The Best Short Story Writers of All Time Writers
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The Best Short Story Writers of All Time

List of the best short story writers of all time. From Voltaire to George Saunders, a complete list of the greatest short story authors who have written works in English or whose works have been translated into English. Usually, short fiction features a small cast of characters and is focused on one incident or anecdote and one overall mood. Complex stories with sweeping timelines and superfluous characters are not often written in the short story medium, because there is simply not enough time to develop more than one or two cohesive thoughts. The best short story writers think that writing short-fiction is a completely separate art form than writing a novel, but some would argue that writing short stories is great practice for writing a full length work of fiction. 

Because of the constraints of page length, great short story writers have to use language that is descriptive and quickly sets the scene or develops their characters. Hemingway is notoriously good at short, pithy stories. One of his most famous is the world's shortest short story: “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Very short stories are also known as flash-fiction.

Like Hemingway, the best short story authors can paint a picture with their words in a short amount of time. If you like books but don't have time to read novels, reading short stories could be a great option for you. Many of the best novelists of all time  have also written good short stories. Often, this type of fiction is sold in short story collections or anthologies. Use this list to discover new authors of short-fiction and vote on your favorites.
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  1. 1
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    1860 The Lady with the Dog, The Bet, The Darling, Vanka, The Death of a Clerk, The Duel, A Boring ...

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    1899 The Snows of Kilimanjaro, The Capital of the World, Indian Camp, The Short Happy Life of ...

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    1809 The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Black Cat

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    1883 The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, Description of a Struggle, The Village Schoolmaster ...

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    1850 Boule de Suif, Deux Amis, Mother Savage, Mademoiselle Fifi

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    1899 The Library of Babel, The Other, The Circular Ruins, The Garden of Forking Paths

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    1925 A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Everything That Rises Must Converge, The Geranium, The River

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    1938 Where I'm Calling From, Cathedral, Neighbors, So Much Water Close to Home

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    added by mrblond 1835 The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, The War Prayer, The Man That Corrupted ...

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    added by looksharp 1882 The Dead, Araby, The Sisters, Eveline, The Boarding House, An Encounter

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    1916 The Landlady, Skin, Man from the South 

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    1862 The Gift of the Magi, The Ransom of Red Chief, After Twenty Years, A Retrieved Reformation

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    1896 The Lost Decade, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, A Diamond as Big as the Ritz, The Offshore Pirate

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    1859 The Adventure of the Speckled Band, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Final Problem, The Man with the ...

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    1828 The Three Questions, What Men Live By, Ivan the Fool, Father Sergius

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    1919 A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenter, For ‎Esmé—with Love ...

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    added by Dani Porter 1931 The Boy Came Over the Mountain, Deep Holes, The View from Castle Rock, Voices

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    added by carlybobarly 1897 A Rose for Emily, Barn Burning, Dry September, That Evening Sun, Red Leaves

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    1865 Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, The Man Who Would Be King, Lispeth, Mowgli's Brothers

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    1920 All Summer in a Day, There Will Come Soft Rains, The Pedestrian, The Last Night of the World ...

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    added by hasrvwill 1866 The Red Room, The Country of the Blind, The New Accelerator, The Stolen Body

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    added by AnastasiaSmith 1854 The Nightingale and the Rose, The Happy Prince, A House of Pomegranates

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    1876 To Build a Fire, The Mexican, A Piece of Steak, Batard

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    1927 A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, Eva Is Inside Her Cat, The Autumn of the Patriarch

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    1819 Bartleby, the Scrivener, The Lighning-Rod Man, Encantadas

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    1783 Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Devil and Tom Walker

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    added by carlybobarly 1912 The Swimmer, Goodbye My Brother, The Enormous Radio, The Five-Forty-Eight

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    1804 Young Goodman Brown, The Birth-Mark, Rappaccini's Daughter, The Minister's Black Veil

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    1922 Harrison Bergeron, 2 B R 0 2 B, Miss Temptation, The Report on the Barnhouse Effect

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    1932 The Happiest I've Been, Separating, A Sandstone Farmhouse, The Bulgarian Poetess

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    added by DavidHowarth 1870 The Interlopers, Gabriel-Ernest, The Toys of Peace, The Open Window

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    added by clash1977 1920 All the Assh*les in the World Plus Mine, Confessions of a Man Insane Enough to Live with ...

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    1885 The Rocking-Horse Winner, The Princess, St Mawr, The Fox, The Woman Who Rode Away

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    added by carlybobarly 1949 The Second Bakery Attack, The Year of Spaghetti, The Kidney-Shaped Stoned That Moves Every Day ...

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    added by Ansim 1953 Clara, The Return, The Insufferable Gaucho, Beach

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    added by Ansim 1914 Axolotl, Blow-Up, Headache

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    1959 CommComm, Pastoralia, Escape from Spiderhead, My Amendment

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    added by rohitkingc 1967 The Third and Final Continent, Hell-Heaven, A Real Durwan, Year's End

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    1909 Lily Daw and the Three Ladies, Music from Spain, A Worn Path

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    added by hasrvwill 1890 At the Mountains of Madness, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Dunwich Horror, History of the ...

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    added by rohitkingc 1928 Angels at the Ritz, The News from Ireland, The Day We Got Drunk on Cake, Family Sins

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    1891 Spunk, Sweat, John Redding Goes to Sea, The Gilded Six-Bits

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    1873 A Wagner Matinee, Neighbour Rosicky, The Sculptor's Funeral, The Enchanted Bluff

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    1968 How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie, Miss Lora, The Pura Principle, ...

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    added by RoshanThilakarathne 1891 Diaboliad, Future Prospects, Notes on the Cuff, The Fatal Eggs

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    1850 The Story of an Hour, The Storm, At the 'Cadian Ball, Desiree's Baby, A Pair of Silk Stalkings ...

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    The Mangler, The Lawnmower Man, Graveyard Shift, The Boogeyman, Sometimes They Come Back

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    1890 Flowering Judas, Maria Concepcion, The Leaning Tower

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    added by tushar.at7 1928 The Minority Report, Second Variety, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, Paycheck

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    1894 The Gioconda Smile, Voices, Permutations Among the Nightingales, Green Tunnels

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