Book Review: Let’s Write a Short Story! By Joe Bunting

I’ll cut to the chase: this book made me believe I could actually write short stories.

That’s rather significant. I’m an author. I love to write, and I love to read. In my life, however, I’ve never successfully written a short story.

The hardest part of getting over writer’s block is to realize you’re blocked. Once you know
you’re sick, it’s pretty easy to cure yourself.

You just have to allow yourself to write the worst sentence in the world. (Bunting, 85)

I didn’t even know that description was me. I’ve written chapters. I’ve written bits that bloomed into huge books without my permission. I’ve created half-finished plots with terrific potential, only to watch them die as if they were roses and I had a brown thumb.

Honesty time: I’d really given up on the idea that I could write short stories. I was a novelist, and that was that.

Or so I thought until I read this book.

Reality Is Scary

Joe does make it clear what you’re up against. The short story market is tough. It’s wicked tough (if you’ll pardon my New England-ese), and heading into this with unrealistic hopes will hurt you. HOWEVER, that does not mean there is no hope, or that short stories are out of our league. Quite the opposite.

Joe actually convinced me writing short stories is good for me. How about that for wild?

Practical Practice

You want practical advice? Wow, does this book have it.

Joe hits everything from submission practice to “how to show, not tell” tricks. He goes over grammar and description, the psychology of writer’s blocks to cover letters. He touches on platform and delves into purpose. He even talks about when to STOP submitting – everything needs a break someteimes.

Yup. Buy it.

This book rocks. You can learn more about it at his site, The Write Practice, and as of this review, you can pick it up online at Barnes and Noble or Amazon. Hopefully, you’ll find it as encouraging as I did.


A three-times bestselling author, Ruthanne Reid has led a convention panel on world-building, taught courses on plot and character development, and been the keynote speaker for the Write Practice Retreat. Author of two series with five books and fifty-plus short stories, Ruthanne has lived in her head since childhood, when she wrote her first story about a pony princess and a genocidal snake-kingdom and used up her mom’s red typewriter ribbon in the process. When she isn’t reading, writing, or reading about writing, Ruthanne enjoys old cartoons with her husband and two cats, and dreams of living on an island beach far, far away. P.S. Red is still her favorite color.