A short story is usually a fictional story that is too short to be published by itself. Unlike a chapter book, it can usually be read or told in one sitting. In general, it is between 3 and 50 pages long and would take between 10-90 minutes to tell. Longer stories are novels (or novellas). Shorter stories are sometimes called short short stories or anecdotes.

A short story is less likely than a novel to have more than one author. It is also less likely to have a sub-plot. Short stories are often used in literature classes to demonstrate different literary techniques because they are quick. Short stories are often published in collections or within magazines.

Some famous short stories include "The Tell-Tale Heart" and the "Gift of the Magi". Two famous collections of short stories are One Thousand and One Nights and The Canterbury Tales.

See the short story authors and short story categories for more examples.

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