I will get better at posting every day. Lately the blog has been taking a backseat to my other duties as publisher, like working on the e-book and planning the launch and readings of Solace in So Many Words. But I can be remiss no longer, and I will now update the information on The Collection Giveaway contest, and since I missed about twenty posts, I will give you twenty reasons that show short stories are the bomb.
Here’s the skinny: Weighed Words is celebrating May as Short Story Month by participating in The Collection Giveaway Project, which has been organized By Erika Dreifus at Fiction Writers Review. I found out about it from Dan Wickett of Emerging Writers Network.
Like the other participating publishers, I will be giving away a book. Weighed Words will send Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir by Joe Meno (who is a contributor to this anthology) and a copy of Solace in So Many Words to a lucky somebody who answers the question: What is your favorite short story? I realize now that “favorite” rates right up there with “best,” as an arbitrary (and unsophisticated) way of ranking of books so I won’t be persnickety about responses. All I really want is for you to tell me what stories matter to you. Once the month is over, I will put the names of respondents in a hat and pick a winner. Man, this is exciting; usually I am the one seeking prizes, not the one bestowing them!
Even though I have not been on top of things as far as posting goes, I have already heard from two people. Erika Dreifus responded that she likes “The German Refugee” by Bernard Malamud and has posted a blog about the story on Ron Hogan’s Beatrice blog. Also, I heard from Midge who likes stories by Amy Hempel and and Melanie Rae Thon.
Here are my twenty reasons for reading short stories:
1. T. C. Boyle’s nine short story collections: Descent of Man, Greasy Lake, If the River Was Whiskey, Without a Hero, T. C. Boyle Stories, After the Plague, Tooth and Claw, The Human Fly, and Wild Child. His story “If the River Was Whiskey” is a favorite of mine.
2. Daniel Chacon’s Chicano Chicanery and Unending Rooms.
3. Kerry Langan’s Only Beautiful and Other Stories.
4. Michael Constantine McConnell’s story “King of Gypsies” in Blood and Honey.
5. Joe Meno’s Demons in the Spring.
6. Paula W. Peterson’s Women in the Grove.
7. Patty Somlo’s From Here to There and Other Stories and her lastest published story “Ready to Dance” in Imitation Fruit.
8. Joan Corwin’s Safe Shall Be My Going, a novella published in Press 53’s Open Award Anthology.
9. Donna Hilbert’s Women Who Make Money and the Men Who Love Them.
10. Chicago Works: A Collection of Chicago Authors’ Best Stories, edited by Laurie Levy, with stories by Fran Podulka, Anne Brashler, June Rachuy Brindel, James McManus, Stuart Dybeck and others
and Chicago Works: A New Collection of Chicago Authors’ Best Stories, edited by Laurie Levy, with stories by Aleksander Hemon, Lois Hauselman, Pat Rahmann, Fran Podulka, Katherine Shonk, and others.
11. Another Chicago Magazine one of our town’s best lit mags.
12. Rochelle Distelheim’s “The Kiss-Me-Quick” in Visiting Hours and Other Stories by Press 53.
13. J. D. Salinger’s “For Esme –with Love and Squalor” The New Yorker, April 8, 1950.
14. You’ve Got to Read This edited by Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard. The first story “A Mother’s Tale” by James Agee is a stunner (among stunners).
15. The Best American Short Stories of the Century edited by John Updike and Katrina Kenison.
16. Collected Stories by Frank O’Connor.
17. Stuart Dybeck’s “Pet Milk.”
18. Alice Munro, Mavis Gallant and so many other great Canadian short story writers.
19. Roald Dahl’s Kiss Kiss, Switch Bitch and other of his snarky, scary short story collections not meant for children.
20. Hourglass Books, which celebrates the short story and has published Falling Backwards, Peculiar Pilgrims, and The Long Meanwhile.