Do you like short stories? Do you want to read more of them, or more of a certain kind, or just to get to know the form a little better? Join the Short-Story Reading Challenge for the coming year.

Here are the rules: Set your own goals, and come and tell us what you’re reading. That’s all.

In the 2019 challenge we had a few intrepid readers who shared a sentence or two about each story read. That is not required, though it is appreciated and encouraged. The discussion and sharing of stories (including linking stories that were read online) made last year’s challenge tons of fun and great for learning about the form. But the primary goal is to read. So don’t fret if you don’t have time or inclination to write something about every story. If you’re reading short stories, you belong here!



Here’s my own plan for the challenge. I am once again aiming to read 100 short stories, but at least half of them will be stories from the last five years. It’s very easy and tempting for me to devour collections of stories from my favorite midcentury writers, but as I continue to work on getting my own short stories refined and published, I need to pay close attention to what short stories look like today. And so I’d like to be more intentional about reading new stories. Half of my target sounds like a lot, but it’s just one contemporary short story a week. I should be able to do that!

Okay—I still have three stories to go to complete the 2019 challenge so I’ll get back to that for now, but I’ll be back next week to start in on 2020. How about you?