How a Collection of Stories Comes Together

Laura van den Berg

photo by Peter Yoon

In the latest Glimmer Train bulletin, Laura van den Berg discusses the evolution of how her stories get written and shaped into a collection, or a book. 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. I took my first stab at writing a story collection in college. The result was a 210 page manuscript entitled Hush, an ungainly mishmash of domestic realism, ill-conceived Beckett homages, and flash fictions about trees with real human feelings (true story!). While I can think of many excellent collections that demonstrate great stylistic and technical range, the “eclectic” approach was not working for me.

She goes on to discuss the difference between a “group” of stories and a collection. Read the entire piece.

Other pieces in this month’s bulletin:

Posted in Creativity + Inspiration and tagged , , , .

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

Join the conversation

3 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
Taryn MarkeleJohanna van ZantenSaturday Edition: What we’re writing and reading | Live to Write - Write to Live Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

[…] How a Collection of Stories Comes Together via @JaneFriedman featuring @lvandenberg on @glimmertrain […]

Johanna van Zanten
Johanna van Zanten

Thanks for posting the piece of Laura van den Berg. I struggled with finding a form to combine my short stories into a collection that makes sense. This article from Laura helped me to put my next collection together.
Thanks for finding and posting great information.
Johanna van Zanten

Taryn Markele

That was a great piece. I bookmarked it. Cheers.