Short Story Challenges 2021

Deal Me In

Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis

(As of this writing Jay hasn’t announced for 2021. I’ll update the above link when he does!)

What is the goal of the challenge?
To read 52 short stories in 2021

What is the purpose?
To have FUN and to be exposed to new authors and stories and maybe get in the habit of reading a short story a week.

What do I need?
1) Access to at least fifty-two short stories.
2) A deck of cards.
3) An average of perhaps as little as just thirty minutes of reading time each week

How do I pick which stories to read?
The 52 stories themselves are totally up to you. Before you get started reading, come up with a roster of fifty-two stories (you can use any source) and assign each one to a playing card in a standard deck of cards. Each “week,” (if you’re like me, you may occasionally fall a story or two behind—that’s okay) you draw a card at random from your deck and that is the story you will read.

No anthologies for me this year. Instead, a back issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and a bunch of stories I’ve bookmarked over the past year or so. In some cases, the “source link” leads not to the story but to the post that recommended the story. This year the deck of cards I will be using are from the US Postal Service’s Art of Magic Kit. Yes, back in 2018, the post office released a set of magic-themed stamps and with it, a commemorative magic kit.

The Willa Cather Short Story Project, Phase II

With her arms folded in front of her, Willa Cather stands in front of an engraved boulder on the University of Nebraska campus. ca. 1893 (Bernice Slote, Papers Collection).
With her arms folded in front of her, Willa Cather stands in front of an engraved boulder on the University of Nebraska campus. ca. 1893 (Bernice Slote, Papers Collection).

Hosted by Chris Wolak

We’re going digital for Phase II and will read Cather’s uncollected short fiction on the Willa Cather Archive. An “uncollected” story just means it was not included in a published book collection of short stories during Cather’s lifetime.

All of the stories currently listed on the WCA’s short fiction page were published in magazines or journals. Some date back to Cather’s writing as a student at the University of Nebraska.

2021 stories:

  • January: “Lou, the Prophet”
  • February: “Peter”
  • March: “A Tale of the White Pyramid”
  • April: “The Son of the Celestial”
  • May: “The Elopement of Allen Poole”
  • June: “The Clemency of the Court”
  • July: “The Fear that Walks by Noonday”
  • August: “On the Divide”
  • September: “A Night at Greenway Court”
  • October: “The Princess Baladina—Her Adventure”
  • November: “Tommy, the Unsentimental”
  • December: “The Count of Crow’s Nest” (Parts I and II)

This challenge is one short story a month, all on-line sources. I’ve been meaning to read more Cather, especially since I’m a former Nebraskan and lived in the Cather-Pound-Neihardt Residence Hall Complex when I was in college at the University of Nebraska.