What is this blog?

Read to Write Stories features weekly writing exercises based on a story, novel excerpt, or essay that has been published or made available online.


The best way to learn to write is to read good books. Every week on this blog, I post a link to a contemporary short story or novel excerpt that is free and available online. I choose fiction from all genres (literary, science fiction, young adult), from well-known writers like George Saunders to about-to-be-well-known writers like Kaitlyn Greenidge, and from a wide array of journals and publications. If you are a writer, or simply someone looking for good fiction, this blog provides links to works by some of the country’s most exciting writers. When possible, I post a brief Q&A with the writers.


In the exercises, I take the stories apart in order to show how they work and to find techniques that can be borrowed by any writer. Each post culminates in a writing exercise designed to put the technique to work.

I believe that every writer can become a better writer simply by reading. Let’s begin.


3 Responses to “What is this blog?”

  1. Darcy July 10, 2014 at 8:02 p07 #

    This is a great idea. Over the years, I’ve clipped stories from mags and put them into a file called “exemplary stories.” I wish I did know how they worked. I decided today to do what Maile Meloy does and read them out loud. (She reads her own out loud after sometimes putting them into a different font and single-spacing them).

    • michaelnoll1 July 10, 2014 at 8:02 p07 #

      That’s a great idea, Darcy. The nice thing about retyping a published story into Word is that it no longer looks like a published piece but, instead, like something you could potentially write. Also, I’ve never heard that about Maile Meloy. Her story collection is great, by the way.


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