. The meeting resulted in their collective authorship of this phrase: “The/ exquisite/ corpse/ will/ drink/ the/ young/ wine.” Now familiar to many writers by the name of “Exquisite Corpse,” the game requires at least three participants who send round a single sheet of paper on which each member, looking only at the entry that came before him or her, makes a written or drawn contribution, folds over the paper, and passes it on to the next person.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Every good story is rooted in conflict, and most of us learned the different types of conflict in our high school literature classes like clockwork, year in and year out: man v. man, man v. self, man v. society, man v.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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On Tuesday, Aqueous Books released From Here, Jen Michalski’s second short story collection and fourth book. The founding editor of the literary quarterly jmww and a long-time Baltimore resident, Michalski’s fiction has found homes in more than 80 publications.

Looking at the early reviews and the stories from the new collection that have appeared online, one gets a sense of Michalski’s territory: neighborhoods with worn and tattered fences, where yards and lives overlap and spill onto one another, where rules are broken and categories are hard to define.

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