Short Story Today

Short Story Today

A weekly podcast hosted by Jon DiSavino. It celebrates the enduring and compact literary form known as - you guessed it - the short story. But more importantly, it gives listeners an opportunity to hear the work of some of the best emerging writers of today. Each episode begins with an interview with the week's guest author, and ends with a professional audiobook production of a story by that author.Jon DiSavino is an actor and stage director. In the last few years he has begun producing and narrating audiobooks for Audible.com. His most recent release, Doctor Assassin: A Medical Science Thriller by Mark R. Belsky, was just published in December of 2021.

Episodes

April 10, 2024 46 mins

Chicago author Ananda Lima was born in Brasilia, Brazil, and made her way to Illinois via Australia and New York while working in the field of linguistics. She is a translator, a fiction writer,  and an award-winning poet. Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, called her debut collection Craft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil "a terrific fiction debut."

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Missouri author Jess Bowers began her lifelong love affair with horses while still a child in her hometown of York, Pennsylvania - but she wasn't born to ranchers or farmers. Her dad was a sports journalist and a poet who fostered the love of literature in their home, which became the foundation on which she would build her writing career. We read "Granddad Swam" from her debut collection Horse Show, which was first ...

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This emerging Canadian author writes under the pseudonym of Trent Lewin. "It was specifically picked so that I could elude the reality in which I’d lived for so many years, the reality that always had boundaries on it, and limits as to what I could do. I didn’t want my writing in a box." He has a PhD. But it's not in Creative Writing. It's in Environmental Engineering. He does important work there. But in the fi...

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Vancouver, Canada author Andrea Bishop has been awarded a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to complete her first collection of short stories. The work-in-progress features stories of fearless women - hikers, hockey-players, moms,  and mom-athletes - all striving to create harmony in an often brutal world. We read her story "Ice Created Layer Upon Layer," which was published in Grain Magazine.   https://andreabis...

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Canadian author Dave Gregory writes fiction on a wide variety of topics. But with his stories based on experiences shared in the oral tradition by his father, he creates a palpable connection to a world gone by. His Port Colborne stories depict his dad's rough-and-tumble post-war childhood, preserving a precious part of his family's past, and honoring his father's memory with a literary legacy. We read "Last Jum...

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No stranger to hard work, Indiana author Tommy Dean toiled in the corn fields of his youth, dreaming of basketball or baseball stardom. He's drawn to the ways that writing fiction allows him to become a kind of shapeshifter, creating worlds in which he gets to live multiple lives. The characters who populate his stories may live hard lives, but their faith in humanity keeps them connected to the world in profound ways. We read...

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Tennessee author Amy Cipolla Barnes grew up in Great  Plains territory, where her grandparents owned and operated a farm. In her fiction and other writing, one feels a powerful and ever-present connection to the earth and the natural world. Sierra Lidén reads "Docked," "St. Lucy of El Paso," "Drowning on Main Street," and "The Art of Brutalism."

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February 21, 2024 71 mins

Michigan author Keith Hood can remember with clarity the day the riots of 1967 came right up to the front door of his childhood Detroit home. In his fiction and essays, he writes with a reverent yet unalloyed veracity about his hometown, where he witnessed dramatic changes taking place. We read his story "Utility," which was first published in Blue Mesa Review. https://keithhoodwriter.com/

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Massachusetts author Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a practicing psychiatrist in the Boston area who joins a long tradition of doctors who have written poetry and fiction while pursuing a life in medicine. Her debut story collection White Dancing Elephants was the winner of the Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Prize in 2017, and was selected for the list of  "35 Over 35" Debut Books in 2018. In this episode, Chaya reads an excerp...

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Pennsylvania author Doug Brown's debut story collection My Bohemian Baptism and Then Some (Serif Press) is a testament to his determination to never give up on the dream of being a writer. Following a thirty-plus year hiatus where life had other plans for him, he's returned to the pursuit he's always loved. In this episode we read the title story from the collection.

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COOLEST AMERICAN STORIES is the brainchild of authors Mark Wish and Elizabeth Coffey, whose combined years working in the publishing industry has given them a unique advantage. Now in its third year, the award-winning annual anthology has quickly risen to a position to rival the old guard. In this episode, we learn about their entrepreneurial journey, and get a sneak peek at Mark's newly-released crime noir novel, Necessary De...

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New Jersey author Alyson Mosquera Dutemple began her professional career working in film production. The pressures of working on-set soon had her turning her attention to writing screenplays - some of which she succeeded in having optioned. But it was her love of writing fiction - stories in particular - that eventually won out. We read four of her flash pieces: "Ploughman's Lunch," "Prix Fixe," "Pugil...

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South Carolina author Dustin M. Hoffman spent ten years as a house painter - which might have something to do with his fondness for characters from the working class. We discuss stories from his forthcoming collection Such a Good Man (University of Wisconsin Press), in which the plight of day laborers during the Great Recession is given center stage. We read "Smoke at the End of the World," which was first published in DI...

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New Jersey author Bill Merklee was playing in rock bands when he began working for a newspaper that had a tuition-reimbursement program. It was his rediscovery of Kurt Vonnegut in his first years of college that motivated him to become a writer.  His flash fiction explores the challenges posed by faith and the sometimes difficult legacies that are passed down through the generations. We read "Portugal," "Papi in the ...

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Philadelphia author Matthew Goldberg's fiction, as described on his website, "reimagines the mundane through the lens of the absurd." His speculative works ask deep questions about the ills of society and the ways in which we choose to confront or ignore them. We read his Uncharted's SciFi/Fantasy Award winner "Bees Wings."   https://www.mmgoldberg.com/

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Award-winning UK author Alice Jolly had 5 novels to her credit prior to publishing her first story collection - but she'd been writing stories the whole time. From Far Around They Saw Us Burn brings together an astonishing array of characters: eccentrics and  outcasts, young mothers and orphans - the vulnerable and the misunderstood struggling to be heard. Clara Francesca reads "All the Places That I Have Not Seen."

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Nishanth Injam was raised in Telangana, India, and now makes his home in the US, in the Chicago area. His debut story collection, The Best Possible Experience, is a NY Times Editor's Choice pick. Nishanth is interviewed by his friend and colleague Stanley Stocker (Ep. 42), who met Nishanth when they both received the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize in 2021. https://www.nishanthinjam.com/about



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As an adolescent, Los Angeles author Mathieu Cailler accompanied his grandfather to LA comedy clubs - an experience that gave him the idea that writing jokes might be a worthy pursuit. Over time, those early efforts at comedy would lead him to write fiction and poetry. He now has seven books to his credit. We read his story "A Little off the Top," which first appeared in the 2017 Short Story America anthology. https://mat...

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UK author Emma Brankin's debut story collection Attention Seekers features stories inspired by her former career as an entertainment columnist, where she got to rub elbows with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Ariana Grande. That's not to say, however, that her fiction is superficial. She writes stories of a depth and complexity that belies her age. The author reads "I Am a Trainwreck Actress's Vagina" an...

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California authors and fellow Stanford grads Leslie Kirk Campbell and Daniel A. Olivas reverse roles in this episode as interviewer and interviewee. They each get a chance to discuss their latest story collection: The Man With Eight Pairs of Legs (Sarabande Books) by Leslie Kirk Campbell and How to Date a Flying Mexican (University of Nevada Press) by Daniel A. Olivas.  Sierra Lidén reads the selected  stories.   https://danieloliv...

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