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

List Criteria: Vote based on only each writer's short fiction, no other work

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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    most listed Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Black Cat

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  2. 2
    + 106
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    added by mrblond Florida, Missouri, United States of America The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, The War Prayer, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg, Eve's Diary

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  3. 3
    + 181
    - 49

    ranked low on reranks Oak Park, Illinois, United States of America The Snows of Kilimanjaro, The Capital of the World, Indian Camp, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

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  4. 4
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Manhattan, New York City, New York Bartleby, the Scrivener, The Lighning-Rod Man, Encantadas

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  5. 5
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    Edinburgh, United Kingdom The Adventure of the Speckled Band, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Final Problem, The Man with the Twisted Lip

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  6. 6
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    added by carlybobarly New Albany, Mississippi, United States of America A Rose for Emily, Barn Burning, Dry September, That Evening Sun, Red Leaves

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  7. 7
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    Waukegan, Illinois, United States of America All Summer in a Day, There Will Come Soft Rains, The Pedestrian, The Last Night of the World

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  8. 8
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    often listed & added by hasrvwill Bromley, United Kingdom The Red Room, The Country of the Blind, The New Accelerator, The Stolen Body

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  9. 9
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  10. 10
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    Buenos Aires, Argentina The Library of Babel, The Other, The Circular Ruins, The Garden of Forking Paths

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  11. 11
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    often listed Mumbai, India Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, The Man Who Would Be King, Lispeth, Mowgli's Brothers

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  12. 12
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    Prague, Czech Republic The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, Description of a Struggle, The Village Schoolmaster

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  13. 13
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States of America The Lost Decade, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, A Diamond as Big as the Ritz, The Offshore Pirate

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  14. 14
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  15. 15
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  16. 16
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    added by AnastasiaSmith Dublin, Republic of Ireland The Nightingale and the Rose, The Happy Prince, A House of Pomegranates

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  17. 17
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    Greensboro, North Carolina, United States of America The Gift of the Magi, The Ransom of Red Chief, After Twenty Years, A Retrieved Reformation

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  18. 18
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    Tourville-sur-Arques, France Boule de Suif, Deux Amis, Mother Savage, Mademoiselle Fifi

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  19. 19
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Manhattan, New York City, New York Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Devil and Tom Walker

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  20. 20
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    Yasnaya Polyana, Russia The Three Questions, What Men Live By, Ivan the Fool, Father Sergius

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  21. 21
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    often listed & added by hasrvwill Providence, Rhode Island, United States of America At the Mountains of Madness, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Dunwich Horror, History of the Necronomicon

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  22. 22
    + 64
    - 18

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  23. 23
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    ranked low on reranks Clatskanie, Oregon, United States of America Where I'm Calling From, Cathedral, Neighbors, So Much Water Close to Home

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  24. 24
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    Salem, Massachusetts, United States of America Young Goodman Brown, The Birth-Mark, Rappaccini's Daughter, The Minister's Black Veil

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  25. 25
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    added by Dani Porter Wingham, Ontario, Canada The Boy Came Over the Mountain, Deep Holes, The View from Castle Rock, Voices

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  26. 26
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    ranked high on reranks & added by clash1977 Andernach, Germany All the Assh*les in the World Plus Mine, Confessions of a Man Insane Enough to Live with Beasts

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  27. 27
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    ranked low on reranks Taganrog, Russia The Lady with the Dog, The Bet, The Darling, Vanka, The Death of a Clerk, The Duel, A Boring Story

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  28. 28
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  29. 29
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    added by ElijahKaganer Velyki Sorochyntsi, Ukraine The Overcoat, The Nose, Diary of a Madman, The Portrait

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  30. 30
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    added by looksharp Rathgar, Republic of Ireland The Dead, Araby, The Sisters, Eveline, The Boarding House, An Encounter

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  31. 31
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    Jackson, Mississippi, United States of America Lily Daw and the Three Ladies, Music from Spain, A Worn Path

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  32. 32
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    Lübeck, Germany Death in Venice, Felix Krull, Mario and the Magician, Little Herr Friedemann, The Clown

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  33. 33
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    Gore, Virginia, United States of America A Wagner Matinee, Neighbour Rosicky, The Sculptor's Funeral, The Enchanted Bluff

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  34. 34
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    Portland, Maine, United States of America The Mangler, The Lawnmower Man, Graveyard Shift, The Boogeyman, Sometimes They Come Back

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  35. 35
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    added by tushar.at7 Torquay, United Kingdom The Witness for the Protection, Accident, Philomel Cottage, The Chocolate Box, The Second Gong

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  36. 36
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    added by GregerNordstrom New York City, New York, United States of America The Descent of Man, The Fullness of Life, Roman Fever, April Showers, The Pelican

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  37. 37
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    Paris, France Zadig the Babylonian

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  38. 38
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    often listed Indian Creek, Texas, United States of America Flowering Judas, Maria Concepcion, The Leaning Tower

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  39. 39
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    often listed & added by IsabelKühn South Berwick, Maine, United States of America A Native of Winby, Mr. Bruce, Decoration Day, The Town Poor, The Passing of Sister Barsett

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  40. 40
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    ranked high on reranks & added by looksharp Berdychiv, Ukraine Youth, The Lagoon, The Idiot, Tales of Unrest, An Outpost of Progress

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  41. 41
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  42. 42
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  43. 43
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    often listed & added by mrblond New York City, New York, United States of America Remembering Needleman, Mr. Big, The Kuglemass Episode

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  44. 44
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  45. 45
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    added by looksharp Newark, New Jersey, United States of America The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky, The Blue Hotel, The Open Boat, An Experiment in Misery

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  46. 46
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  47. 47
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  48. 48
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    ranked low on reranks Saint Petersburg, Russia Signs and Symbols, The Vane Sisters, Terra Incognita, A Nursery Tale

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  49. 49
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    added by DavidHowarth Sittwe, Myanmar The Interlopers, Gabriel-Ernest, The Toys of Peace, The Open Window

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  50. 50
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    Eastwood, United Kingdom The Rocking-Horse Winner, The Princess, St Mawr, The Fox, The Woman Who Rode Away

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