15 Stellar Short Stories You Can Read Online This Month

In April, America celebrates National Poetry Month. From June to August, beach reads occupy long summer days. Nestled nicely between, there’s another seasonal celebration of literature: National Short Story Month.

Short stories ― works of fiction that are smaller than a breadbox, but bigger than a double haiku ― are too often overlooked by book buyers and those responsible for literary awards. But the entire month of May is dedicated to the form, so it’s as good a time as any to dip into the huge body of good work available online.

Below are some of our favorites, from both emerging and established writers.

1. “Three Friends in a Hammock” by April Ayers Lawson

Three women observe a party and reflect on their relationships with one another. This story was later published in her collection Virgin: And Other Stories.

Read it at Granta.


2. “The 37” by Mary Miller

Anthologized in Miller’s recent collection Always Happy Hour, this story follows a girl trying to get home to see her mother in Mississippi. 

Read it at Joyland.


3. “Mandatory Carry” by Caleb March

Part of Motherboard’s fiction project highlighting inventive takes on near-future scenarios, March’s story, as its title implies, is set in a world where carrying a gun is not only legal ― it’s required. 

Read it at Terraform.

4. “Hall of Small Mammals” by Thomas Pierce

From Pierce’s collection of the same title, “Hall of Small Mammals” follows a man on a trip to the zoo with his girlfriend’s preteen son. 

Read it at LitHub.


5. “Sports Night” by Rebecca Schiff

From her collection The Bed Moved, Schiff’s “Sports Night” centers on a teen reporter who’s disenchanted with the performance of ambition the job entails. 

Read it at Catapult.


6. “You Are Happy?” by Akhil Sharma

A boy observes his mother’s decent into alcoholism in Shamra’s story, which will appear in his collection out this summer. 

Read it at The New Yorker.


7. “Settling” by Jenny Zhang

A girl named Lillian fixates on a childhood classmate who seems ― according to her social media posts, anyway ― to have found an enviable partner. Zhang’s first book of fiction, Sour Heart, is out this summer. 

Read it at Lenny Letter.


8. “Jackalope Run” by CJ Hauser

Hauser’s “short short” centers on a woman’s friendship with a restaurant owner in Connecticut. 

Read it at Hobart.


9. “You Are Here” by Victoria Lancelotta

A teenage couple flees to a motel equipped with junk food and a hope that they can raise their baby there ― or somewhere else beyond their small town. 

Read it at Gettysburg Review.

10. “A Hundred and Twenty Muscles” by Rachel Heng

In another great work of flash fiction, a young girl plays with her class pet ― a rabbit named Domino ― a little too violently. 

Read it at The Offing.


11. “A Bruise the Size and Shape of a Door Handle” by Daisy Johnson

Collected in Johnson’s new book Fen, this story follows a girl, Salma, who moves in with her father after her mother’s death. 

Read it at American Short Fiction.


12. “The Drownings” by Brenda Peynado

When a new girl, Rosa, comes to town, it sets off a series of drownings and near-drownings. 

Read it at The Masters Review.


13. “Rag” by Maryse Meijer

Maryse Meijer’s first short story collection, Heartbreaker, came out last summer. “Rag,” which isn’t in that collection, is narrated by a weapon a man uses to kill a woman. 

Read it at Paper Darts.


14. “We Are Other People Tonight” by T Kira Madden

A couple visits Boca Raton for their anniversary and absurdity unfolds. Madden’s first book ― a memoir ― is coming out in 2019. 

Read it at Midnight Breakfast.


15. “The Girl I Hate” by Mona Awad

“The Girl I Hate” is from Awad’s connected stories, “13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl,” and explores jealousy between two women who met at work. 

Read it at Post Road Magazine.

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