October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Our first post comes from Timber Mabes in Oklahoma.
Is your love for literature being strained by large amounts of homework? Can you no longer find time to re-read your favorite novel? Have you been seeing movies before reading their books because you â€œjust don’t have the time?â€
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I certainly have a solution for you: Short Stories!
These short and sweet tales started off as spoken fables. Some of them are still told today, but less widely believed true. Old fables would often explain how the earth came to be or why a certain animal has its name, or looks the way it does.
Another ancient form of a short story is the anecdote. These were made popular in Roman and Greek culture and functioned as a sort of parable. These classical works of fiction would mark the onset of the world’s first published short stories.
Today, these â€œmini novelsâ€ are read, and loved by many.
Because short stories naturally range from 1,500 to 30,000 words, you can complete them in an afternoon.
Just like one of your favorite novels, short stories can:
- Take you to another time period or transport you to a different generation.
- Fly you all around the globe, into different countries and incredibly cities.
- Create strong emotional bonds and attachments to their characters.
- Surprise you with gut wrenching plot twists. And,
- Make you anxious for a movie modeled after them.
Now, you may be thinking short stories are very foreign to you; however, you are much more familiar with them than you may believe. Your favorite fairy tales are short stories! Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin were all adopted from a collection short stories called Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
Suzanne Collins’ bestselling trilogy, The Hunger Games, incorporates concepts inspired by a short story, The Lottery, written by Shirley Jackson. In The Lottery, the population of a slight farming town gathers each summer and reaps the citizen’s names from a black box. What is to happen to the chosen ones? You must read the story to find out!
Believe it or not, many popular movies have also been adapted from short stories, too. These movies include:
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; James Thurber
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Jumanji; Chris Van Allsburg
- The Birds; Daphne du Maurier
As well, an abundance of short stories can be found under the horror genre. Famous authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King are known for these powerfully thrilling, justly gory, and wildly suspenseful stories.
Since Halloween is approaching, here are some of the best horror/thrilling short stories:
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
- The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
- The Tomb by H.P. Lovecraft
- The Landlady by Ronald Dahl
- Premium Harmony by Stephen King
- The Ghost Story by Mark Twain
- The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe
- The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stephenson
Short stories can be found in many genres and in a variety of lengths. If you are someone who has a very busy day and is lacking literature, short stories are the way to go!
Timber Mabes is a fifteen year old writer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. When she’s not indulging in a classic novel, she enjoys independent movies, old poetry, good company, and participating in community work about her city.