Lit Bits Little Blogs is a series of short blog posts for fans, readers, and writers of short stories. It’s a concoction of thoughts, insights, and musings we’ve collected, discussed, and mulled; as publishers of this challenging and potent story form. We welcome debate, conversation, and guest posts.
A few years back, short story writer Vanessa Gebbie quoted Jon Wyatt of the Bridport Prize in saying that, “I want to read a story that makes me forget I am reading.”
We read an awful lot of short story submissions, either for general submission or for one of our competitions. Quality varies wildly and when you’re trawling through a colossal stack of stories and you come across a bad one, perhaps overly descriptive, clunky, or hard to follow, it can quickly become apparent that you are, well…reading. Your eyes get sore, you have to go back over paragraphs, you need more coffee – you have become very aware that you are reading.
While perfection in literature is unattainable, the best short stories achieve a sense of experience that will entertain, provoke and engross the reader without them having to work too hard.