Short Circuit

Short Circuit : A Guide to the Art of the Short Story

3.94 (109 ratings by Goodreads)
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Short Circuit fills a real gap in the text book market. Written by 24 prizewinning writers and teachers of writing, this book is intensely practical. Each expert discusses necessary craft issues: their own writing processes, sharing tried and tested writing exercises and lists of published work they find inspirational. Endorsed by The National Association of Writers in Education, it became recommended or required reading for Creative Writing courses in the UK and beyond, including Goldsmiths, The University of Kent at Canterbury, Glasgow University, John Cabot University in Rome, Stockholm University in Sweden, Sussex University, Brighton University, Edge Hill University, Chichester University, The National University of Ireland in Galway, and University Campus Suffolk, at Ipswich.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 18mm | 462.66g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 2nd New edition
  • No
  • 1907773444
  • 9781907773440
  • 46,209

About Vanessa Gebbie

Vanessa Gebbie is a novelist and award-winning short story writer. Author of two collections: Words from a Glass Bubble and Storm Warning (Salt), her novel The Coward's Tale (Bloomsbury UK/US) was selected as a UK Financial Times Book of the Year and Guardian readers' book of the year. Her stories have been commissioned by literary journals, the British Council, for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4, and are widely anthologised.

Elizabeth Baines is the author of two short story collections and three novels (all available from Salt), and has written prize-winning drama for BBC Radio 4. In the past, Elizabeth has written, performed and produced plays for fringe theatre, has worked as a secondary-school teacher and has taught Creative Writing at Manchester University and the Bolton Institute. She was born in South Wales and now lives in Manchester where she brought up her two sons.

Linda Cracknell has been a teacher of English in Zanzibar, worked for environmental charity WWF, and was writer-in-residence at Hugh MacDiarmid's last home near Biggar. She now lives in Highland Perthshire. Her short fiction has appeared in magazines and journals, been broadcast on BBC Radio, and was previously collected in Life Drawing, published in 2000. She writes drama for BBC Radio Four and is now writing essays about walks which follow human stories in 'wild' places.

Carys Davies was the winner of the the 2010 Society of Authors' Olive Cook Short Story Award, the 2011 Royal Society of Literature's V S Pritchett Memorial Prize, and a 2013 Northern Writers' Award. She has been shortlisted and longlisted for many other prizes including the Calvino Prize, the Manchester Fiction Prize, the Roland Mathias Prize, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, the Wales Book of the Year and the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen Prize. Born in Wales, she now lives in Lancaster.

Stuart Evers is the author of two short story collections, Ten Stories About Smoking and Your Father Sends His Love, and a novel, If This is Home. He lives in London with his family.

David Gaffney lives in Manchester. He is the author of several books including Sawn-Off Tales (2006), Aromabingo (2007), Never Never (2008), The Half-Life of Songs (2010) and More Sawn-Off Tales (2013). He has written articles for the Guardian, Sunday Times, Financial Times and Prospect, and his new novel, All The Places I've Ever Lived, is due out in spring 2017. See

Tania Hershman's third short story collection, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, was published by Unthank Books in May 2017, and her debut poetry collection, Terms & Conditions, by Nine Arches Press in July. She is also the author of a poetry chapbook, Nothing Here Is Wild, Everything Is Open, and two short story collections, My Mother Was an Upright Piano, and The White Road and Other Stories, and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers' & Artists' Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014). She is curator of short story hub ShortStops (, celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland, and has a PhD in creative writing inspired by particle physics. Hear her read her work at and find out more here:

Selected as one of the country's Next Generation poets, shortlisted for the 2004 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and named by the TLS as one of the best young writers in the country, Tobias Hill is one of the leading British writers of his generation. His award-winning collections of poetry are Year of the Dog, Midnight in the City of Clocks, and Zoo. His fiction has been published to acclaim in many countries. AS Byatt has observed that "There is no other voice today quite like this."

Alex Keegan began writing seriously in 1992, publishing 5 mystery novels before switching to serious short fiction. He has been published widely in print and on the web and been awarded more than a dozen first prizes for his fiction as well as three Bridport Prizes. Born in Wales with an Irish mother, he now lives and writes in Newbury, England where he lives with his second wife and two teenage children. He runs a tough internet writing school, "Boot Camp Keegan".

Alison MacLeod's latest story collection, all the beloved ghosts (Bloomsbury), was shortlisted for Canada's Governor General's Award for Fiction and chosen as one of the Guardian's 'Best Books of 2017'. Her stories are often broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her most recent novel, Unexploded, was long-listed for the 2013 Man Booker Prize and, in 2016, she was a joint recipient of the Eccles British Library Writer's Award. Alongside her writing, MacLeod has appeared at numerous international literary festivals and has served as a judge for a variety of literary awards. She is Professor of Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester.

Paul Magrs was born in 1969 in the North East of England. He has published fiction for adults, teens and children. He lectures in Creative Writing at the Manchester Metropolitan University.

Adam Marek won the 2011 Arts Foundation Fellowship in short story writing. His collection, Instruction Manual for Swallowing, was long-listed for the Frank O'Connor Prize, and in 2010 he was shortlisted for the inaugural Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. He lives in Bedfordshire with his wife and sons.

Graham Mort, poet and short fiction writer, is Professor of Creative Writing and Transcultural Literature at Lancaster University. He specialises in literature development work and recent projects have taken him to South Africa, Kurdistan, Vietnam and China. His first book of stories, Touch (Seren), won the Edge Hill Prize in 2011 and his latest book of stories, Terroir (Seren), is currently long-listed for the same prize. A new book of poems, Black Shiver Moss, will appear from Seren in 2017.

Nuala Ni Chonchuir is an Irish short fiction writer and poet, born Dublin 1970. Her short fiction collections The Wind Across the Grass (2004) and To the World of Men, Welcome (2005) were published by Arlen House. Her poetry collections Tattoo:Tatu (2007) and Molly's Daughter (2003) appeared from the same publisher. She has won many literary prizes, including RTE Radio's Francis MacManus Award and the Cecil Day-Lewis Award. Nuala lives in Galway with her partner and children.

Nicholas Royle was born in Manchester in 1963. He is the author of seven novels, including: Counterparts, Saxophone Dreams, and First Novel, and a short story collection, Mortality. He has edited sixteen anthologies, including A Book of Two Halves and Neonlit: Time Out Book of New Writing. He lives between London and Manchester and teaches creative writing at MMU.

Chika Unigwe was born in Enugu, Nigeria. She holds a BA degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a Ph.D from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. In 2003, she was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African fiction. In 2004, she won the BBC Short story Competition and a Commonwealth Short Story Competition award. In 2008, she was the UNESCO Contributors' Aschberg fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Centre and in 2009 she was a Rockefeller Foundation fellow at the Bellagio Centre. Her fiction has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies, and has been broadcast on several radio stations. She is author of On Black Sisters Street (2011, Random House NY); Nightdancer (2012, Jonathan Cape, London) and is also the author of two children's books published by Macmillan, London. Chika Unigwe lives in Turnhout, Belgium.

Tom Vowler is an award-winning novelist and short story writer living in the UK. His debut story collection, The Method, won the Scott Prize and the Edge Hill Readers' Prize, while his novels What Lies Within and That Dark Remembered Day received critical acclaim. He is an associate lecturer in creative writing at Plymouth University, where he completed his PhD. His second collection of stories, Dazzling the Gods, was published in 2018. More at
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Rating details

109 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 30% (33)
4 38% (41)
3 28% (31)
2 3% (3)
1 1% (1)
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