Annotated Pages

One Story is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization, and the Debutante Ball is our biggest fundraiser of the year. Donations help us keep our doors open and support our mission to celebrate the short story & support the writers who write them. For this year’s event, we’ve asked a few authors to annotate (by hand) a manuscript page from one of their published books. We’ll be making these available to on-site donors at the One Story Literary Debutante Ball this Friday, May 4th. Thank you to all of the wonderful authors who have so generously sent us pages: Jami Attenberg, Aimee Bender, Peter Carey, Michael Cunningham, Min Jin Lee, Celeste Ng, Ruth Ozeki, Ann PatchettRichard Russo, Patrick Ryan, Dani Shapiro, Jim ShepardKaren Shepard, Darin Strauss, J. Courtney Sullivan, Hannah Tinti, Vendela Vida, Jess Walter, Claire Vaye Watkins, Colson Whitehead, and Meg Wolitzer. We can’t wait to see you at the ball!

Pictured above: annotated pages by Ann Patchett, Ruth Ozeki, and Hannah Tinti

A note from Contributing Editor Will Allison about the next One Story class, and why editing is so important to writing

w allison contact A frame5 copy

In the summer of 1996, a few months after I finished my MFA at Ohio State, I got the luckiest break of my writing career: I landed an editorial job at Story, the fabled literary magazine that prided itself on discovering great new writers, from J. D. Salinger and Carson McCullers in the 1930s and 1940s to Junot Díaz and our own Hannah Tinti in the 1990s.

I say it was the luckiest break of my career because even though I’d been writing fiction for eight years, editing stories taught me how to write them much better. My job at Story also gave me insight into what I could expect when the day came that I’d be working with an editor myself.

In putting together One Story’s next online course, Become Your Own Best Editor, I thought a behind-the-scenes look at the editorial process—using actual marked-up manuscripts—would be as instructive for other writers as it was for me. And I had the perfect story in mind: Laura Spence-Ash’s debut, “The Remains” (issue #188). Laura was great to work with, a writer who was open to feedback and who improved upon our suggestions, making her story even better than we envisioned.

In addition to drafts of “The Remains,” the ten-day course (June 12 – 21) will include daily online text lectures, assignments, and a message board where you can share ideas and manuscripts with other writers who are committed to becoming better editors of their own work. To find out more about this course, go here. Deadline to sign up is noon on June 12.

I hope you’ll join us!

New 1-week online class: Write a short story with Hannah Tinti!

typewritter_once_uponLearn how short stories work from the inside out! In this one week (7 day) online class, July 6-12th, 2014One Story Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Hannah Tinti will examine the basic structure and core elements of short fiction.

With videos, online “lectures,” and guided writing exercises, Hannah will lead you sentence by sentence and paragraph by paragraph through the writing of your own story. At the end of the week, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the inner workings of storytelling and story structure.

You’ll also have the chance to take part in an active discussion board of like-minded writers, the opportunity swap work with fellow students, and be able to ask questions along the way. Sign up now for this fun week-long event, the first online course offered by Hannah Tinti.

Greenlight Bookstore reading featuring One Story’s 2014 Literary Debutantes 5/23: Sponsored by the Author’s Guild!

greenlightCan’t make it to this year’s One Story Debutante Ball on May 22nd? Never fear! Greenlight Bookstore is hosting a reading the following night, Friday May 23rd at 7:30 pm, featuring our 2014 Literary Debutantes (James Scott, Rachel Cantor, Celeste Ng, Amelia Kahaney, Ben Stroud, Molly Antopol & David James Poissant).

This event will be hosted by One Story’s co-founder & editor in chief, Hannah Tinti, and is sponsored by the Author’s Guild, and is it is FREE! There will also be FREE wine and beer, as well as all of these fantastic authors’ books for sale! We hope to see you there!

Friday, May 23rd @ 7:30 pm
One Story Debutante Reading
Greenlight Bookstore
686 Fulton Street (at South Portland)
Brooklyn, NY

Gratitude for AWP and the Best Small Press Award

Our prize! We got to give an acceptance speech and everything!

Our prize! We got to give an acceptance speech and everything!

In our first year of publishing One Story, Hannah Tinti and I decided to take our first few issues of One Story to the AWP Conference in Baltimore. We took a standing lamp with the One Story logo stenciled on the lampshade and a few back issues, and drove to the conference in my very old car. In a small hotel ballroom, we met writers, readers, our publishing peers, and the amazing folks at CLMP who help lit mags like us do everything better.

We attended the conference every year after that and each time we did we felt refreshed about the state of publishing, enthusiastic about our wild idea of letting just one short story stand on its own, and proud of how much we do on a shoestring budget. Last week in Seattle, over 10 years after that first AWP, we were honored with the Best Small Press Award. We are so grateful for AWP for recognizing the work that we do, and for the work they do in bringing writers, writing programs, and publishers together.

We’re a small staff of mostly volunteers so recognition like this means a lot to us. So, thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years, from those of you who just stopped by the booth at AWP to share some writing advice and chat, to our subscribers, to our readers, writers, and supporters. And of course thanks to our fellow nominees, The Cincinnati Review and Creative Nonfiction, and all of the other small publishers and presses for continuing on the journey with us.

We’ll see you all next year in Minneapolis!


Connected. Understood. Alive.

What a year it’s been at One Story. We’ve published 15 more great works of fiction in One Story, seen One Teen Story through its first full year, launched a membership program, and expanded our educational offerings both online and in person.

At the start of each one of these classes, Editor in Chief Hannah Tinti asks her students: How did you feel the first time you read your favorite book?  We keep the answers to this question on a giant post-it note in our office.

ElatedThese words remind us why we do what we do. How we want every reader to feel when they pick up an issue of One Story or One Teen Story. Connected to other readers. Understood by the author. Alive. Excited to be reading, smart and transported to a whole new world.

I am writing to ask you to include One Story in your end of year giving.

Your support will help us when we struggle to pay rent, our authors, and printer bills. Most important, it will ensure that One Story keeps fighting the good fight for literature in 2014 and beyond.

Please support One Story today. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible. Donate before the end of the year and we’ll send you a replica of our Post-it to inspire you in 2014.

Why Membership? Why Now?

We started One Story as a lark, really, and now our lark has grown to have a sister publication for Teens, an education department, and a community (you) that continues to surprise us with its commitment, good humor, and dedication to what we do.

Last week we launched a new membership program. We did this as a way to strengthen our community and as a way to recognize how all of the parts of our organization are intertwined. We did not set out to create a growing nonprofit, but we have, and we feel terribly committed to ensuring it succeeds in the world.

Our members will help us do that. They’ll also get subscriptions to our magazines, discounts to our educational programs, and a chance to join us for members only events. They’ll also help us as we shape our future. We hope that our members will act as our sounding board and our literary boots on the ground, and will help us ensure that One Story continues to drive forward, and not ride into the sunset.

We feel both lucky and proud of the broad base of support we have found. Unlike most literary magazines of our size, we have no one large funder or organization supporting us. We are supported by our readers, by grants from organizations and corporations, by one time donations, and now, we hope, by members.

If you can, please become a member today. Your support will help us focus on the work we do, and not solely on the bottom line.



BBF Boot Camp: General Tinti will make you Sweat Semicolons

BF_2011_300x250_Image_01Dear Friend,

This weekend One Story and One Teen Story will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival and we’re inviting you stop by our booth, say hello and join us for a brief writing boot camp session led by our four-star general, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Tinti.

Hannah will lead you in a fifteen-minute writing workout. Prepare to sweat  semicolons.

Where:  Brooklyn Book Festival, Brooklyn Borough Hall
Table:    95
Time:    11:30 – 11:45
You’ll need: A pen and paper

At our table we’ll have back issues, information about our new education series and sign-ups for our week-long, online writing boot camp.

We’ll also have information about Hannah’s One Story master class (link to HT Master Class) – the first to be held in the One Story office in the Old American Can Factory in Brooklyn. Applications for this workshop are due on September 30. There are only 10 spots, so apply today!

See you at the Book Festival!


Gratitude is the best form of procrastination

It’s unusually chilly in Brooklyn and I’m in the office alone taking care of some of the business of running One Story. I can be a procrastinator, so today I am procrastinating with gratitude.

Twelve years ago Hannah Tinti and I decided to give this one-story-at-a-time thing a go. It was a leap of faith that’s turned into an incredible partnership and an amazing community.

I’m feeling grateful right now for Hannah, for our supporters, our readers, and the writers who have trusted us with their submissions and their work. I’m grateful for our incredible team who keep this project moving forward. It has not always been easy – doing what you love rarely is – but it has always been an adventure.

Issue 184 is headed off to the printer soon. It’s a true science fiction piece by Amy Brill, a first for us. After 12 years it’s good to know that there is always something new to be done, and that there is still hope and joy to be found in publishing the written word.

Thank you all.

Get your flabby sentences in shape with our Writing Boot Camp

bootcampWant to write a great short story by the end of this month? The editors at One Teen Story, our sister publication, have created a week-long, online Boot Camp to help you do just that.

Our Writing Boot Camp will kick off on September 22nd. The best part? Registration for the class is just $25!

Register now (link to boot camp page) and on September 22, you will receive a list of ingredients to include in your story. You’ll also get a list of inspiring rules to follow and some helpful dos and don’ts created by our editors. Each day after that you’ll receive an email giving you tips on one area of craft.

Monday: Storytelling
Tuesday: Character
Wednesday: Dialogue
Thursday: Going Deeper
Friday: Beginnings and Endings: Revision Tricks

On Sunday, September 30, we’ll open up our submission manager for just 2 days to allow participants to submit their work to our Boot Camp Results feature on our blog. We’ll post 3 full stories and include great sentences we find in others. It’s the perfect way to get a first draft down.

We’re so excited about this Boot Camp that we’ll be doing the exercise along with you. We’ll be posting our progress on our blog, and our editors will check in daily to answer questions.

Ready to write? Register today!

P.S. All kinds of writers are welcome! Our One Teen Story editors have created this boot camp, but the writing tips and exercises are applicable to all types of short stories.