Welcome to THRESHOLDS: Home of the International Short Story Forum
Like doorways and other thresholds, the short story form gives us the sense that we are crossing worlds, and entering new realities and states of mind. Across the threshold, both reader and protagonist arrive, often together, at fresh perceptions of what it means to be – and feel – alive.
Photographic image: Natalie Miller www.nmfoto.co.uk
Although the short story was a popular feature of many magazines for most of the last century, in more recent years the form has too often been overlooked and undervalued, considered by many to be little more than the means by which aspiring novelists hone their craft. At THRESHOLDS, however, we have no doubt that the short story is a vital literary form in its own right, deserving of serious critical attention and acclaim.
While a novel has the luxury of time and space in which to develop, a short story must, by necessity, be concise and finely wrought. It is through this compression and close attention to detail that a great short story achieves its unique and characteristic intensity. Focusing as it traditionally does on a moment in time, the short story takes a spotlight and shines it on one character and one short series of events, illuminating the very point at which the world changes utterly. Through this intense examination of character, the short story comes to life, and by the end, we are left with a vivid sense of having been, for a brief time, in the body of another. What a privilege! What a gift!
To achieve this connection with the reader, the writer must be able to identify the exact images and precise details that are essential to the story. And more so than with the novel, the writer must be an intimate companion to their protagonist. There is no time to uncover the history of a character. The writer must intuit the back-story from the very beginning. It is through this deep understanding, this deep empathy with the protagonist, that the writer takes us across the threshold of change and shows us, not tells us, the story of the moment in which a life was irrevocably lost, redeemed, narrowed or awakened.
We hope that you will step across our threshold and find within these pages a vibrant and comfortable, yet challenging world dedicated to the short story and all it can be.
All good wishes,
Your THRESHOLDS Team