This Week in Short Fiction


In this, the first week of June, a band of storytellers joined hands and exhaled sweet stories that rolled out like a giant park full of empty hammocks waiting to hold readers through the long summer days…

For example: On Tuesday, poet-storyteller Stuart Dybek released not one, but two short story collections: Ecstatic Cahoots: Fifty Stories (a compendium of flash fiction) and Paper Lantern: Love Stories (home to nine longer stories). By early accounts at the Chicago Tribune and the Atlantic, you can expect to find lyrical repetitions across stories in both books as well as Dybek’s trademark meditations on perception, time, and memory. Atlantic reviewer Nathaniel Rich explains:

Dybek’s stories remind us that everything we know, and everything we love, is constantly vanishing, slipping through our fingers. Dybek, with the anxiety of an anthropologist, seems determined not to let this happen, even though he understands, better than most writers do, that it must.

The New Yorker summer fiction issue hit newsstands this week, featuring short fiction from the likes of Haruki Murakami, Joshua Ferris, and Miranda July. You can watch a trailer for the issue here, and read/view an illustrated short story about an old flame by Alison Bechdel here. If that makes you want to know more about Bechdel, check out our illustrated interview with her here.

Wednesday, One Story published their inaugural One Story Collected: Stories from the 2014 Literary Debutantes, available for purchase in their trademark baby blue or by digital download. The anthology features the work of past One Story contributors who released their first book in 2014. The table of contents reads like a who’s who of up-and-comers, and includes Rumpus interviewee Molly Antopol and Rachel Cantor, whose debut, A Highly Unlikely Scenario, we reviewed back in February.

On Thursday, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) started a fundraising campaign for independent publishers under #myfirsttime. The campaign asks writers to consider a donation to support smaller publishers and to tweet the name of the first lit mag that published them.

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 →