Monday, May 15, 2017

May is Short Story Month!

by Paula Gail Benson

Thanks to my friend, phenomenal author Art Taylor (Agatha, Anthony, Derringer, and Macavity award winner for short fiction and winner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel for On the Road with Del & Louise: A Novel in Stories—check out his website at:, I learned that May is Short Story Month. It’s a tradition that started in 2013. You can read about it at and participate with your own contributions at, which encourages people to complete a story each day during the months of May and September and provides writing prompts and featured guests (like Neil Gaiman) as inspiration.

Art has been celebrating this year by featuring a different story each day on his Facebook page, including one by his very talented wife Tara Laskowski (read about her terrific short story collection Bystanders at Tara is the editor of, the online literary magazine devoted to flash fiction.

I began thinking about the mystery short story writers who have inspired me. I credit Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Alan Poe for luring me into the genre, but a number of current authors keep me reading and teach me the true artistry of the short story craft. Here’s a list (beginning with Art and Tara and in alphabetical order below) of a few that you may want to add to your TBR stack, if you haven’t already discovered them.

John Floyd (, a former Air Force captain and IBM engineer, has written more than 1,000 stories that have appeared in the Strand MagazineAlfred Hitchcock's Mystery MagazineEllery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Woman's World, The Saturday Evening Post, Mississippi Noir, and The Best American Mystery Stories 2015. In addition to receiving three Derringer awards, he has been nominated for an Edgar and three times nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He blogs at His books are: Rainbow's End (2006), Midnight (2008), Clockwork (2010), Deception (2013), Fifty Mysteries (2014), and Dreamland (2016).

Kaye George (, while writing four series of mystery novels, continues to produce quality short fiction. Recently, she took on the job as editor for Day of the Dark, an anthology to be published by Wildside Press on July 21 that contains 24 stories about eclipse, to commemorate the one that will take place in August. I met Kaye as a member of the Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She served as treasurer, then President of the online chapter, and throughout her membership has been a consistent contributor and commenter to the short story critique group. Her insightful advice has helped many of us to improve our work.

Barb Goffman ( has been nominated numerous times for the Agatha, Anthony, Derriger, and Macavity awards. She has won the Agatha and Macavity and her Don't Get Mad, Get Even won the Silver Falchion for best single-author mystery-short-story collection published in 2013. She blogs at and is an accomplished editor.

Debra Goldstein (, my blogging partner here at The Stiletto Gang, is an active member of the Guppy Chapter short story critique group. Recently, her "The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie's Place" appeared in the May/June 2017 edition of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Check out her mention on the cover at:

Robert Mangeot ( calls himself a  “Turner of Phrase, Counter of Beans, Crafter of Sandwiches” on his website.  His fine stories have been published in the MWA anthology Ice Cold and the Bouchercon anthology Murder Under the Oaks. He is a frequent contributor to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

Edith Maxwell ( has the distinction of having her short story and novel both featuring her Quaker midwife protagonist nominated for the best short story and best historical novel at this year’s Malice Domestic Agatha awards. In addition to writing four mystery series and blogging with the Wicked Cozy Authors, she continues to produce quality short fiction.

Terrie Farley Moran ( won the Agatha Award Best First Novel winner, Well Read, Then Dead, the debut of her Read ‘Em and Eat series. Currently, her “Inquiry and Assistance,” a Depression era story published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, is a nominee for a Derringer award as best novelette. A copy of the nominated story may be accessed at:

B.K. “Bonnie” Stevens ( has become a beloved friend and confidant. I first met her when I contacted her to tell her how much I loved reading “Thea’s First Husband” (now included in Wildside Press’ Her Infinite Variety: Tales of Women and Crime). In addition to her novel, Interpretation of Murder, a traditional whodunit, and her YA martial arts mystery Fighting Chance, Bonnie has written over fifty short stories, most published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. She won a Derringer and has been nominated for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. In addition to blogging at, her own blog features authors describing the first two pages of their work, both novels and short stories. Check it out at:

Please indulge and celebrate May as Short Story month by taking time to enjoy these wonderful authors’ stories. Then, why not write one or two of your own?


  1. What a nice surprise to be included here this morning, Paula! And in such fine company—so many great short story writers and great friends both. Thanks for the shout-out! And hello to all. :-)

  2. Thanks for the shout-out Paula! I am honored to be in this terrific group of writers!! xoxo

  3. What a wonderful thing to do for us, Paula! Thanks so much. You need to give yourself credit as an excellent short story writer, too!

  4. Thanks, Paula! What a treat to make your list, and in such illustrious company.

  5. Thanks, Paula!! I'm pleased and honored to have been mentioned in this group of writers. Best to you and yours!

  6. What could make the day finer? Thank you so much, Art, Terrie, Kaye, Edith, and John for stopping by The Stiletto Gang. Your work is always on my TBR list. I appreciate so much all I've enjoyed and learned from reading your stories. Thank you for sharing your craft.