Reading fiction is perhaps the best form of escape from our hectic lives. Stories have the unparalleled power to transport us to a magical make-believe world where our problems cease to exist; where our imagination takes over and immerses us in the words of another. However, when most working professionals talk about reading, they're talking about self-help blogs, non-fiction books, or business articles. And these, while quite useful in their own right, aren't as effective escape mechanisms as works of fiction. We all need a break at times, even if it's for a few minutes. And since it can be difficult to start reading a novel at that time, short stories are perhaps the better way to go about it. Here are five sites which give you access to a plethora of stellar writing by authors and poets you've probably never heard of before.
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This website features a collection of stories across a variety of genres curated from authors from around the globe. Stories written in languages ranging from Arabic, Finnish, and Czech to Maltese, Catalan, and Yiddish are available in translated English. The Short Story Project allows you to filter stories based on their theme, length, author, and original language.
A literary magazine founded in 1953, The Paris Review is an also an online collection of some of the best stories, poems, and essays produced in the recent past. You can read the works of the best modern writers or explore the site’s archives to discover lost gems. Owing to its storied reputation, most stories and poems require a subscription to be read in their entirety. However, there is a free trial that you can make use of it and it may just convince you to sign up for a regular subscription.
A minimalistic, no-nonsense platform that defines itself as ‘a literary website, sort of’, Identity Theory is a completely free website with an impressive collection of fiction and poetry. It also features quite a few non-fiction essays and interviews with authors, filmmakers, artists, and musicians. If you're a reader who's also interested in art and culture, then Identity Theory deserves a place in your bookmark bar.
Featuring user-submitted fiction and poetry across every conceivable genre, Fiction Press hosts over a million works, and counting, of original writing. It's free, easy to use, and is home to several forums and communities where you can interact with like-minded people from across the globe. They also welcome contributors, so if you've ever fancied yourself to be a poet or writer, this may be a good place to submit your work and receive some constructive feedback.
A platform where Reddit users submit prompts for stories and other users provide some of the most imaginative and creative works of writing that you've ever read, Writing Prompts is one place where you will never get bored as a reader. Some of the more seasoned contributors have a knack for producing the most amazing stories from the simplest of prompts. You can also submit prompts yourself or find one you like and write a response to that if you want to get involved.
When we read books, most of us only pick up those that are critically or publically acclaimed. But, some of the best works of writing are produced by authors who aren't famous; who are sitting in some corner of the world, writing away in the hopes that someone somewhere will read their work. And these are the sites where you can read their stories.