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Making a Short Story Collection

In her essay, “It Is All Ours to Make,” Laura van den Berg writes about the short story collection. She begins: “In my early days of writing stories, I somehow came to operate under the following assumption: whenever you amassed 200 pages worth of fiction, your work would undergo a miraculous transformation into a book.” And when she is disappointed by the results, she notes, “A big part of my problem was that I was attempting to write a collection without having read very many collections.”

Now, having successfully published two short story collections (and read many, many more), van den Berg comments, “One of the greatest joys of story collections is the way each one can operate entirely on its own terms. . . The stories are micro-worlds but are contained by an overarching fictional universe, the parts inseparable from the whole.”

Read her full essay and others in the most recent issue of Glimmer Train Bulletin (#82), a free publication of craft essays from authors published in Glimmer Train Stories.

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