You may remember when not too long ago I reviewed a book of short short stories published by Rose Metal Press. I discovered I loved the short short story form, and thankfully that book wasn’t the only of this sort Rose Metal chose to publish. Their latest, In the Land of the Free, written by Geoffrey Forsyth, is another fascinating example of why I feel short shorts should get more exposure. Forsyth’s stories, most lasting no more than three or four pages, are packed with raw human emotion. From humor to ache, love to death, these stories are concentrated forms of literature that bear reading over and over.

Forsyth’s stories are most original; I’m sure it’s a large part of the reason he won the Rose Metal Press Second Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest. His stories feature young people – a baby born in the kitchen, a man who in his youth purchases a wall out of his naivete, a young man who wakes to find his dead relatives in his living room. These addictive little bits will most certainly get you hooked on short shorts.

If you’ve not read a short short story before, I highly recommend you try it. We all need something artistic and deep in our lives, and let’s face it – most people skip it completely, never realizing it’s missing. But for us readerly types, it’s a necessity that we recognize. Think of short shorts as multivitamins for the brain and the soul. Or a pick-me-up more handy than a cup of coffee, healthier than a cigarette break. If you decide to start with In the Land of the Free, you’ll have yourself a most creatively published work as well. This chapbook has an old-style letterpress cover which was produced at the Museum of Printing in Andover, Massachusetts–the perfect format for In the Land of the Free. I ask you, when was the last time you heard of a mainstream press take such care with their book printing? Another reason to love the Indie presses.

Want to win your own copy of In the Land of the Free? Here’s your chance.

3 Ways to Win:

1.) Leave a comment telling me what interests you about reading short short stories.  Have you read them before?  Why would you like to try? Have fun with your comment! Winners are randomly chosen, but if the name drawn doesn’t respond, I choose the next winner by comment.

2.) Email subscribers are entered into this and all future giveaways, for as long as their subscription is active. Simply place your email address in the little white box at the top of my sidebar on the right. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you don’t receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post. Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post.

Do all three, and you’ve got three entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Thursday, September 18, 2008, to enter.


  1. If I am reading a short story book, I can usually read one story each night before bedtime, from Alice Munro to David Sedaris.

  2. love shorts

  3. I like the challenge of it – sometimes authors create the best works when they have imposed limitations.

  4. a book from my era so want to read and own this thank you

  5. I like short stories because it’s a nice change of pace from reading a long novel.

  6. I like short stories when traveling because they fit in better with my schedule. I’m not sure that I’ve ever read a book strictly of short short stories, but I believe it would be interesting. I did write extremely short stories for my high school newspaper.

  7. I like them because they are short and sweet-not alot of extra words. I read at night, depending on the length of the story, I’m reading another one in a few days

  8. What a treasure to keep forever. Short stories are so awe inspiring,some of my favorite collections are The 5 Minute Illiad,Neil Gaimans Fragile Things,and for a romantic read “My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding”

  9. this looks like a great read hope I win thanks for the chance

  10. I always go to Amazon and read the reviews on books I haven’t heard of. This one perked my interest because it is short short stories, something I not had a lot of experience reading. They said the stories are emotional and varied. Thanks for the opportunity to win it.

  11. I like short stories because they don’t take as long to read but still are captivating.

  12. i like short stories because i can fit them into my busy schedule

  13. I’m a big fan of short stories. I don’t want to sound facetious, but (just about) anybody can write an opus. It takes a truly skilled and talented writer to achieve the same effect with fewer words. I especially like the short shorts – they are like little vignettes, little trips to other worlds, other times and places and people. I can visit these worlds any time I choose, without investing a lot of time in doing so. And they make great bathroom reading. :)

  14. hey, this looks like a great read :) Thanks for the review! I guess I like short stories because after so much reading they break things up a little, making every story you finish a reward in the whole scheme of a larger “finishing the book” reward.

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

  15. I haven’t read any short short stories but I would like to read them because I have very little time to read.

  16. I’ve always loved short stories because that is the way to get the attention of a reader without intimidating them by the size of the book. Short stories are great for getting young people interested in reading.

  17. I’ve loved short stories since I read The Lottery by Shirley Jackson in high school.

  18. i enjoy short stories .

  19. I used to subscribe to a short story mag. I loved it. It’s almost like a high quality bathroom reader! Short enough to read in one sitting. Huh!

  20. I love to read but that is a luxury of time that only short stories fit.

  21. I like short stories because they are…short.

  22. I love reading, and always have a book with me, especially for waiting periods. Sometimes though the errand or appointment that I’m waiting for comes about much quicker than I expected – like three or four pages into a chapter — however with a short story all is good! I’d be done and have the satisfaction of being well read!