Quotes and snippets of interest to short story writers from the host of, a short story writing challenge.

“To me, the only Off Limit topics are those which you, the author, cannot bring yourself to write about. And if you can’t, well, you probably should.”

– Merry Jones, (in the comments)

“Each character should have one thing that sets them apart from the rest of the people in the story. Whether that is a physical characteristic, a point of view, or a verbal tick doesn’t really matter.”

– Eric Bosarge,

“Each one of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all these different graces of God, put yourselves at the service of others. If you are a speaker, speak in words which seem to come from God; if you are a helper, help as though every action was done at God’s orders;”

– 1 Peter 10

“Your instinct is usually incredibly accurate…you have to trust yourself and, as you do that, you can achieve incredible things.”

– Oliver Wilson,

“The average day in a wannabe author’s week and a real author’s week looks almost the same. The real author writes a couple pages, laying a brick, and the wannabe author writes nothing. 98% of their day is otherwise identical. But a year later, the real author has a completed first draft of a book and the wannabe author has…nothing.”

But here’s the thing — we joke about “It’s an honour just to be nominated,” which is totally true. There are a lot of stories in any given year and to be noticed by a significant enough number of readers to make the ballot– that’s an honour. To be given a Hugo is amazing. So I take the award out with me to let folks see the tangible representation of the very great honour they have given me.

Because that’s what an award is. It’s not a hunk of glass or metal, it’s a tangible representation of the fact that a given work has made a connection with readers. And that connection? That is all any writer wants.

– Mary Robinette Kowal, on winning the 2014 Hugo for Best Novelette,

“A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.”

– Eudora Welty

““Writing a short story is, I suppose, a more emotional business than writing a novel. You start a novel with a lot of emotion, a lot of inspiration; it is a thing of the heart but you have to keep it going for a long time. You need the stamina.
“With a short story, the original feeling can carry the emotion right through [to the end].””

– Graham Swift,