Looking for more in Book Lists?

Short stories

Language: English
Genre: Fiction
Age group: Adults
Topics:
A man reading by the sea

We're huge short story fans at Scottish Book Trust. These collections are full of the most imaginative, hilarious, heartbreaking writing we know.

Best of all? You can whizz through each story in half an hour or less.

Kate Atkinson Not the End of the World

Kate Atkinson studied English at Dundee University and now lives in Edinburgh, where the television adaptations of her much-loved Jackson Brodie books were set. This short story collection is just the thing for long-term Atkinson fans who need something to sustain them before her next novel is released.

Kirsty Logan The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales

We first met Logan when she received a New Writer's Award in 2009. Since then her writing career has gone from strength to strength, but we'll always have a soft spot for 'The Rental Heart' - it's the story she included in her New Writer's Award application all those years ago.

Dan Rhodes Anthropology

Each of these micro-stories is 101 words long, making them perfect for dipping into on the commute. Pop this in your bag and welcome train delays with a smile.

Jackie Kay Reality, Reality

Jackie Kay is a national treasure, and this collection of fifteen stories is one of our favourites. Make sure you try Kay's poetry too - she was named Makar (National Poet for Scotland) in 2016.

Chris McQueer Hings

McQueer made his name by sharing stories on Medium and wowing the spoken word circuit before he was snapped up by publisher 404 Ink. His stories are hilarious, surreal and 100% Scottish. Make sure you check out his latest collection, HWFG too.

Kevin Barry Dark Lies the Island

Irvine Welsh has described Kevin Barry as 'the most arresting and original writer to emerge from these islands in years'. How could we ignore that endorsement?

Alexia Arthurs How to Love a Jamaican

These stories are set in Jamaica and the US, but their portrayal of sexual orientation, parental relationships and self-discovery are universal. Plus, we couldn't resist the beautiful front cover.

Michel Faber Some Rain Must Fall

Faber has lived in Scotland since the early 1990s, and has won prizes such as The Neil Gunn Prize, The Macallan Prize and The Saltire First Book of the Year Award. This is his first short story collection - and it's a good'un.

Angela Carter The Bloody Chamber

Fairy tales, but not as you know them... Carter's writing is luscious and unsettling, and hard to resist.

Helen McClory Mayhem & Death

Margaret Atwood has described McClory's stories as "shiny dark licorice mind candy", and her first collection, On the Edges of Vision, won the Saltire First Book of the Year 2015.

Ted Chiang Arrival

If you loved the film adaptation of 'Arrival' starring Amy Adams (we did!) then this collection of stylish sci-fi is one to try.

Neil Gaiman Fragile Things

A great introduction to Neil Gaiman for new readers, or something for long-term fans who want more.