On Writing (And Reading!) Short

“I wanted to write science fiction, and The Novel and Short Story Market laid out facts about the market for such tales … the fields were lush, the game most definitely afoot. I mean, seriously. Add up all that space and you get literally thousands of short stories being published every year.

How hard could it be?

That peal of rolling thunder you hear is the combined laughter of every writer on the planet.”


So goes award-winning SF author Ron Collins’s sometimes humorous, sometimes heart-warming, but always true-to-the-bone ode to a life spent writing the short story. Specifically, the science fiction short story.

Using experience built through thirty years of publishing short fiction, Collins touches on every facet of a writing career, beginning with “Why the Short Story?” and progressing to “The Only Truth” that matters—as well as “The Second Only Truth” that matters. Inside, you’ll consider the difference between short stories and novels, partake in a few reader cookies, and even discover the only reason a new writer should decide to join a critique group.

And then there’s Write Club. We can’t forget Write Club, now, can we?

Other topics include: 

  • Careers vs. Real Jobs
  • Finding Your Beat
  • Speed vs. Quality
  • Stalled Writers
  • The World of Editors
  • Short Fiction and the Indie World
  • And a lot more!

All discussed with a personal touch that illuminates a life devoted to writing—and reading—short.

If you write short stories, or simply love reading them, this is the book for you.


When Ron Collins talks about writing (and about life!), I listen. On Writing (And Reading) Short is filled with wisdom, heart, and joy. Writers of all levels will be glad they read it

David H. Hendrickson

Award-winning author of Death in the Serengeti and Other Stories


All writers and readers should pick it up. I glanced at the book when it came into the condo, as I do with every new book that arrives here, and found myself reading. There’s a lot of good writerly advice, but more than that, the book is a shared conversation on the act of reading. Lots of good insights here and lots of good recommendations.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Hugo Award-winning author and editor

Recommended Reading (November 2022)