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Steps to Publishing a Short Story, Step One, Reading
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edited by Vivian

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Weekly Editor’s Letter

Steps to Publishing a Short Story
First Step - Reading

         When I took composition classes in college, I often became frustrated with all the reading I had to do, story after story after story, many times thousands of pages per assignment. Yet, as we discussed the stories and what made them interesting, or what didn’t, I was learning how to write. Even today, as I read and review on Writing.Com, I learn more about what makes a good story and what doesn’t.

         I used the reading, discussion, and then writing idea when I taught, too. I tried to highlight one or two concepts per story, then had the students write something using those concepts and any others we had already covered. First, however, came reading and reading and reading.

         As I read the September, 2005, issue of The Writer, I discovered an article by Erika Dreifus titled “Learning short-story writing by example." She agrees with my university professors and me: “We learn by reading closely and reading as writers – attending to the ways others employ the elements of fiction: setting, plot, character, theme, and so on.”

         So where can a person find short stories to study, ones that will help him or her learn correct story writing? Of course books of short stories are found in all book stores. In fact Holly Jahangiri and I have a collection of short stories for sale at Amazon.com or Barnes and Nobles. Plus many bookstores connected to colleges have anthologies for sale. If someone couldn’t afford to buy a new anthology or collection, used bookstores or libraries carry them. Using the library's copy is free.

         Web sites given in a sidebar of the article by Ms. Dreifus would be a good starting place to find stories and advice for writers:

http://www.classicreader.com - click on the “Short Stories” link
http://www.ncteamericancollection.org - click on resources about major American writers
http://www.thinkage.ca/~jim/prose/prose.htm - James Alan Gardner’s advice for fiction writers

         The best help found in reading to learn to write, though, is to read well-written short stories, and read, read, read.

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Featured Works from Writers Circle Members:

chosen by daycare

         Sit back with a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the reading:

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 Lost in Biloxi  (E)
A day on the beach becomes the nightmare of her life.
#618643 by Vivian

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Featured Works From Non-Members:
chosen by daycare

         A few of the best stories from the site:

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#645438 by Not Available.

One Last Wish  (13+)
A haibun for "You've Got Character!"
#1007617 by Joy

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#1009656 by Not Available.

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”Good writers learn from good examples.”
~~ Erika Dreifus, The Writer September, 2005, page 13.

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         Prompt by daycare: Read two stories and post the reviews on the public reviewing pages. Please note in the beginning or end of the review that you're doing it for Writer's Circle.

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         You are invited to submit suggestions to the Writers' Circle editors. To submit an item for consideration in the WC newsletter:

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Issue # 193
Edited by: Vivian and daycare
Rate this newsletter here: "Reading, First Step to Publishing

Next week's Writers Circle Newsletter will be brought to you by a mystery editor.
© Copyright 2005 Vivian (vzabel at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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