"Raymond’s eye for telling detail is very fine, as one expects of an accomplished writer, but to this she adds the informing eye of a natural historian of place.”
— John Keeble, author of Nocturnal America
Midge Raymond
Midge's blog about writing . . . reading . . . and everything in between

Short Story Month Collection Giveaway Project

Welcome to Short Story Month!

UPDATE, 6/1: Congratulations to the winners — Tommy, Ed, and Susan — who now have some amazing summer reading material on the way. And thanks to all of you who participated in the giveaway and for all that you do to keep short stories alive and well!

This year, I am happy to be joining other bloggers in the annual Fiction Writers Review Collection Giveaway Project, a community effort by lit bloggers to raise attention for short story collections. FWR Contributing Editor Erika Dreifus suggested FWR as a home for this project last year and will not only be participating on her own blog, but will also be helping FWR run the project. And those of you who are fiction bloggers yourselves, click here for information on how you can participate as well.

The only difficult part about this for me has been choosing a collection to give away…but I’ve finally narrowed it down. To three.

First, I’m happy to be giving away Erika‘s own collection, Quiet Americans, out this year and well worth the long wait! I first met Erika in a bookstore outside Boston, where we did a reading together as finalists for a short story award. So I’ve enjoyed her work for many years and was thrilled to have a whole collection of her haunting and thought-provoking stories to curl up with this winter. From a high-ranking Nazi’s wife and a Jewish doctor in prewar Berlin to a refugee returning to Europe as terrorists massacre Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, the characters and conflicts that emerge in Quiet Americans reframe familiar questions about what is right and wrong, remembered and repressed, resolved and unending.

I’m also happy to be giving away Becky Hagenston‘s collection Strange Weather, which received the 2009 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction and was published by the fabulous Press 53. As with Erika, I’d already been acquainted with Becky’s work and with some of these stories through the many literary magazines they’ve appeared in, and I loved having the chance to overdose on them with this collection, which is nearly impossible to put down. From the visceral tension in the mother-daughter relationship in “Trafalgar” to the wonderfully witty ghost story “Anthony,” these stories offer us a delightful mix of magic and reality, while never losing their grip on the truths that draw us to stories in the first place.

And finally, I’m delighted to offer the wonderful collection The Bigness of the World by Lori Ostlund, now out in paperback. Winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, this beautiful book introduces us to characters venturing out into a world in hopes of escaping their troubles, only to find that life remains as complicated as it was before they left. You may have already read “All Boy” in Best American Short Stories 2010 (two additional stories from the collection, “Bed Death” and “Talking Fowl with My Father,” are on the list of Other Distinguished Stories) — and if you’ve already read Lori’s work, you’ll only want to read more.

To be entered to win, leave a comment on this post any time from now to midnight (Pacific time!) on Tuesday, May 31, 2011, at which time I’ll use a random number generator to select three lucky winners.

Happy Short Story Month! Go forth, read stories, and celebrate.

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1 Weekly Writing: Short story inspiration | Remembering English { 05.02.11 at 7:26 am }

[…] honor of Short Story Month and the Short Story Month Collection Giveaway Project, I’m turning to short stories for inspiration for this week’s writing […]

2 Jeannine Hall Gailey { 05.02.11 at 8:37 am }

Sign me up! I would love any of those books :) Short stories are my favorite thing to read…next to poetry of course!

3 Lori Ostlund { 05.02.11 at 9:42 am }

Midge, thanks! Also, sign me up for a shot. The other two look great.

4 Erika Dreifus { 05.02.11 at 12:16 pm }

What Lori said! :-)

5 Rebecca Raymond { 05.02.11 at 6:28 pm }

Sign me up! They all look like fabulous collections!

6 Sean Truman Farley { 05.03.11 at 6:59 am }

Oh heck yeah, you can put my name in the hat. This should be fun! Thanks, Midge.

7 Susan Rich { 05.03.11 at 8:08 am }

Thanks, Midge — What a great idea but where is your book? I’d be happy to win anything you recommend!

8 Midge { 05.03.11 at 8:14 am }

Susan, I’m happy to say that my book is being given away by Erika Dreifus! Here’s a link to her blog:

9 Shanti { 05.03.11 at 9:58 am }

Thank you for this opportunity to possibly add more great short fiction to my library!

10 Tommy { 05.03.11 at 11:39 am }

Sign me up! I love story collections!

11 Brent Allard { 05.03.11 at 5:53 pm }

Great idea! Sign me up!

12 VictoriaMelekian { 05.04.11 at 9:19 am }

Fun! I want to win, and if I don’t, I’ll go buy the books:)

13 Thursday’s Post-Publication Post: A Busy Time for Quiet Americans (and Its Author) | ErikaDreifus.com { 05.04.11 at 9:12 pm }

[…] also honored to learn that Midge Raymond is providing a copy of Quiet Americans as one of her Collection Giveaway Project offerings (Midge is also spotlighting Becky Hagenston’s Strange Weather and Lori Ostlund’s The […]

14 Ed Lucas { 05.05.11 at 10:19 am }

Short stories inspire me to write and think like a writer.

15 Carla Kirby { 05.05.11 at 3:53 pm }

I’m up in Sandpoint, ID and would love to curl up with one of these books. Please add me to the list. I write a monthly free “Kidz Reading Tips” newsletter and am raffling a “Leap Frog” talking map game. If anyone has young children in their life & would like to receive helpful reading tips email: carla@kidzreadingtips.com

16 Terry Gibson { 05.06.11 at 2:26 pm }

I love short stories too. They were what first stoked my love of writing, reading. and the whole adventure in between. Please add me to your list. Thanks.

17 Short Story Slore { 05.09.11 at 1:56 pm }

Sign me up please. Thanks for the opportunity!

18 Tawnysha Greene { 05.10.11 at 5:40 am }

How wonderful! I am hosting a giveaway at my blog, too! The link is here:


19 Gillian Walters { 05.14.11 at 6:35 pm }

What a dream! Each author looks amazing. I’ve been meaning to read Ostlund for some time.

20 Susan C. { 05.15.11 at 5:25 am }

I so need some short stories to sit by the garden with.

21 Nora K. { 05.18.11 at 6:29 pm }

Oh, Midge! Seriously? Story collections are my absolute delight. Random number generator, huh? Hmmm. xxxooo

22 Fiction Writers Review » Blog Archive » Short Story Month 2011: The Collection Giveaway Project { 05.20.11 at 8:47 am }

[…] Midge Raymond / Remembering English: with copies of three great collections: Strange Weather by Becky Hagenston, Quiet Americans by Erika Dreifus, and The Bigness of the World by Lori Ostlund (read the FWR review here!) […]

23 Downith { 05.23.11 at 6:26 am }
24 Miette { 05.24.11 at 5:53 am }

Hurrah for short fiction and those who write it. Double that for those who promote it and those who give it away. Do put my name in your hat, please!

25 Suzanne Kamata { 05.25.11 at 4:53 am }

I would be thrilled to win any one of these books!

26 Book Promo 101: How to create a successful blog | Remembering English { 05.25.11 at 7:53 am }

[…] Giveaways are big and usually draw traffic — like the one I am hosting right now, for the Short Story Month Collection Giveaway Project! Asking questions is good, too, and will often draw comments — or, ask your readers to ask […]

27 Ashley { 05.27.11 at 3:15 pm }


28 Tony { 05.28.11 at 12:37 pm }

Very cool contest! Love your site, and you insights!

29 Book Promo 101: How to create a successful blog | FreeWordPressAutoBlog.com { 06.01.11 at 8:49 am }

[…] Giveaways are big and usually draw traffic — like the one I am hosting right now, for the Short Story Month Collection Giveaway Project! Asking questions is good, too, and will often draw comments — or, ask your readers to ask you […]