“Charles” is a very short story by Shirley Jackson, first published in 1948. Told in first person from a mother’s point of view, this is the story of a little boy who starts school and immediately transforms from a little boy into a smart-mouthed brat. He talks constantly about a boy called Charles who gets up to all sorts of mischief.
“The Falls” (1996) is a short story by American writer George Saunders. Two men walk along a river and face a moral dilemma. Should one risk one’s own life in the hope of saving two drowning girls?
“The Ways Of Ghosts”, also called “An Arrest”, is a very short ghost story by American writer Ambrose Bierce, first published in October 1905. Perfect for a 1905 Hallowe’en?
A Case of Eavesdropping” is a ghost story by Algernon Blackwood first published in December 1900 in Pall Mall Magazine.
“There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950) is a short story by American author Ray Bradbury. I thought I’d better read it because August 4 2026 is looking nearer and nearer, and I’d like to know what to expect in four years’ time.
Are you thinking of writing a story about a kid who leaves the house and rides the bus to school, all the while observing other passengers and gazing out the window? Or a story about a woman who buys frozen pizza at the supermarket, complains about the roast beef then observes characters in the car park before peacing out to the radio? A parking warden who eats a sandwich in the town square before seeing shapes in the clouds? If these quiet stories are your jam, Saul Bellow wrote the mentor text for you.
“The Vertical Ladder” is a short story by British writer William Samson (1912 – 1976) best known for his travel writing and highly descriptive language. A childhood game of dare goes wrong.
Disney typically takes a nightmarish, harrowing fairy tale and bowdlerises it according to the more conservative end of its perceived audience. But lest we forget: In 1993 the Disney corporation also published a short story as disturbing as your typical pre-Grimm fairytales, replete with cannibalism. Disney had run a “Scary Tales” competition, and “Bunny Stew” was the winner.
The Tell-Tale Heart (1843) is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. This horror classic is a famous example of Gothic literature, and is also well-known for its unreliable first person narration.
“The Frog Prince” is a short story by American writer Robert Coover. It appeared in the January 19, 2014 edition of The New Yorker and was discussed at The New Yorker short story podcast by Deborah Treisman and Gabe Hudson, a former student of Coover’s. Informed by the podcast discussion, I am on the lookout […]
“A Family Man” is a short story by British writer V.S. Pritchett (1900-1997), published in a 1977 edition of The New Yorker. Pritchett was a critic as well as a writer, and as a writer, was best known for the short form.
“Hunted Down” was published in instalments across 1859-60, almost 20 years after Poe’s well-known detective story which kicked the genre off.