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

“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,

“Imaginary evil is romantic & varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.”

– Simone Weil, via #thehappinessproject,

Write like it was ten years ago and nobody had told you that you couldn’t do it. Write like it was possible. Write like you had hope, and write like you had dreams, and write like there are millions of people out there waiting to hear what only you can say.

Write like you did before it ever occurred to you that there might be anyone who wanted you to be different.

Outrun it. Outrun the feeling that they might be right. Outrun it, outwrite it, and drown it with voices of love and support and admiration and high fives.

– Naomi Dunford,

“There is a space between man’s imagination and man’s attainment that may only be traversed by his longing”

– Kahil Gibran, Sand and Foam

“[Cezanne] was keenly aware of his historical position. He felt that he was going to go in the history books, so he wanted to make sure to be distinctive.”

– Benedict Leca, director of curatorial affairs at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in Ontario, Canada, on NPR’s Morning Edition

“…and then shit happens because you accidentally fucked up in dogged pursuit of your desires.”

– Chuck Wendig on Motivation, Action and Consequence in fiction,