National Short Story Day

National Short Story Day is a holiday that’s observed right before Christmas, and on the 21st day of December. This is a day to celebrate short fiction and all that it delivers to us. What few people realize is that short stories aren’t just stories that don’t quite cover the length of a book, but are actually a literary genre onto themselves.

Short stories are designed to impart a particular mood, impart a moral or capture a specific moment in time. And this has to be done by weaving together setting, conflict, character, theme, and plot into one seamless work. That’s why they’re observed with their own holiday.

The History Of National Short Story Day

People have been telling short stories for tens of thousands of years, and have been writing down these stories for thousands of years. They are one of the oldest forms of storytelling and a whole art has been created around them.

While novels can cover many different aspects of a particular time period, event, or series of events, short stories have to be more concise. Even so, they’re capable of delivering a punch that can’t be managed by other forms of writing.

Unfortunately, we simply don’t know when this holiday was created. It appears that National Short Story Day’s origin has been lost to the winds of time. We don’t know who created it, when it was created or exactly why it was created. All that we really know is that it was placed on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice.

Observing National Short Story Day

During this holiday we encourage everyone to check out some great short stories. There are some great modern short stories that people can choose from just by going to their local library.

If people can’t decide what short stories to read on this holiday, they can always consider reading some of the best short stories of all time. These include The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (1948), The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe (1843), and A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor (1953).

People can also explore their creative side on this holiday. This can easily be done by writing a few short stories for themselves. Short stories generally are between 1,000 and 4,000 words, although there are some that are a little bit longer. These stories also feature exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion.

We also encourage both readers and writers to spread the word about this holiday and their love of short stories by using the hashtag #NationalShortStoryDay on social media. Let’s all enjoy some new short stories, and if we can, write a few of them as well.

When is it?
This year (2023)
December 21 Thursday
Next year (2024)
December 21 Saturday
Last year (2022)
December 21 Wednesday
Education & Reading