Five Engaging Short Stories

Mastering the art of the short story can help you hone the critical skills for writing of any kind.

5 Key Elements for Successful Short Stories

Because this condensed form forces you to get merciless with your storytelling, and forces weaknesses to expose themselves. These five elements are ones I have seen writers struggle with over and over again among the submissions to my short story site.


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Look out for them in your work, and you are well on your way to compelling, cohesive craft. Revisit a short story you have written or write a new one! Are the key elements of cohesive stories present?

Undertale Short Stories Vol. 5

What did you do well in this story? Where are more revisions needed?

Short Stories for High School Students

Share your thoughts in the comments! Especially in this time of cyberbullying, it is important to bring up the conversation of advocating for others, in your class. This story not only is great for analysis; it also allows you to really delve into this topic without seeming preachy. Heck, use it at the start of school as you feel summer leaving you. I promise you your students will love creating their own ending, finding the literary devices, and applying this story to their lives! Judson Webb, an arrogant business man, gets caught in his own nefarious web. Webb wants revenge against a supposed thief.

13 Short Stories for Engaging Secondary Students & Teaching Literary Elements - The Literary Maven

This short story provides an excellent introduction or revision activity for close analysis of language, inference, characterization, and narrative structure. Furthermore, it will allow your students to debate issues of justice, cause and effect, responsibility, and revenge. A perfect package for engaging analytical and critical thinking.


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This little story poses big questions like: Despite being set in the late nineteenth century, students will no doubt relate to the themes of love and personal freedom. Although some of my students may not be eleven at the time we read this story, the lesson is one that we can all identify with. There are times when we all can act mature and our age but there are other times where for no apparent reason, we act immature and childish.

I like teaching this story in the beginning of the year because it gives my students and myself a common experience to draw from. I get to learn about my students from their personal experiences and they get to see that I am not perfect but a human also who makes mistakes, just like them.

Humorous Short Stories for High School Students

This story is great to teach story elements of plot, characters, theme, setting and conflict, and is just one of the stories students read during my short story unit, which culminates with a Short Story Choice Board. Each topic has three different choices for each focus area. Students are required to select one option from each column to complete and then hand in to be assessed.

Where do I even begin? I am a fickle and forgetful reader. This list, then, is not hierarchical or canonical. My choices are, simply, 10 tales from this century that I have read and that I think do something interesting or startling or just downright swoony with the form of the short story. I look forward to having my reading horizons broadened in the comments. With this story, and the rest of the collection it comes from, Tenth of December, he was clearly taking his gifts for voice, character, and satire, and pushing himself to do something much harder and more humane.

This story starts awkwardly, in tune with its two gangly teenage protagonists, and stutters through a lovely character study to suddenly burst into an action tale and an unlikely outbreak of heroism. This story begins at the dawn of time and ends round about now, which is expansive enough for anyone, I feel. It also has beautiful sentences, and there are not enough of those in the world. A real feat of imagination, and all the more terrifying for being set in the made-newly-strange streets of my Norwich childhood.

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