2022 favorites

2022 Favorites

Happy new year to you!

Time for the annual rundown of the SSMT stories. In 2022, we traveled to a different state (plus D.C. and Puerto Rico) each week. It was fun if a little more difficult than I expected. The toughest state to find stories for was Delaware. California and New York, predictably, could have filled the entire calendar.

Anyway, for 2023, SSMT is done with the concepts. No more organizing principles. The plan simply is to post a new magic trick every single day – 365 days, 365 stories. Easy.

First, the annual list ranking the stories highlighted this year on the site, sorted in order of my own enjoyment.

Enjoy. Continue reading

December 2022 favorites

December 2022

The December stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Read This And Tell Me What It Says’ by A. Manette Ansay
  2. ‘The Happiest I’ve Been’ by John Updike
  3. ‘A Jury Of Her Peers’ by Susan Glaspell
  4. ‘God Writes A Bad Hand’ by J.F. Powers
  5. ‘Naked Ladies’ by Antonya Nelson
  6. ‘The Champ’ by Pedro Juan Soto
  7. ‘Sybil’ by A. Manette Ansay
  8. ‘Grandma’s Wake’ by Emilio Díaz Valcárcel
  9. ‘Changes In Louise’ by Tom Drury
  10. ‘The Sculptor’s Funeral’ by Willa Cather
  11. ‘Agnes Of Iowa’ by Lorrie Moore
  12. ‘Kansas’ by Antonya Nelson
  13. ‘Camping Out’ by James Wilcox
  14. ‘Beautiful Grade’ by Lorrie Moore
  15. ‘Purification On Cristo Street’ by René Marqués
  16. ‘Spit In The Governor’s Tea’ by Shay Youngblood
  17. ‘Peyo Mercé: English Teacher’ by Abelardo Díaz Alfaro
  18. ‘Dundun’ by Denis Johnson
  19. ‘The Way Of The World’ by Willa Cather
  20. ‘One Christmas’ by Truman Capote
  21. ‘The Artichoke’ by Marilyn Krysl

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

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November 2022 favorites

November 2022

The November stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Reunion’ by Julie Schumacher
  2. ‘Caveat Emptor’ by Joan Hess
  3. ‘Ashes’ by Cristina Henríquez
  4. ‘The Wellman Twins’ by Mary Robison
  5. ‘Chasing Birds’ by Cristina Henríquez
  6. ‘Too Much To Bare’ by Joan Hess
  7. ‘Nebraska’ by Ron Hansen
  8. ‘Drive’ by Cristina Henríquez
  9. ‘That Thing Around Your Neck’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  10. ‘Polaroid’ by Sally Wells
  11. ‘Peter’ by Willa Cather
  12. ‘Correspondence’ by Carson McCullers
  13. ‘Beatrice Trueblood’s Story’ by Jean Stafford
  14. ‘Murder At Fork Junction’ by Alston Anderson
  15. ‘I Get By’ by Mary Robison
  16. ‘Bad Latch’ by Curtis Sittenfeld
  17. ‘The Haunter Of The Dark’ by H.P. Lovecraft
  18. ‘This Is My Living Room’ by Tom McAfee

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

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October 2022 favorites

October 2022

The October stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘End Of The World’ by Dean Doner
  2. ‘The Mud Below’ by Annie Proulx
  3. ‘Home’ by Jayne Anne Phillips
  4. ‘Indian Burial’ by Dean Doner
  5. ‘The Paper Menagerie’ by Ken Liu
  6. ‘The Half-Skinned Steer’ by Annie Proulx
  7. ‘Rock Springs’ by Richard Ford
  8. ‘Hollow’ by Breece D’J Pancake
  9. ‘Close Enough’ by Nora Shalaway Carpenter
  10. ‘Before Crowned Heads’ by Dean Doner
  11. ‘Job History’ by Annie Proulx
  12. ‘The State’ by Tommy Orange
  13. ‘The Boys’ by Ethan Coen
  14. ‘A Death In The Desert’ by Willa Cather
  15. ‘Soldier’s Home’ by Ernest Hemingway
  16. ‘Different Shorelines’ by S.E. Hinton
  17. ‘Happy’ by Jayne Anne Phillips

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

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September 2022 favorites

September 2022

The September stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Willing’ by Lorrie Moore
  2. ‘The Man Who Knew Belle Starr’ by Richard Bausch
  3. ‘A Father-To-Be’ by Saul Bellow
  4. ‘A Vermont Tale’ by Mark Helprin
  5. ‘The Five Wounds’ by Kirstin Valdez Quade
  6. ‘Nemecia’ by Kirstin Valdez Quade
  7. ‘Where The Mountains Are’ by Bill Barich
  8. ‘Seeing Clear’ by Cara Blue Adams
  9. ‘Sugar Babies’ by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
  10. ‘The Beautiful Mountains’ by John Cheever
  11. ‘Afternoon In Linen’ by Shirley Jackson
  12. ‘Sauerkraut Soup’ by Stuart Dybek
  13. ‘Our Lady Of Peace’ by ZZ Packer
  14. ‘Sunday Lunch’ by Nancy Hale
  15. ‘Benediction’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  16. ‘With Reference To An Incident At A Bridge’ by William Maxwell
  17. ‘Along The Frontage Road’ by Michael Chabon

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

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August 2022 favorites

August 2022

The August stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Murder’ by John Steinbeck
  2. ‘San Francisco’ by Amy Hempel
  3. ‘Iona Moon’ by Melanie Rae Thon
  4. ‘The Canoeists’ by Rick Bass
  5. ‘The Walk’ by Elizabeth Strout
  6. ‘Snow Blind’ by Elizabeth Strout
  7. ‘The Train’ by Flannery O’Connor
  8. ‘Greyhound People’ by Alice Adams
  9. ‘Elk’ by Rick Bass
  10. ‘The Story Of Keesh’ by Jack London
  11. ‘Fish And Fences’ by Veeda Bybee
  12. ‘Son In The Afternoon’ by John A. Williams
  13. ‘Officer Friendly’ by Lewis Robinson
  14. ‘Going To Shrewsbury’ by Sarah Orne Jewett
  15. ‘The Go-Getter’ by P.G. Wodehouse
  16. ‘The Naked Lady’ by Madison Smartt Bell
  17. ‘The Walled Garden’ by Peter Taylor
  18. ‘The Alaska Of Giants And Gods’ by Dave Eggers
  19. ‘From 100 Elvis Stories’ by Lisa Walker
  20. ‘What I Hear’ by Mary Robison

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

July 2022 favorites

July 2022

The July stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Indianapolis (Highway 74)’ by Sam Shepard
  2. ‘The Years Of My Birth’ by Louise Erdrich
  3. ‘Community Life’ by Lorrie Moore
  4. ‘Désirée’s Baby’ by Kate Chopin
  5. ‘River Of Names’ by Dorothy Allison
  6. ‘Hellion’ by Julia Elliott
  7. ‘Who Am I This Time?’ by Kurt Vonnegut
  8. ‘May Queen’ by Mary Robison
  9. ‘The Mappist’ by Barry Lopez
  10. ‘Why I Like Country Music’ by James Alan McPherson
  11. ‘A Respectable Woman’ by Kate Chopin
  12. ‘Naked Woman Playing Chopin’ by Louise Erdrich
  13. ‘The Appropriation Of Cultures’ by Percival Everett
  14. ‘The Old Halvorson Place’ by Larry Woiwode
  15. ‘Strays’ by Mark Richard
  16. ‘Song On Royal Street’ by Richard Blessing

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

June 2022 favorites

June 2022

The June stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Ghosts, Cowboys’ by Claire Vaye Watkins
  2. ‘The Last Thing We Need’ by Claire Vaye Watkins
  3. ‘The Night Rhonda Ferguson Was Killed’ by Edward P. Jones
  4. ‘The Ant Of The Self’ by ZZ Packer
  5. ‘Georgetown Nights’ by Nancy Hale
  6. ‘In My Next Life’ by Pam Houston
  7. ‘The Face’ by Virginia Sorensen
  8. ‘The Weave’ by Charles Johnson
  9. ‘Road’s End’ by Alexis Smith
  10. ‘Happy Hour’ by Denis Johnson
  11. ‘An Orange Line Train To Ballston’ by Edward P. Jones
  12. ‘The Nevada School Of Acting’ by Judy Troy
  13. ‘Where Nothing Is Long Ago’ by Virginia Sorensen
  14. ‘Monroe’s Wedding’ by John Holman
  15. ‘Island Rodeo Queen’ by Yamile Saied Méndez
  16. ‘White Girl, Fine Girl’ by Shirley Ann Grau
  17. ‘Magnificent Desolation’ by Jess Walter
  18. ‘How To Cure A Cold’ by Mark Twain

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

May 2022 favorites

May 2022

The May stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Children On Their Birthdays’ by Truman Capote
  2. ‘A View Of The Woods’ by Flannery O’Connor
  3. ‘Complicities’ by Alice Adams
  4. ‘This Is Paradise’ by Kristiana Kahakauwila
  5. ‘Birdland’ by Michael Knight
  6. ‘Consolation’ by Richard Bausch
  7. ‘Strange Moonlight’ by Conrad Aiken
  8. ‘The Quest For “Blank Claveringi”’ by Patricia Highsmith
  9. ‘Sucker’ by Carson McCullers
  10. ‘Buck Boy’ by James McBride
  11. ‘Friends From Philadelphia’ by John Updike
  12. ‘To Hell With Dying’ by Alice Walker
  13. ‘The Devil And Daniel Webster’ by Stephen Vincent Benét
  14. ‘The Local Production Of Cinderella’ by Allegra Goodman
  15. ‘Young Francis Whitehead’ by William Maxwell
  16. ‘Playing Before Royalty’ by Ian MacMillan
  17. ‘The Child Screams And Looks Back At You’ by Russell Banks
  18. ‘The Intermediate Class’ by Sam Allingham

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

April 2022 favorites

April 2022

The April stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Roses, Rhododendron’ by Alice Adams
  2. ‘Warm River’ by Erskine Caldwell
  3. ‘What Have You Done?’ by Ben Marcus
  4. ‘A Story In Almost Classical Mode’ by Harold Brodkey
  5. ‘Back Then’ by Mary Grimm
  6. ‘Waugh’ by Bryan Washington
  7. ‘Car Crash While Hitchhiking’ by Denis Johnson
  8. ‘Thrift Store Coats’ by Brooks Rexroat
  9. ‘The Bride Comes To Yellow Sky’ by Stephen Crane
  10. ‘Maggie Of The Green Bottles’ by Toni Cade Bambara
  11. ‘The Landlord’ by Wells Tower
  12. ‘Heathen’ by Mike Wilson
  13. ‘Donna’ by Michaella Thornton
  14. ‘The Princess And The Puma’ by O. Henry
  15. ‘The Day The Dam Broke’ by James Thurber
  16. ‘The Texas Principessa’ by William Goyen

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.