Blog Archives

Grist and Grain

January 22nd 2018

MIKE SMITH continues his explorations of the stories of H.E. Bates: ‘I recently stumbled upon a copy of H. E. Bates’ 1955 short story collection The Daffodil Sky & other stories. On the cover is a quotation from a reviewer: “contains some of the best tales he has written”.’

Grist: The Men in H.E. Bates’ ‘The Mill’

November 20th 2017

MIKE SMITH examines the role of men in H.E. Bates’ short story ‘The Mill’: ‘With such stories it is easy to focus exclusively on what we might call ‘the victim,’ and on the outcome, but it’s worth also looking at members of the ‘supporting cast’ whose lives, behaviours and attitudes enable and create the events in which the protagonist is enmeshed…’

Captain Knot

December 5th 2016

MIKE SMITH has a close look at Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch’s short story ‘Captain Knot’: ‘Q is a straightforward writer in many ways, but his simple, accessible language carries subtleties of meaning that raise questions we, rather than he, are to answer…’

Mirror Images

October 22nd 2014

MIKE SMITH compares two stories from James Salter’s collection Last Night: ‘The trajectories of both narratives, although not quite parallel, run close enough for the reader to be aware of the similarities between them. It is as if the author has been testing the same theory under alternative conditions…’

Naming Names…

November 21st 2012

A Fitlow is not a Whitlow, no more than a Dunky is a Harvey…’ MIKE SMITH explores the importance and meanings of character names by looking at those used in the short stories of A.E Coppard.

We Recommend — George Moore

December 19th 2011

He was a grand old man of letters when James Joyce was still the up-and-coming kid on the block’: MIKE SMITH looks at the career of Irish novelist and short story writer George Moore, and calls for a revival of his work.

Old and New Views in the Short Story

November 14th 2011

Continuing his exploration into the way stories work, MIKE SMITH looks at how the protagonist’s view of the world changes.

Theory Put to Practice

October 3rd 2011

Reading other writers on writing is one thing. Reading theorists is another.’ MIKE SMITH finds that theory, too, can offer practical advice to short story writers.

The Debate: Reading Short Stories

September 5th 2011

Must stories be read slowly and deliberately in order to appreciate them fully, as CHARLES E. MAY suggested in a recent post, or can they be skimmed and read quickly as entertainment and still be valued? MIKE SMITH argues that they can.

Just a few words…on flash fiction

June 13th 2011

CAROLYN THOMAS takes a brief look at shorter short story competitions and encourages us all to get writing!

Features Archive

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