This Week in Short Fiction


The Los Angeles Review of Books enlisted Kayla Williams, a veteran sergeant and Arabic linguist, to compile a list of war narratives by women for Memorial Day. Williams, herself an accomplished writer of two memoirs on her war experience and return home, offered a wealth of resources for those wanting to know more about American soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Williams’s list pointed short fiction lovers to Katey Schultz’ collection Flashes of War, winner of the 2013 Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal Book of the Year.

On Tuesday, Electric Literature launched a virtual facelift that expands their online presence and brings on board Rumpus contributor Lincoln Michel as online editor. (Fear not, they will also continue their much-loved Recommended Reading Tumblr, which publishes one story a week free for us all.) In a new recurring columns called New Genres, Court Merrigan discusses the rise of “country noir,” a raw form of storytelling he describes as “that losing side of the American mythology that walks out of the shining city on a hill spitting and reaching for a flask.” Based on this definition, we might classify the short stories of other contemporary writers such as Bonnie Jo Campbell and Lydia Peele under the country noir genre, or even this flash piece by Vincent Poturica “Jimmy O’Jimmy” at Smokelong Quarterly.

And if you’re just looking for a short story shot, pull yourself up to the bar and try a vintage Stuart Dybek piece, “Four Deuces,” up at A Public Space. Careful though—shots have a way of multiplying and there’s nothing quite like a Dybek hangover.

Jill Schepmann's stories have been read on NPR and have appeared in Parcel and Midwestern Gothic, among others. She worked as a fiction and nonfiction editor at Nashville Review while getting her MFA at Vanderbilt. She lives in San Francisco and tweets @jillypants. More from this author →