A short story is a work of fiction not usually considered long enough to be an independent publication. Typically they are published in magazines or in collections. The limit to the length of the story is not fixed. The Hugo Awards define a short story as one of under 7,500 words. Some may be very much shorter.
Many essays are in effect short stories, written before the term came to be used.
It is fairly common for short stories to be linked, either through their settings or through use of the same characters.
Noted short story writers
Among the notable writers of short stories are:
- : (1830—1897) French writer particularly remembered for his descriptions of Provençal life in Lettres de mon Moulin (Letters from my Windmill) and Tartarin de Tarascon.
- Arthur Conan Doyle: (1859–1930) British author – of the Sherlock Holmes stories – and physician.
- O. Henry: Pen name of William Sydney Porter (1862–1910), American author of some 400 short stories.
- Rudyard Kipling: (1865-1936) British poet, short story writer, and novelist, though best known for his children's classics, the Just So Stories and the Jungle Books.
- Katherine Mansfield: Add brief definition or description
- Alice Munro: Nobel prize-winning writer, mainly of short stories.
- Edgar Allen Poe: Add brief definition or description
- Damon Runyon: Add brief definition or description
- H.G. Wells: (1866–1946) English author best known for his pioneering science-fiction novels; wrote The Time Machine.
- Michael Gilbert: (1912 – 2006) Prolific British writer of mysteries and thrillers.