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Welcome to The Literary Pig's blog - a safe haven for all those afflicted with
the unbearable urge to write.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Kite flying for short story writers

Day 3 of National Short Story Week and today I want to share some quotes on the theme of short stories. These are all thoughts, mainly by other writers, that I've recently read.

Firstly Tessa Hadley at the RSL Masterclass on the Short Story (full post here) described short stories as "word paintings", which I rather love as a succinct explanation of the genre.

Susan Hill in her introduction to the Second Penguin Book of Modern Women's Short Stories writes: "really excellent stories ... are rare and precious as jewels and dazzle with a similar brightness... They extend one's literary horizons, and deepen one's understanding of the human heart. They make an impact. They are memorable. There is nothing small-scale or miniature or trivial about them."

In Piers Plowright's write-up the 2012 VS Pritchett Prize award ceremony for the RSL Review 2012 he shares Sean O'Faolain's thoughts: "writing a short story is like getting a kite to catch the smallest breeze and fly." And how Adam Foulds described the process as: "going out for a walk on the spur of the moment."

I particularly admire the image of flying a kite, and can remember how difficult it is to get a kite to fly well and to keep it in the air. We used to go kite flying on Beachy Head (East Sussex), where the winds were a challenge!

Tomorrow I'll be highlighting some outlets for audio stories and on Friday sharing some of my favourite short story writers. And now I'm off to fly that kite...

Let me know who you admire as a writer of short stories and if you have any particular cherished stories.


  1. All great quotes, Tracy - I've read so many wonderful short stories that I can't name any in particular!

    1. I know what you mean Rosemary. I find it easier to name writers as usually several of their stories linger as favourites rather than a single story. Check out the blog on Friday to see if any of your favourite short story writers get a mention :)

  2. really nice in your bolg image and activity. I find it easier to name writers as usually several of their stories linger as favourites rather than a single story. I hope in future this type off activity again an again

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