| Swag | Graphics | Tutorials | Inspiration | Productivity Tools | Writing Prompts | Places To Find Story Ideas | About Storytelling | Podcasts | Online Short Story Collections | Flash Fiction Reading List |
Need a StoryADay journal, coffee mug or t-shirt to keep you going through the challenge? Click here.
- Official participant badges are here.
- StoryADay Courses and Books – all the StoryADay courses, workbooks and ebooks, including Breaking Writers’ Block and The Time To Write Workshop.
- What StoryADay May Can Do For You – Video – A video interview with StoryADay’s Julie Duffy by DIYMFA.com.
- Follow the StoryADay Best of the Web for Short Story Writers series for a monthly round up of the best writing/productivity/creativity posts I find online.
- The Writing Excuses Podcast is fifteen minutes long and features three working writers and/or artists and their guests riffing on writing. It’s really valuable even if you are not, like the guys in the podcast, writing in SF/Fantasy/Horror/comics. They talk about craft, the day to day job, and the business. And it’s fun.
- InkyFresh Writing Prompts – from StoryADay participant Janel Gradowski, posted on alternate Fridays (4.26.11)
- Zadie Smith’s Rules For Writers
- Check out Rachel Green’s Photo Prompts on Flickr if you need a story idea (5/01/10) – via Amanda
- Follow @WritingPrompt on Twitter for regular prompts (5/01/10) – via Amanda
- Writer and Editor Tom Bentley shares excellent advice on living and working as a writer (4/20/10).
- Blogger Chris Brogan talks about where he finds ideas and about the practice of writing. Not fiction-related but useful nonetheless. (4/13/10)
- Sign up to read A Short Story A Day from AmericanLiterature.com (added 3/15/10)
- Advice from Billy Collins Poetic advice to writers from the former Poet Laureate
- Escape Pod A sci-fi short story podcast. If you need inspiration, why not listen to some great short stories?
- Hack Your Way Though Writer’s Block Great advice for days when you get stuck.
- Inky Girl A writer’s weblog, from former Inkspot Editor, Debbie Ohi, mostly focusing on kid’s lit — plus great original comics.
- Jennifer Weiner on Ideas Novelist Weiner shares her inspiration for her novels
- Name Your Characters Name your babies with the most popular current baby names.
- Where To Find Ideas Writing inspiration from Leo Babuta
- Hack Your Way Though Writer’s Block Great advice for days when you get stuck.
- One Writer’s Post-Morten on his efforts to write a story a day for a YEAR (and you thought we were being ambitious?!). Really useful analysis of what he gained from it!
- Why Self-Conscious Writers Are Doomed – and some advice about how NOT to be either one.
- Tons of worksheets to help you brainstorm ideas, flesh our characters, break out story beats, from Jill Williamson (10/20/2015).
- Brainstorming Your Story, with LitReactor. Intended for NaNoWiMo novelists, but could work just as well for short story writers. (added 10/20/2015)
- A huge list of other monthly writing challenges from Dragon Writing Prompts
- One Word A fun, get-writing exercise. They give you a word, you start typing, they cut you off after 60 seconds. Fun way to warm up (added 3/18/10)
- Word Count Tool Online cut and paste tool for counting all those lovely words
- Write Or Die! Set your time limit and write quickly, or Dr. Evil’s gizmo will begin to erase your words!
- The Daily Prompt by Email from StoryADay.org (during the challenge only)
- Weekly Write On Wednesday prompts from StoryADay.org
- Daily topics to get you going, from someone who had a similar idea for A Story A Day
- Chaotic Shiny writing prompts and exercises
- Piano Bar Song titles that can also be used as story titles
- All But Forgotten Oldies – more song titles to spark stories
- Rory’s Story Cubes – now available for iOS. Also available as incredibly pleasing physical dice.
Places To Find Story Ideas
- I Stole This From You – short stories and illustrations about meaningful, stolen objects.
- Flickr’s Explore Feature – Every day photo site Flickr puts up beautiful photos. Browse, get inspired, write.
- Obituaries – Potted life-stories for you to mine.
- Wikipedia’s Front Page – Featured article, On This Day, In The News, Did You Know…? I challenge you NOT to find a story idea here!
Jon Scalzi’s The Big Idea One writer asking other writers about the Big Idea behind their stories. Always fascinating.
Story Structure To Die For – an introductory article and the offer of a whole free ebook on the topic by novelist and screenwriter P.J. Reece.
On writing unsympathetic characters – from Elizabeth Hand’s talk at the Odyssey S/F Writers Workshop
Amazon.com’s Backstory – author interviews and more
On Writing About Loss – and other ‘exhausted’ topics, by short story writer Robin Black. Some great ideas here.
Leverage Writers’ Blog – The TV show Leverage (which I’ve never seen) has some wonderfully opinionated writers who share their thoughts here. This page has articles about screenwriting, but they focus on story, story, story (not the ins and outs of typsetting or the TV business, although there is some of that, which you can skip if you don’t care.) WARNING The language is not always G-Rated.
Podcasts for Inspiration
15-20 minutes about writing, creativity, inspiration, prompts and more, based on the monthly StoryADay Themes. Every two weeks throughout the year.
This podcast features published authors on tour to promote their latest release. Sometimes the podcast features archived events, but usually they are recent. Each author usually reads a little from their work then takes questions from the audience. The library has a good system, where they take microphones into the audience so you can hear the questions as well as the answers. The audio quality is good and the questions are asked by everyday folks like you and me. I love this podcast.
This podcasts hosts many of the same authors as the Philadelphia podcast, but the authors often read different passages and answer different questions. Also, it hosts more ‘smaller’ authors who have a local connection. It’s nice to get a non-East-coast, non-establishment perspective. Also, AOT sometimes takes its recorder on the road and reports from places like Book Expo America.
A monthly podcast from the University Bookstore in Seattle. For the past four years Nancy Pearl has talked to big name authors on tour. This interview-style works well, perhaps because it’s in a bookstore and the authors are comfortable; perhaps because Nancy Pearl is an intelligent interviewer. The audio quality is great and the half-hour length is long enough to go in-depth with the authors but not so long that it drags. This is available as audio-only or video too.
Running since Oct 2010, still being updated. Interviews with authors. Fewer big names than the other podcasts, which means you hear some new voices.
From the University of California at Irvine. Discussions on art and writing, featuring interviews with writers, and occasionally editors and agents. Recent guests have included Edwidge Dandicat and Betsy Lerner.
Interviews with authors. Interviewer talks a bit too much, but really loves books, so we’ll forgive him.
This one isn’t about writers or specifically for writers, but it’s inspiring anyway. Little potted stories of people’s lives.
Storycorps is a group that collects real-life stories for the National Folk Archive in the US. Storycorps takes its mobile booths all over the country and invites people to bring a relative or friend in, and interview them. From the old New York couple talking about their first date, to the girl who lost her fiance on 9/11, to the 100 year old southern triplet who used to dance in sideshows, to daughter interviewing mothers…just try listening to these without tearing up, I dare you. Then go away and figure out how to do the same to your readers 😉
Education – Craft and Workshop Podcasts
This podcast features excerpts from classes taught at the Odyssey writing workshop held each summer. 16 writers are picked each year for this professional-level workshop, and it features published authors as teachers and lecturers. Each podcast is 15-20 minutes long and packed with useful information for more than just Science Fiction or Fantasy writers. These talks are aimed specifically at writers, not readers, and you should come away inspired to get back to your own writing after listening. Sometimes the talks touch on the publishing business, but more often the topic is craft-related.
Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells are writers and artists in the science fiction world. Their podcast’s tagline is was enough to turn me into a fan: “15 Minutes Long, because you’re in a hurry and we’re not that smart”. They discuss the craft of writing from their perspective as working writers. The free-form conversation follows a different topic in every episode. As always, just because these guys are sci-fi and fantasy writers, this does not make their advice applicable only to SF writers! My top ‘must-listen’ podcast.
All the stuff inside a MFA, none of the crippling student debt. You should subscribe!
Story consultant Paula B takes first chapters from a listener/writer and critiques it. This grew out of the most popular segment of her former podcast The Writing Show. I’ve always found it useful from time to time, to really tear apart someone else’s work and see what they’re doing – what works, what doesn’t and why. This show is all about doing that. Maybe you’ll even be brave enough to submit your first chapter…
Litopia hosts four different podcasts: Litopia After Dark, The Debriefer, Between The Lines and Open House. Litopia After Dark is a “A literary salon” with five hosts, each of whom brings a topic and gets a different discussion going, and a chatroom where people can send in comments during the broadcast. It is extremely well produced and it is fun. Good for reminding lonely authors in our garrets that we’re not alone! Between the Lines is an interview-with-the-author podcast and Open House is a call-in show (“Skype-in”, actually). My favourite, though is The Debriefer podcast hosted by Florida lawyer Donna Ballman. She covers legal issues as related to writing: using legal issues in stories, legal issues that affect writers. It’s a short, focussed podcast and I find it quite fascinating.
This one violates my policy of not reviewing podcasts that are no longer being updated. There are only six episodes of this podcast, from 2006 but they are so tightly focused on the craft of writing, that I wanted to include them anyway. She seems to have moved on to creating products like workshops and classes that she charges for (and I don’t blame her one bit), so grab the free podcast info and graduate to paid classes if you like her stuff.
This podcast is aimed specifically at non-fiction, science fiction, screenwriting and comic book writers. It’s relatively new but promising.
Improve Your Writing – Further Reading on the Craft
Podcasts for writers – a list
Short Story Collections Online
100WordStories.com – 100 words is a challenging yet achievable length of story, especially when you’re trying to write one a day. Read some stories at this site to get inspired (and think about submitting one of yours, when the challenge is over!)
3 AM Magazine – With the tagline “Whatever it is, we’re against it”, how could I resist this publication? Its rebellious spirit is the perfect inspiration for short fiction writers.
BBC Classic Short Stories – Let the BBC’s hand-picked readers tell you some classic tales in this well-produced audio series. Includes stories like Charlotte Gilman Perkins’ The Yellow Wallpaper and stories by O. Henry, Edgar Allen Poe, Guy de Maupassant, Arthur Conan Doyle, Kate Chopin and more
Escapepod – the best in Science Fiction read to you in a weekly podcast. Also check out their horror, fantasy, and young adult speculative sister podcasts.
Flash Fiction Online – another great source to find short fiction that packs a punch.
Flash Fiction Chronicles – more short fiction, available online.
LeVar Burton Reads – an excellent podcast where the USA’s favorite literacy advocate reads stories he loves in his silky-smooth voice.
Nano Fiction – super short stories. Take a look and see just what you could achieve in very few words!
Project Gutenberg – The Granddaddy of them all. All books here are public domain (and therefore a little elderly, no I mean they’re classics) but you can rest assured you’re not abusing anyone’s copyright. Books are available in a variety of formats from Text files to ePub and Kindle formats.
Smokelong Quarterly – A venerable repository of flash fiction online. All stories can be read in a smoke-break—that’s how long this website’s been running. You used to be able to smoke in public!
Vestal Review – Possibly the oldest online flash fiction magazine out there, and still publishing great stuff.
Flash Fiction Reading
- For Literary Fiction try Electric Lit’s Archive for Commuters or this HuffPo list of 15 stories
- For Romance try Flash Fiction Online’s Romance section or Flash Fiction Library’s Romance archive
- For Science Fiction try Daily Science Fiction, 365Tomorrows, Flash Fiction Online’s Sci-Fi Archive, Tor.com
- For Fantasy try Every Day Fiction’s Fantasy archive, Tor.com, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, The Arcanist
- For Dystopian Fiction try this list from BookRiot
- For Mystery Flash, try FlashBangMysteries.com, Quick Mystery, Short Fiction Break’s Thriller Archive, Flash Fiction Library’s Mystery Archive