365 Shorts Challenge

December 10, 2012
By

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of short stories. I love the form, and that applies to writing short stories as well as reading them. With the advent of POD, digital publishing and online magazines, there have never been so many venues for short fiction, and some of them are top notch. As I read so much short fiction, I’ve decided to set myself a challenge. Next year, I plan to read at least 365 short stories, one for every day of the year. Maybe I’ll read even more, but let’s not get carried away. I listen to a lot of short fiction podcasts, so I’m going to include those in my count as well. I read electronic magazines, online zines, print anthologies, print magazines as well as listening to those podcasts, so it should be pretty easy to average one story a day throughout the year. The trick, I think, will be to read several stories at a time and get a few in the bank for each week. We’ll see if I can do it.

I’m going to try to keep track of all the stories I read using the iPhone notepad application, so I can hopefully publish a list a year from now which will detail each one I read, who wrote it and where it was published.

I’ll say now, I kind of expect to fail this challenge. Maintaining an average of one short story a day doesn’t seem too hard, but as soon as a couple of days go by without a story read, the debt begins to grow. I may never even mention this blog post again…

I seem to remember blogging something similar to this a while ago, but I couldn’t even find that post, let alone whether I’d succeeded or not in whatever it was I challenged myself to achieve. Either way, attempting this will mean that I can continue to read at least as many short stories as I already do, possibly even more, and I will hopefully keep a record of what I’ve read.

I won’t be reviewing or commenting on any of the stories as I go along, I’ll simply list what I’ve read. However, come the end of the year, I might try to compile a list of favourites.

So there it is. We’ll see if it happens. If you want to join me in the challenge, please do and I’ll post your results up here too.

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7 Responses to 365 Shorts Challenge

  1. Damien on December 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Is this a self-virtual-kick-up-the-arse? http://www.alanbaxteronline.com/short-day-plan/

    I’ve tried the ‘short a day’ thing every now and then probably since you did this other post, but it’s seen my novel ‘to read’ pile grow and teeter dangerously. My kingdom for more reading time.

  2. alan on December 11, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Oh yeah, there it is! So I totally failed on that attempt. Hopefully this method will be more achievable.

  3. Jodi Cleghorn on December 11, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I have been thinking the same thing, Al. And I’m totally keen to do it with you. I’ve always found doing things in tandem with other folks helps keep me on track.

    I think what stopped me in the past was trying to do reviews… I suck at reviews. But I’m good at reading.

    Let’s say your challenge has been accepted from this corner of the country.

  4. alan on December 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    That’s the idea here – you can read whenever you like and no obligation to review. Just aim for a list of 365 titles for the year.

  5. Dianne on December 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Have you ever visited the 365 Tomorrows website? If not, here is the link: http://365tomorrows.com/ You’ll find lots of science fiction text and audio fiction in the collection.

  6. alan on December 12, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I didn’t know about that place – one for the flash fans. Thanks.

  7. Dianne on December 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I forgot to mention that Blackmask has some short fiction for free download via their fiction page. It is geared towards the hard-boiled and noir detective genre. Here’s hoping they add some of the other stuff they also used to offer up as free reads a while back. http://www.blackmaskmagazine.com/

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Alan Baxter, Author

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