Celebrate Short Fiction Day Date in the current year: December 21, 2024

Celebrate Short Fiction Day Celebrate Short Fiction Day, also known as National Short Story Day, is observed annually on December 21, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It was created to honor the short story in all its forms and lengths, as well as to recognize authors of short fiction.

Short fiction is one of the oldest types of literature. It has existed in form of anecdotes, fables, fairy tales, folk tales, myths, legends, and tell tales since ancient times. The short story in its modern form began to develop in the late 18th century; the first true collections of short stories were published in the 1810s. Early short story writers included Prosper Mérimée, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Edgar Allan Poe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

A short story is a piece of fiction that can typically be read in a single sitting. The word count of short stories usually varies from 1,000 to 4,000, although some pieces of fiction that are as long as 15,000 are regarded as short stories rather than novelettes. Stories shorter than 1,000 words may be called short short stories, flash fiction, or micro fiction. Unlike novels with multiple storylines and characters, short stories typically focus on a self-contained incident or a series of linked incidents and have a limited cast of characters.

Celebrate Short Fiction Day was created by American author Nancy Christie, known for her short story collections Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories, Peripheral Visions and Other Stories, and Mistletoe Magic and Other Holiday Tales. She launched the holiday in 2013 and choose the first day of astronomical winter in the Northern Hemisphere because it is the shortest day of the year.

Christie said she wanted to create a perfect occasion to curl up with a good short story, taking advantage of the long winter evening, rather than bemoan the lack of sunlight on a short day. According to her, reading a complete, well-crafted short story in one sitting is a special kind of satisfaction that every reader should experience.

Short fiction and short story authors are often underestimated. In reality, it takes a lot of skill, imagination, and focus to create short fiction. When it comes to writing, size shouldn’t matter, only quality. A good piece of fiction is a good peace of fiction, regardless of whether it is 100 or 100,000 words long.

Anyone can host and participate in Celebrate Short Fiction Day events: short story writers, readers, bookstores, libraries, magazines, publishers, etc. If you’re a writer, you can write a new short story to celebrate the holiday, offer a free download of one of your short stories, host a writing workshop at your local school, library or bookstore, and promote works by your fellow short story writers on your social media.

If you’re a bookstore owner/manager or a librarian, you can host a read-a-thon or workshop with short story writers, and promote specific short story anthologies or collections through special displays and your social media channels. Finally, if you’re a reader, you can attend an event near you, curl up with a short story collection, discover new short story authors, and post about your favorite authors on social media with the hashtags #CelebrateShortFictionDay and #NationalShortStoryDay.

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Celebrate Short Fiction Day, National Short Story Day, cultural observances, holidays in the US, Nancy Chistie