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Welcome To Thresholds

April 19th 2017

Welcome to THRESHOLDS: home of the international short story forum, with over 80,000 visits per year. Members can participate by joining our team of bloggers, entering into online discussions, and submitting material to Writing Exercises, Author Profiles, We Recommend and Discussions. Contact us at: thresholds@chi.ac.uk.

Stories from the Desert that Speak to the World

April 26th 2017

ELIZABETH EDELGLASS recommends Apples from the Desert by Savyon Liebrecht: 'Liebrecht is a multi-talented author who has written, and been honored for novels, novellas, plays, and television scripts, but the short story is the form that first brought her acclaim and to which she always returns…'

Cormac McCarthy, Whether He Likes it or Not

April 24th 2017

RICHARD NEWTON, shortlisted in the 2017 Feature Writing Competition, recommends Cormac McCarthy as a short story writer, whether he likes it or not: 'Ride him down, bring him in. Against his will, if that’s what it takes. Drag him to the pantheon kicking and writhing. Disregard his testimony: ‘I'm not interested in writing short stories. Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.’ Commit Cormac McCarthy to the front rank of short story writers; to hell with his protestations…'

Don’t You?

April 19th 2017

In this essay, shortlisted for the 2017 THRESHOLDS International Short Fiction Feature Writing Competition, MORGAN OMOTOYE is reminded of the power of the short story in Jennifer Egan’s ‘Why China?’: 'While reading ‘Why China?’ I was a sad-sack stock trader, a sculptor, a globe trotting criminal, an ‘Asian woman in a collegiate headband’ and a twelve-year-old girl. Egan’s skill lies in presenting the immediacy of these lives in moments of duress and transformation. While I read there were no walls, no borders, no barriers between what these characters made me feel and think. I was me and also not only me…'

Beings Charged With Violence

April 17th 2017

In this essay, shortlisted for the 2017 THRESHOLDS International Short Fiction Feature Writing Competition, SEAN BAKER finds the 'country noir' in Daniel Woodrell's collection The Outlaw Album: 'Daniel Woodrell could be said to be America’s best-kept secret, its greatest writer no one has ever heard of. Tell anyone that your favourite writer is Daniel Woodrell, and you are met with a blank face … But mention WINTER'S BONE to most people and you get an “Ohhhh” of recognition as they recall the 2010 Oscar-nominated film starring Jennifer Lawrence pre-Hunger Games mega-fame. Point out that it’s actually based on a Daniel Woodrell novel of the same name and their faces register something approaching interest and a promise to check out the book…'

storyteller, liar, dreamer

April 12th 2017

CATHY SWEENEY, runner-up in the 2017 Feature Writing Competition, recommends 'Sinbad the Sailor' by Yuri Buida: 'Let’s start with this: many writers distrust stories. This may seem odd since they are compelled to spend their lives telling them, but such is human nature. I am thinking of writers such as Kafka and Borges and Pirandello and Beckett. And Yuri Buida. They do not consider stories to be the source of truth because they know that truth is a tricky thing, and not something that can easily be contained between ‘once upon a time’ and ‘the end’, like meat between two pieces of bread. If there is something akin to ‘truth’ in a story, it is like the truth that comes from dreams…'

Miss Brill’s Lament

April 10th 2017

JESSICA WHYTE, runner-up in the 2017 Feature Writing Competition, recommends 'Miss Brill' by Katherine Mansfield: 'Katherine Mansfield’s short story ‘Miss Brill’ was written to be read out loud. In early 1921, shortly after the story was first published in the magazine The Athenaeum, Katherine Mansfield wrote to her brother-in-law Richard Murry: ‘after I’d written it, I read it aloud – numbers of times – just as one would play over a musical composition, trying to get it nearer and nearer to the expression of Miss Brill – until it fitted her…'

Did Borges Write the Sci-fi Masterpiece of the 20th Century?

April 7th 2017

FIRST PLACE: ‘Did Borges Write the Sci-fi Masterpiece of the 20th Century?’ by TYLER MILLER – the winning essay in the 2017 THRESHOLDS International Short Fiction Feature Writing Competition…

2017 International Feature Writing Competition Shortlist

March 31st 2017

COMPETITION SHORTLIST: The THRESHOLDS International Short Fiction Feature Writing Competition is now in its sixth year – celebrating all that the short story form has to offer and awarding one deserving essayist the top prize of £500…

Interview with Jamie McKendrick, Poet & Translator

March 29th 2017

INTERVIEW: Stephanie Norgate interviews Jamie McKendrick, poet and translator, on his translation of Georgio Bassani’s short story collection Within the Walls…

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