Heidi Pitlor has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 2007.  The Best American Short Stories is the longest-running and best-selling series of short fiction in the country. Each year, Pitlor works with a different guest editor to select the best twenty short stories that were published in print and online magazines.


The qualifications for selection are (1) original publication in nationally distributed American or Canadian periodicals; (2) publication in English by writers who are from, live in, or have made North America their home; (3) original publication as short stories (excerpts of novels are not considered).


Editors who wish their short fiction to be considered for next year's edition should send their publications to Heidi Pitlor, c/o The Best American Short Stories, P.O. Box 60, Natick, MA, 01760. Stories published by online journals and magazines should be sent to thebestamericanshortstories@gmail.com. Stories must be received by December 31st of the year that they were published to be considered for The Best American Short Stories. Unfortunately, we are unable to reply to individual submissions from authors, but will consider work that meets the above criteria.

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In her introduction, guest editor Jesmyn Ward says that the best fiction offers the reader a "sense of repair."The stories in this year's collection accomplish just that, immersing the reader in powerfully imagined worlds and allowing them to bring some of that power into their own lives. From a stirring portrait of Rodney King's final days to a surreal video game set in the Middle East, with real consequences, to an indigenous boy's gripping escape from his captors, this collection renders profoundly empathetic depictions of the variety of human experience. These stories are poignant reminders of the possibilities of fiction.

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