National Short Story Day

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

Short stories are designed to convey a particular mood, impart a moral, or capture a specific moment in time. This must be done by weaving together setting, conflict, character, theme, and plot into one seamless work. That’s why they are 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 an entire 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 must be more concise. Even so, they are capable of delivering a punch that other forms of writing cannot manage.

Unfortunately, we simply do not know when this holiday was created. It appears that National Short Story Day’s origin has been lost to the winds of time. We do not 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 many modern short stories that people can choose from just by going to their local library.

If people cannot 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 Allan 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 themselves. Short stories generally range between 1,000 and 4,000 words, although there are some that are a 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 (2024)
December 21 Saturday
Next year (2025)
December 21 Sunday
Last year (2023)
December 21 Thursday
Education & Reading