May is, apparently, Short Story Month. According to the sponsor, StoryADay.org, we are in the second golden age of the short story. This is exciting news to me because I love short stories! From an impressionable reading age, I dug short stories. "Tale of the Magi" caught my attention when I was 14, and "The Veldt" knocked my socks off in Honors American Studies my junior year of high school.
Unfortunately, I don't take many opportunities to read stories, mostly because I have this weird hangup about reading a book from cover-to-cover rather than just dipping in when the mood or need arises. On a complete whim, I have decided to read a story a day in May. I don't have a plan. My only hope is to read widely within the genre--shelf-sitters, recommendations from friends and reviews, single author volumes, anthologies, emerging writers, classic authors, new-to-me authors, favorite authors, and re-reads.
In addition to my shelves, the following websites have links to stories, free and not:
Akashic Books (free 750-word stories)
Library of America's "Story of the Week"
NPR's celebration of National Short Story Month (with list of suggested authors and collections)
Vintage has a story in ebook format for each day of the month (for purchase)
Graywolf Press authors talk about short stories (with links to purchasing stories)
And, there is always fiction in The New Yorker.