I’ve been talking about short stories a lot this week. WHY do you think that is?

your humble host

Well, short stories build writer muscles.

Writing short stories forces you to get the story up and running quickly, thereby grabbing your reader’s attention.

Short stories that get published in an anthology are a great way to get your name out there and start building a following while you finish your novel.

Ditto for a chapter or scene from a short story. 

But while all of those are good reason, they are not THE reason.


No, that’s not it, either.


Writing short stories the way we do it here gets your story into a contest and possibly an anthology, but in the process it gets you to let someone else see it (me) and get input on it (from me) by a nice person (me).

Then a lot of those stories or scenes go from potentially never being seen by eyes other than you and your cat…

…to winning a contest or placing in a contest and possibly going into an anthology that gets published – making you a published author.


I have a friend who says she was *this close” to not publishing her book, but after I talked some sense into her, it went on to become a best seller.

It could have languished in a drawer, but it sold 20,000+ copies in its first year.

More than one person from our contests has gone on to publish the novel they’d been sitting on for a loooooong time – and those books are doing well!


I see the entries.

Most of you are much better writers than you think!

Some of you suck. You do. But not most of you, and even the ones who suck can learn how to improve because I help them see what to fix and offer suggestions and examples on how to do it.


I’ve seen it. I’ve read the entries, contest after contest, and I‘ve seen how good you guys are.

I’ve seen how good you guys are.

I’ve seen how good you guys are.

So have you! The fourth place winner and the honorable mention winner – those are good stories! You’ve read them.

You can be one.

Yeah, you.

I’m not out to embarrass anybody. Look at the comments about my critique style. It’s not harsh. If I was harsh with people, that’s what they’d be saying, instead of how helpful I am. So it’s not me…

Sure, entering a contest is risky.

But not very.

You could stink, it’s true. But it’s better to see that and learn to fix it, right? Besides, you probably don’t stink. The very fact that you think you might, and read it here where we teach you good writing stuff, means you don’t stink. You’re aware enough to be here, learning.

In fact, most of you are pretty good

Stop depriving the world of your story!

Share it with us in my contest.

Word Weaver SPRINT 1

first place prize package valued at over $300 provided by

Owl and pussycat Promotions



Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 50+ titles published in more than 120 countries and over a dozen languages.

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