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Read the opening extract of the brand new Mason Cross book before its publication on 24/04/2014

Read Extract Free Short Story Collections Book or Novel Online - as well as Sports and Suspense

Short Story Collections

Short Stories

In our time-pressured lives short stories are, unsurprisingly, a booming new format. Intense, concentrated and varied. See below for some of our favourite collections and find details of short story prizes in the right hand column.

Featured Books
Reader Reviewed The Coffee Shop Book Club
Breast Cancer Care (Organization)
September 2013 Short Story Book of the Month. An irresistible collection of stories of love and fidelity, mystery and unexpected lives from some of the bestselling authors writing today. And even better news...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/09/2013

Tenth of December
George Saunders
Winner of the Folio Prize 2014. A family member recollects a backyard pole dressed for all occasions; Jeff faces horrifying ultimatums and the prospect of DarkenfloxxTM in some unusual drug trials; and Al Roosten hides his own internal monologue behind a...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/01/2014

Emma Donoghue
The award-winning author of Room displays her prodigious writing talents in creating a gem of a short story collection that is full of memorable characters. Ann Patchett, Orange prize-winning author of Bel Canto said of Astray ‘There is...
Format: Paperback - Released: 23/05/2013

The Pre-War House and Other Stories
Alison Moore
Alison Moore is an exceptional author whose writing explores the dark, unsettling and unsafe areas of everyday life. With this collection of short stories, as with her Man Booker shortlisted The Lighthouse, don’t expect cheerful redemption and sugar coated happy...
Format: Hardback - Released: 15/05/2013

Black Vodka Ten Stories
Deborah Levy
March 2013 Short Story Collection of the Month. Ten elegant, witty yet unsettling short stories explore the dislocations of modern life. From the pain it can bring to the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 30/11/2012

A Trail of Fire
Diana Gabaldon
Time travelling and historical fiction blend in these four extraordinary stories featuring characters from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series which has sold over 18 million copies worldwide. In two of them soldier come spy Lord John can be found in Jamaica...
Format: Hardback - Released: 08/11/2012

Trains and Lovers The Heart's Romance
Alexander McCall Smith
November 2012 Book of the Month. Linking a group of passengers on a Edinburgh to London train, this is an exquisitely produced pocket-sized edition of his latest book and it’s a perfect gift...
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/11/2012

The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales
Kate Mosse
An easy read of fourteen short stories and a one act play, all with a mystical theme which Kate Mosse is so good at portraying. Each is accompanied by an author’s note and although some have been published before, have...
Format: Hardback - Released: 24/10/2013

Christmas Magic
Cathy Kelly
A magical collection of wise and witty bite-size stories, stuffed full of warmth and perfect to give you mini escapes whenever you need them. This festive collection of short stories is ideal for any fan of Maeve Binchy.
Format: Paperback - Released: 08/11/2012

Every Short Story by Alasdair Gray 1952-2012
Alasdair Gray
Gathering together every story he has written in a career spanning 60 years, as well as sixteen brand new tales and a host of illustrations, this is a landmark publication from one of Scotland’s greatest writers.
Format: Hardback - Released: 15/11/2012

Barbara Kingsolver
A collection of 12 stories, with settings ranging from northern California to the hills of eastern Kentucky and the Caribbean island of St Lucia, that explore the twin themes of family ties and the life choices one must ultimately make...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/01/1998

Summer Lies
Bernhard Schlink
From Bernhard Schlink, the internationally best-selling author of The Reader, come seven provocative and masterfully calibrated stories. Tender yet unsentimental, achingly personal yet utterly universal, Summer Lies asks what it means to love, to deceive and ultimately, to be...
Format: Hardback - Released: 13/09/2012

Somewhere Else, or Even Here
A. J. Ashworth
Winner of the 2011 Scott Prize. Short story writers have the enviable job of having to create characters and situations in just a few pages and A. J. Ashworth performs this amazing feat, seemingly, effortlessly making her short stories a...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/11/2011

The Best British Short Stories
Nicholas Royle
2nd in this new series of the best British short stories, as selected by experienced and highly respected editor Nicholas Royle. There are some big name authors among his 20 chosen stories, Will Self and Jeanette Winterson to...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/04/2012

Games Creatures Play
Charlaine Harris
Everyone plays something - whether it's solitaire or squash or stockcar racing, World of Warcraft or World Wrestling Entertainment tournaments, darts or dodgeball. Games bring out the best in us, the worst in us, the thing-we-never-expected in us. Human beings...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/04/2014

Chestnut Street
Maeve Binchy
Just round the corner from St Jarlath's Crescent (featured in MINDING FRANKIE) is Chestnut Street. Here, the lives of the residents are revealed in Maeve Binchy's wonderfully compelling tales: Bucket Maguire, the window cleaner, who must do more than he...
Format: Hardback - Released: 24/04/2014

Colum Mccann
In 1919 Emily Ehrlich watches as two young airmen, Alcock and Brown, emerge from the carnage of World War One to pilot the very first non-stop transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to the west of Ireland. In 1845 Frederick Douglass, a...
Format: Paperback - Released: //--

Trouble in Mind
Jeffery Deaver
A cunning collection of short stories from the master of misdirection, including original tales featuring the hugely popular series characters Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance. TENSION ...An aging actor attempts to revive his career by entering a celebrity poker game...
Format: Hardback - Released: 13/03/2014

Truly, Madly, Deeply
Adele Parks, Carole Matthews, Jill Mansell
From wedding days to special anniversaries, steamy one-night encounters to everlasting loves, Truly, Madly, Deeply takes you on an unforgettable romantic adventure where love really is all you need. This collection brings together all-new specially selected stories from star authors...
Format: Paperback - Released: 21/02/2014

Four Warned
Jeffrey Archer
**A Quick Read from the number one bestselling writer and author of Kane and Abel** These four short stories from a master storyteller are packed full of twists and turns. In Stuck on You, Jeremy finds out exactly the best...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/02/2014

No Man's Land Writings from a World at War
Pete Ayrton
The Great War gave birth to some of the twentieth century's most celebrated writing; from Brooke to Sassoon, the poetry generated by the war is etched into collective memory. But it is in prose fiction that we find some of...
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/01/2014

A Cat, a Hat, and a Piece of String
Joanne Harris
Stories are like Russian dolls; open them up, and in each one you'll find another story. Come to the house where it is Christmas all year round; meet the ghost who lives on a Twitter timeline; be spooked by a...
Format: Paperback - Released: 16/01/2014

The Story Love, Loss & The Lives of Women: 100 Great Short Stories
Victoria Hislop
Witty, heartbreaking, shocking, satirical: the short story can excite or sadden, entice or repulse. The one thing it can never be is dull. Now Victoria Hislop, passionate ambassador for the art of the short story, has collected 100 stories from...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/09/2013

Reality, Reality
Jackie Kay
The women of Reality, Reality are mesmerizing, whether in love or in solitude. Full of compassion, generosity, sorrow and joy, their fifteen unforgettable stories explore the power of the imagination to make things real, and celebrate, most of all, those...
Format: Paperback - Released: 20/06/2013

Emma Donoghue
Counterfeiter. Dishwasher. Prostitute. Attorney. Sculptor. Mercenary. Elephant. Corpse. The fascinating characters that roam across the pages of Emma Donoghue's latest fact-inspired fictions have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters. They cross other borders, too: those of race, law,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 25/10/2012

Feeling the Fear And Other Intriguing Tales
Carolyn Pertwee
Intriguing, shocking, moving and sometimes humorous, this collection of short stories is a real gem. Each 10 - 15 page story is an intense blend, each with its own emotional flavour and amazingly, for their short length, full of twists...
Format: Paperback - Released: 29/02/2012

Summer Lies
Bernhard Schlink
From Bernhard Schlink, the internationally best-selling author of The Reader, come seven provocative and masterfully calibrated stories. Tender yet unsentimental, achingly personal yet utterly universal, Summer Lies asks what it means to love, to deceive and ultimately, to be...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/05/2013

The Weight of a Human Heart
Ryan O'Neill
This prize winning short story collection is sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, but always startlingly original. The Weight of a Human Heart turns the rules of storytelling on their head.
Format: Paperback - Released: 24/07/2012

Burning Bright
Ron Rash
A dozen blistering, disturbing, and remarkable short stories. Burning Bright won the 2010 Frank O’Connor Award and Ron Nash can count the superstar authors Margaret Atwood and Irvine Welsh among his fans. He has also written the exquisite...
Format: Paperback - Released: 16/08/2012

New World Fairy Tales
Cassandra Parkin
In contemporary America, an un-named college student sets out on an obsessive journey of discovery to collect and record the life-stories of total strangers. The interviews that follow have echoes of another, far more famous literary journey, undertaken long ago...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/12/2011

The Book of Life
Stuart Nadler
In The Book of Life, as in life, moments of unsettling tension and grief sit alongside those of humour and happiness. There are huge betrayals one man sleeps with his best friend's daughter, one with his best friend's wife. There...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/04/2012

This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You
Jon Mcgregor
A man builds a tree house by a river, in anticipation of the coming flood. A sugar-beet crashes through a young woman's windscreen. A boy sets fire to a barn. A pair of itinerant labourers sit by a lake, talking...
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/02/2012

Diving Belles
Lucy Wood
Along Cornwall's ancient coast, the flotsam and jetsam of the past becomes caught in the cross-currents of the present and, from time to time, a certain kind of magic can float to the surface...Straying husbands lured into the sea can...
Format: Hardback - Released: 19/01/2012

In Other Worlds SF and the Human Imagination
Margaret Atwood
IN OTHER WORLDS: SF AND THE HUMAN IMAGINATION is Margaret Atwood's account of her relationship with the literary form we have come to know as 'science fiction'. This relationship has been lifelong, stretching from her days as a child reader...
Format: Hardback - Released: 04/10/2012

Julian Barnes
A collection of stories that are attuned to rhythms and currents: of the body, of love and sex, illness and death, connections and conversations. Ranging from the domestic to the extraordinary, from the vineyards of Italy to the English seaside...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/08/2011

Manhattan in Reverse
Peter F. Hamilton
In 1998 Peter F. Hamilton, the master of space opera and top ten bestselling author, published his first collection of short stories in A Second Chance at Eden. Thirteen years later he returns to short fiction with a new collection....
Format: Paperback - Released: 10/05/2012

The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime
Maxim Jakubowski
This great annual covers the full range of mystery fiction, from noir and hardboiled crime to ingenious puzzles and amateur sleuthing. This year's volume contains stories by: Peter James, Nick Quantrill, Reginald Hill, Jay Stringer, Liza Cody, L. C. Tyler,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/02/2012

Stop What You're Doing and Read This!
Mark Haddon, Michael Rosen, Zadie Smith, Carmen Callil
In any 24 hours there might be sleeping, eating, kids, parents, friends, lovers, work, school, travel, deadlines, emails, phone calls, Facebook, Twitter, the news, the TV, Playstation, music, movies, sport, responsibilities, passions, desires, dreams. Why should you stop what you're...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/12/2011

Emerald City
Jennifer Egan
From the author of one of the top novels of 2011, A Visit from the Goon Squad, comes an elegant and poignant collection of short stories; seamless evocations of self-discovery. These eleven masterful stories - the first collection from...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/01/2012

The Best Little Book Club in Town

A terrific collection of short stories from bestselling authors including Kate Mosse, Katie Fforde, Lee Child, Sophie Kinsella and Jodi Picoult. Here are stories of love, passion, mystery and hope - and the discovery that some of the more surprising...
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/09/2011

Look at Me
Jennifer Egan
September 2011 Book of the Month. From the author of the bestselling A Visit from the Goon Squad, this is one of Jennifer Egan's bold, innovative earlier novels published in a new...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/09/2011

The Complete Short Stories
Muriel Spark
Muriel Spark coolly probes the idiosyncrasies that lurk beneath the veneer of human respectability, displaying the acerbic wit and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her unique talent. The Complete Short Stories is a collection to be loved and cherished,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 18/08/2011

The Best British Short Stories 2011
Nicholas Royle
In true Ronseal fashion this book really ‘does what it says' on the cover. In it you’ll find the best short stories published by British writers, whether based in the UK or elsewhere and you won’t be disappointed.
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/04/2011

Touchy Subjects
Emma Donoghue
How do you make conversation with a sperm donor? How do you say someone's novel is drivel? Would you give a screaming baby brandy? In what words would you tell your girlfriend to pluck a hair on her chin? Touchy...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/04/2011

Aphrodite's Hat
Salley Vickers
This book is sheer delight. With a sharp observation of the minutiae of human life combined with wonderful little twists and turns, the writing is reminiscent of all that so many enjoy in Alexander McCall Smith. Here, Salley Vickers...
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/06/2011

Last Fling
Sue Gee
This is the first short story collection from an acclaimed novelist with a wide and loyal readership. All stories are written with Sue Gee's insight, precision and delicacy of style and tone. Poignant, haunting and immensely readable.
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/05/2011

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About this category

Sometimes you want War and Peace and sometimes something a little thinner! Round here, we love a good short story! A short burst of escapism and perfect for the trip to work. After all a Test Match takes time and a 20/20 can be a lot more fun!


Joanna Trollope, novelist and prize judge has said: "Short stories are notoriously difficult to pull off successfully, needing—as they do—to involve the readers during reading as well as to leave them with something to reflect on afterwards, and all in only a few thousand words.”


Have a look at these great short stories and if you are an author read on for details of the new Costa Short Story Award, The Scott Prize and the BBC Short story prize that you may want to enter.



The Scott Prize logo 2012

The Scott Prize is an international annual prize for a first collection of short stories in English. The publisher Salt accepts submissions of short story manuscripts from 1st July until 31st October each year. The shortlist will be announced on 1 February the following year, the winner will be announced during April and published six months later. Click here to find out more.



BBC Short Story Award 2012

Now in its eighth year, the BBC National Short Story Award has expanded its remit to become the BBC International Short Story Award 2013. The Award continues to serve as a reminder of the power of the short story and to celebrate a literary form that is proving ever more versatile in the 21st century.

Click here to see the shortlisted authors.


And if you need some inspiration...  Kavita Jindal recently won the The Haruki Murakami Short Story Competition [in association with his publisher, Harvill Secker] - where entrants had to write a short story of no more than 1,500 words based on a line Haruki Murakami selected from his novel, 1Q84. Click here to read the whole wonderful short story.

A published poet, Kavita also contributed to the Tindal Press Short story collection Too Asian, Not Asian Enough.



Great short crime fiction from Maxim Jakubowksi


Maxim Best of British Crime jacket


Maxim has compiled the Mammoth Book of Best British Crime, a must have anthology of the best short crime fiction. Click here to find out more.



Finally, here is a link to a list of other short story competitions you may want to consider entering




A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include:

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