Reading List of Writing Short Stories Books – 2024 Update

Are you an aspiring writer looking to hone your craft and master the art of short story writing? Look no further! In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best books on writing short stories that are sure to inspire and guide you on your writing journey. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned writer, these writing short stories books will provide you with invaluable insights, techniques, and inspiration to help you create compelling and impactful short stories.

20 Best Books About Writing Short Stories

The Art of the Short Story

by Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn

The Art of the Short Story is a comprehensive and insightful book on writing short stories, written by Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn. This book about writing short stories covers the craft and art of storytelling, providing practical advice and analysis of the elements that make a short story successful. Gioia and Gwynn explore various aspects of writing short stories, including character development, plot structure, setting, and theme. The book also features a selection of classic and contemporary short stories, accompanied by insightful commentary and analysis. Whether you are a novice writer looking to improve your skills or a seasoned author seeking inspiration, this writing short stories book is an invaluable resource that will enhance your understanding of the short story form and help you develop your own unique voice.

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft

by Janet Burroway

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway is a comprehensive and insightful resource for aspiring writers. This book on writing short stories offers practical advice and exercises for honing the craft of storytelling. Burroway delves into the essential elements of fiction, including character development, plot construction, and the use of dialogue. She also explores the nuances of point of view, voice, and narrative structure, providing readers with a deep understanding of the art of storytelling. Whether you’re a novice writer looking to learn the ropes or a seasoned author seeking to refine your skills, this book about writing short stories is an invaluable tool for anyone passionate about the written word. With its clear and engaging prose, Writing Fiction is a must-have for anyone serious about mastering the art of crafting compelling narratives.

The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing

by Alice LaPlante

The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing by Alice LaPlante is a comprehensive and insightful book on writing short stories. LaPlante, a seasoned writer and teacher, offers a wealth of knowledge and practical advice for aspiring writers. The book covers the essential elements of storytelling, from character development and plot structure to dialogue and point of view. LaPlante also includes writing exercises and prompts to help readers hone their craft and find their unique voice. With its clear and engaging prose, this book about writing short stories is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to improve their storytelling skills. Whether you’re a novice writer or a seasoned pro, The Making of a Story is sure to inspire and guide you on your creative journey.

Writing Short Stories: A Routledge Writer’s Guide

by Ailsa Cox

Interested in honing your skills in crafting short fiction? Then “Writing Short Stories: A Routledge Writer’s Guide” by Ailsa Cox is the perfect book for you. This comprehensive guide is a must-have for anyone looking to improve their storytelling abilities and learn the art of crafting compelling short narratives. Through this book, you will gain valuable insights into the techniques, structures, and processes involved in creating impactful short stories. Whether you’re a novice writer or a seasoned pro, this book about writing short stories will provide you with practical tips, exercises, and examples to help you develop your storytelling skills and unleash your creativity. “Writing Short Stories” is an essential resource for anyone looking to master the art of writing short stories and take their storytelling to the next level.

The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers

by John Gardner

The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner is a renowned book on writing short stories. In this influential guide, Gardner shares invaluable insights and practical advice for aspiring writers. He delves into the fundamental elements of storytelling, such as character development, plot structure, and the art of creating compelling narratives. Through engaging prose and illuminating examples, Gardner imparts his wisdom on the craft of writing, offering readers a wealth of tools and techniques to enhance their storytelling abilities. Whether you’re a novice writer or a seasoned wordsmith, this book about writing short stories is a must-read for anyone looking to hone their skills and elevate their writing to new heights.

The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction

by Ann Charters

The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction by Ann Charters is a comprehensive and engaging book about writing short stories. Charters provides a wide-ranging collection of short fiction from classic and contemporary writers, along with insightful commentary and analysis. This anthology offers a diverse selection of stories that showcase different styles, themes, and techniques, making it a valuable resource for writers looking to hone their craft. Charters’ expertise and passion for storytelling shine through in her thoughtful introductions and annotations, providing readers with a deeper understanding of each story’s significance and impact. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, this book is an essential guide for anyone looking to explore the art of crafting compelling short fiction.

The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers

by Ayn Rand

The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers by Ayn Rand is a comprehensive book on the craft of storytelling. It provides invaluable insights and practical advice for both aspiring writers and avid readers. Rand delves into the art of crafting compelling narratives, developing engaging characters, and constructing meaningful plots. She also explores the importance of theme and the role of a writer’s philosophy in shaping their work. This book about writing short stories is a treasure trove of wisdom, offering guidance on the creative process and the elements of fiction. Whether you’re a seasoned writer looking to refine your skills or a passionate reader seeking a deeper understanding of storytelling, The Art of Fiction is an essential resource for anyone who appreciates the power of a well-crafted tale.

The Art of the Short Story

by Dana Gioia

The Art of the Short Story by Dana Gioia is a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in the craft of short fiction. This book on writing short stories offers a rich exploration of the elements that make a short story successful, including character development, plot structure, and narrative technique. Gioia provides illuminating examples from classic and contemporary short stories, offering valuable insights for writers at any stage of their journey. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, this book about writing short stories is sure to inspire and inform your creative process. With its clear and engaging prose, The Art of the Short Story is an indispensable resource for anyone looking to enhance their skills in the art of writing short stories.

On Writing Short Stories

by Tom Bailey

Are you looking for a comprehensive book on writing short stories? Look no further than ‘On Writing Short Stories’ by Tom Bailey. This book is a treasure trove of valuable insights and practical advice for aspiring writers. Bailey, a seasoned author and professor, delves into the art of crafting compelling narratives, developing memorable characters, and honing the essential skills needed for successful storytelling. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned writer, this book about writing short stories provides invaluable guidance on the craft of storytelling. From mastering the art of dialogue to creating immersive settings, Bailey’s expertise shines through in this indispensable writing short stories book. If you’re ready to elevate your storytelling game, ‘On Writing Short Stories’ is a must-have addition to your literary arsenal.

The Half-Known World: On Writing Fiction

by Robert Boswell

The Half-Known World: On Writing Fiction by Robert Boswell is a captivating exploration of the craft of storytelling. This insightful book delves into the art of creating compelling narratives and developing rich, complex characters. Boswell offers practical advice and thought-provoking insights for writers looking to hone their skills and take their storytelling to the next level. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, this book about writing short stories will inspire and invigorate your creative process. With its engaging prose and invaluable guidance, The Half-Known World is a must-read for anyone passionate about the craft of fiction.

Writing Short Stories

by Ailsa Cox

Looking for a comprehensive guide to crafting compelling short stories? Look no further than Ailsa Cox’s ‘Writing Short Stories.’ This insightful book about writing short stories covers everything from developing characters and plot to mastering the art of dialogue and setting. Cox’s expertise shines through as she provides practical advice and exercises to help writers hone their skills and find their unique voice. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, this writing short stories book is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their storytelling abilities. With its clear and engaging approach, ‘Writing Short Stories’ is an essential addition to any writer’s bookshelf.

The Art of Fiction

by John Gardner

The Art of Fiction by John Gardner is a timeless classic for anyone interested in the craft of storytelling. This influential book on writing short stories is a treasure trove of wisdom and practical advice for aspiring writers. Gardner, a renowned novelist and writing teacher, offers a comprehensive exploration of the essential elements of fiction, including character, plot, setting, and style. Through insightful analysis and thought-provoking exercises, he guides readers on a journey to master the art of storytelling. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned writer, this book about writing short stories is sure to inspire and elevate your writing to new heights. With its engaging prose and invaluable insights, The Art of Fiction is a must-have for anyone serious about honing their skills in the craft of writing short stories.

Making Shapely Fiction

by Jerome Stern

Making Shapely Fiction by Jerome Stern is a must-read for anyone interested in crafting compelling narratives. This book on writing short stories offers invaluable insights into the art of storytelling, covering everything from character development to plot structure. Stern’s engaging and practical approach makes the complex process of crafting fiction accessible to writers of all levels. With clear examples and exercises, this book about writing short stories provides a roadmap for honing your craft and creating truly shapely fiction. Whether you’re a seasoned writer looking to refine your skills or a novice eager to learn the ropes, Making Shapely Fiction is an indispensable resource for anyone passionate about the art of storytelling.

The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction

by Stephen Koch

The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction by Stephen Koch is a comprehensive and insightful book on the art of crafting fiction. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, this book about writing short stories is a valuable resource for honing your craft. Koch covers the essentials of storytelling, character development, plot structure, and the nuances of language, offering practical advice and exercises to help writers improve their skills. With a blend of wisdom and wit, Koch demystifies the writing process and encourages writers to find their unique voice. This writing short stories book is a must-have for anyone looking to elevate their storytelling abilities and create compelling narratives that resonate with readers.

Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction

by Jeff VanderMeer

Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer is a visually stunning and comprehensive resource for aspiring writers. This book on writing short stories is not your typical writing guide; it is a vibrant and imaginative journey into the world of storytelling. VanderMeer combines his expertise as a successful author with the captivating illustrations of Jeremy Zerfoss to provide readers with a unique and inspiring approach to the craft of writing. The book about writing short stories covers everything from developing compelling characters to building immersive worlds and crafting engaging plots. With its beautiful and thought-provoking visuals, Wonderbook is a must-have for anyone looking to dive deep into the art of storytelling and unleash their creativity. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, this writing short stories book will ignite your imagination and help you hone your craft.

The Craft of Writing Science Fiction that Sells

by Ben Bova

The Craft of Writing Science Fiction that Sells by Ben Bova is a comprehensive guide for aspiring science fiction writers. This book on writing short stories covers everything from developing compelling characters and creating immersive worlds to crafting engaging plots and dialogue. Bova, an acclaimed science fiction author, provides valuable insights and practical advice on honing the craft of writing short stories that resonate with readers and editors alike. With a focus on the business side of writing, Bova also shares tips on navigating the publishing industry and selling your work. Whether you’re an aspiring author or a seasoned writer looking to enhance your skills, this book about writing short stories is a must-read for anyone looking to break into the competitive world of science fiction publishing.

The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller

by John Truby

The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller by John Truby is a comprehensive guide for anyone looking to master the art of storytelling. This book delves into the essential elements of storytelling, breaking down the process into 22 steps that cover everything from character development to plot structure. Truby’s approach goes beyond traditional writing advice, providing a deep exploration of the psychology and emotions that drive a compelling narrative. Whether you’re a novice writer or an experienced storyteller, this book on writing short stories offers valuable insights and practical techniques to elevate your craft. With its clear and engaging style, The Anatomy of Story is a must-read for anyone looking to hone their skills and become a master storyteller.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

by Natalie Goldberg

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg is a beloved classic in the world of writing. This inspirational and practical book on writing short stories is filled with wisdom and guidance for both new and experienced writers. Goldberg’s approach is refreshing and honest, as she encourages writers to embrace their creativity and find their own unique voice. Through a series of short, insightful chapters, she shares exercises, prompts, and personal anecdotes to help writers overcome their fears and self-doubt. Whether you’re a novelist, poet, or simply interested in the art of storytelling, this book about writing short stories is a valuable resource that will help you tap into your creativity and find joy in the writing process. Writing Down the Bones is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their craft and connect with their inner storyteller.

The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction

by Tara L. Masih

The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction by Tara L. Masih is a comprehensive and insightful book about writing short stories. It provides valuable guidance and techniques for creating impactful and concise narratives. The book offers a variety of perspectives and approaches from experienced writers in the field, making it an essential resource for both aspiring and seasoned writers. With its practical exercises and examples, this writing short stories book is a valuable tool for honing the craft of flash fiction. Masih’s expertise and passion for the genre are evident throughout the book, making it an engaging and informative read for anyone interested in mastering the art of writing short stories.

Writing Short Stories: A Writers’ and Artists’ Companion

by Courttia Newland and Tania Hershman

Looking for a comprehensive guide to crafting compelling short stories? Look no further than Writing Short Stories: A Writers’ and Artists’ Companion by Courttia Newland and Tania Hershman. This dynamic duo of authors provides invaluable insight and practical advice for all aspiring writers. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, this book about writing short stories will inspire and guide you through the creative process. From generating ideas to refining your prose, this writing short stories book covers every aspect of the craft. Packed with exercises, examples, and expert tips, this book on writing short stories is an essential resource for anyone looking to hone their storytelling skills and captivate readers. Get ready to unleash your creativity and take your writing to the next level with this must-have guide.

Conclusion

Writing Short Stories is an art that requires practice, skill, and inspiration. The 20 best books about writing short stories listed in this article provide valuable insights, tips, and guidance for both novice and experienced writers. Whether you’re looking to improve your storytelling techniques, develop compelling characters, or master the art of crafting engaging plots, these books have got you covered. From classic to contemporary, these resources offer a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to help you hone your craft and unleash your creativity. So, pick up a few of these books and get ready to elevate your short story writing to new heights!

Which Writing Short Stories book is best?

The best book on Writing Short Stories can vary with personal preference, but three widely recommended titles are:

  1. The Art of the Short Story by Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn,
  2. Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway,
  3. The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing by Alice LaPlante.

Each offers valuable insights and could be a great starting point.

What are the best books on Writing Short Stories?

The best books on Writing Short Stories include:

Each offers unique insights into the subject. While these books on the topic of Writing Short Stories are highly regarded, it’s important to note that any list of ‘best’ books is subjective and reflects a range of opinions.

What are the best Writing Short Stories books of all time?

Choosing the best Writing Short Stories books of all time can vary depending on who you ask, but seven titles that are often celebrated include