Read to Write Stories


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 Laura van den Berg, 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.

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