Keyword Analysis & Research: short story length

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a good short story be?

Short Story Guidelines. 1. Stories should be over 4000 words long, although a few hundred words less is welcome. There is no upper word limit, so long as the author considers the work a short story. A maximum of two stories at a time will be considered.

What is the maximum length of a short story?

In terms of competitions, short story length is usually between 1,000 and 5,000 words, although I have seen short story competitions with a 17,000 word maximum.

How long should it take to write a short story?

Approximately ten to twenty hours of time. We all write at different paces, and depending on the length of your story (e.g. 200 word flash fiction vs. 5,000 word traditional short story) it might take five hours or fifty. But I’ve found that most short stories in the 3,000 to 5,000 word range take ten to twenty hours.

Do short stories have to be of a particular length?

There are no exact lengths a short story must be. Looking at these graphs should teach you that the short story is a very flexible and adaptable form. You can write almost-novellas like Alice Munro or you can write tiny jewels like Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

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