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Short Stories

Whenever someone read a short story I wrote, it was guaranteed they'd ask, "How do you know how many words for your story?"

I suppose my best answer was, "When the story is finished, you count the words. And that would be the number you needed for your story."

One of my favorite sites, in the New York Times,                                    , manages to lighten our hearts, with 100 word or less love stories.  

That answer certainly exemplified my lack of schooling in the craft of writing.

Whenever I'd submit for a contest or magazine, the guidelines provided the range of the word count. Click onto the Published Work button below to share my 15 seconds of fame.

 2,500 - 5,000 words

 

Definitions for the SHORT STORY

 

A story with a fully developed theme but significantly shorter and

less elaborate than a novel - Oxford Dictionary

 

An invented prose narrative shorter than a novel usually dealing with a few characters

and aiming at unity of effect and often concentrating on the creation of

mood rather than plot - Merriam-Webster

500 - 2,500 words

Definition for a SHORT-SHORT STORY

A very short piece of prose fiction, much more condensed than the average short story.

Contests are held for stories with as little as two words.

A well-known two-word story: Jesus wept.

Many contests have asked for submissions for four-or five-word stories. Each has a subject, an object, a verb and maybe one description or refining notion.

My favorites (authors unknown) include

a sad story:

We all die someday.

and,

a horror story:

Just saw my reflection blink.

There's nothing like the feeling you have when seeing your words in print

or hearing a recording of a poem you've written, 

or watching the characters you've created on paper come alive on stage.

That's magic.

"Writing is the only thing, that, when I do it,

I don't feel I should be doing something else." -  Gloria Steinem

Coming February 2026

Mixed Shorts: a collection of stories, each under 5,000 words.

 

 

"Listen," "Slips," and "Who Who Man" will be featured in Mixed Shorts. Some of the stories have been published in Anthologies, some not. 

Available through Amazon

ouija.jfif
Blue Hair

GRAM

A 2023 Valentine's Day Short-short

Trinkets on Tree
10,000 feet in 2010
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