Not that we get paid by the word or anything

For reference purposes only — no wagering! — Hawthorn Mineart lists 161 famous short stories, in ascending order of length. (Shortest one listed: Virginia Woolf’s “A Haunted House,” a breezy 710 words.) The average: a hair over 4000 words.

She’s also done a list of word counts for famous novels, and no, War and Peace (587,287 words) isn’t the longest.

And I note with no small degree of angst that I have written nearly four million words in the last five and a half years — 55,000 just in January — but I seriously doubt I could put together a decent 4000-word short story. (Although this isn’t too awfully bad for 300 and change.)

1 comment

  1. Mark Alger »

    4 February 2012 · 8:20 am

    They missed one: the Shortest Story Ever by Ernest Hemmingway, which I herewith quote in full:

    For sale. Baby Shoes. Never worn.


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