Selected short-story reading (vol. 2)

With the short fiction term of my Creative Writing course wrapped up and the poetry chunk starting in September, I have time to fine-tune a few pieces I’m planning to submit for writing competitions and/or publication. Most of the publishers require previously unpublished work, so I won’t be popping them up here—at least not yet.

In the meantime, though, here are three more stories from other writers I think are worth a read.

We Walked on Water” by Eliza Robertson

In short
Winner of the overall 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and that year’s regional prize for Canada, this 2,000-ish word story is about triathlon, siblings, and heart trouble. And it’s good. Really good.

My take
As a former triathlon spouse, two-time Ironman Canada spectator, older sister, and heart surgery recipient, this one hits really close to home. I imagine it’s just as interesting and moving for readers who tick none of those boxes, particularly anyone familiar with triathlon and/or the Okanagan region.

The Startup” by Rachel Jansen

In short
Virtual reality meets Best Buy, with the main character’s backstory looming. The title is somewhat deceptive as the story is more psychology than technology—an excellent example of speculative fiction, without the need for heavy world-building. And at a little over 2,500 words, it’s a quick read.

My take
Jansen left me puzzling things over, in a good way. Recommended.

Harvey” by Jenni Juvonen

In short
Second-place winner in the 2020 Sapiens Plurum short fiction content, Juvonen’s story follows Annalia as she befriends an octopus. Lots of well-paced dialogue make this nearly 3,000 word story fly by and the main character’s change of heart is well presented.

My take
Wonderful idea and more than suitable for younger readers. The writing style can feel a little clunky, but still recommended.

What the future holds

I suspect I’ll post another round of short stories by women writers before I’m ready to post one of my own, but, who knows, maybe it won’t be long until I’m posting a link to a literary website that’s published a story of mine! Keep your fingers crossed that my submission are warmly received— or that I at least get kind rejection letters.

Other selected short stories

Photo by Susan Flynn on Unsplash

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