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Christopher North describes the origins of the short story.

David J Simons explains what he, as a judge, is looking for.

An example to show what makes a short story work well.

Two model stories

These two stories should be read before watching the videos.

J David Simons  'Remember Where You Came From' 

Rose Tremain  'The Crossing of Herald Montjoy: a Short Story'

A presentation by Christopher North

and  J David Simons

Finding a story in “the small things” a writer has not thought of before can be crucial to a good short story, novelist

J David Simons told the Xabia Book Circle at its virtual meeting on 3 November. Writing short stories is a craft and a discipline, he said; a story should be something you can “hold in your head”, in which every word matters.

Poet Christopher North, a long-time Book Circle member who co-authored the live presentation on Zoom with David, described how short stories had their origins in Europe with Chaucer and Boccaccio. The art form was rapidly popularised in the 18th and 19th centuries thanks to such writers as Walter Scott, the Brothers Grimm, Conan Doyle, de Maupassant and Gorky.