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Short storyFor the Gershwin piano and violin piece, seeShort Story(music).Ashort storyis a piece ofprose fiction, which can beread in a singlesetting.Emerging from earlier oralstorytellingtraditions in the 17th century, the short storyhas grown to encompass a body of work so diverse asto defy easy characterization.At its most prototypicalthe short story features a small cast of named characters,and focuses on a self-contained incident with the intentof evoking a “single effect” or mood.In doing so, shortstories make use of plot, resonance, and other dynamiccomponents to a far greater degree than is typical of ananecdote, yet to a far lesser degree than anovel. Whilethe short story is largely distinct from the novel, authorsof both generally draw from a common pool ofliterarytechniques.Short stories have no set length. In terms of word countthere is no oﬃcial demarcation between ananecdote, ashort story, and a novel. Rather, the form’s parametersare given by the rhetorical and practical context in whicha given story is produced and considered, so that whatconstitutes a short story may differ between genres, coun-tries, eras, and commentators.Like the novel, the shortstory’s predominant shape reﬂects the demands of theavailable markets for publication, and the evolution of theform seems closely tied to the evolution of the publishingindustry and the submission guidelines of its constituenthouses.The short story has been considered both an apprentice-ship form preceding more lengthy works, and a craftedform in its own right, collected together in books of sim-ilar length, price, and distribution as novels. Short storywriters may define their works as part of the artistic andpersonal expression of the form. They may also attemptto resist categorization by genre and fixed formation.1LengthSee the articlenovellafor related debate about length.Determining what exactly separates a short story fromlonger fictional formats is problematic.A classic defi-nition of a short story is that one should be able to readit in one sitting, a point most notably made inEdgar Al-lan Poe'sessay"Thomas Le Moineau (Le Moile)" (1846).Interpreting this standard nowadays is problematic, sincethe expected length of “one sitting” may now be brieferthan it was in Poe’s era. Other definitions place the max-imum word count of the short story at anywhere from1,000 to 4,000. In contemporary usage, the term shortstory most often refers to a work of fiction no shorterthan 1,000 and no longer than 20,000 words.Storiesof fewer than 1,000 words are sometimes referred to as“short short stories”,or "ﬂash fiction.”As a point of reference for the genre writer, theScienceFiction and Fantasy Writers of Americadefine short storylength in theNebula Awardsforscience fictionsubmis-sion guidelines as having aword countof fewer than7,500.Longer stories that cannot be called novels are sometimesconsidered “novellas” or novelettes and, like short stories,