Today is World Storytelling Day! It’s a celebration every 20 March of oral storytelling all around the world. This year’s theme is ‘Together We Can.’
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that any day is an excellent day to read a story out loud to someone you love. But it’s a particularly good idea today. You might also swing by your favorite bookshop today to get your hands on a book to read to your favorite person or yourself.
Here are some suggestions for short stories you can find online, in case you need to read something compelling right now.
Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket by Jack Finney: A suspenseful story with a delightfully ironic ending, set in 1950s New York City.
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Alan Poe: Poe’s 1843 classic tale of an unnamed narrator who insists he’s not mad, just nervous. So nervous! Recommend reading in a closet with a flashlight for maximum impact. (Or perhaps you prefer The Masque of the Red Death.)
Fairy tales from around the world. This is a massive archive of stories from every country. There’s 1001 Nights, classics from the Brothers Grimm, stories by Oscar Wilde, 10 versions of Cinderella, many versions of Beauty and the Beast, and tales by the irresistibly named Baroness Orczy, a Hungarian author.
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson: Infused with creeping dread, this story explores the rituals of a seemingly all-American, mid-20th-century town.
The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant: A classic morality tale set in the 19th century.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar by Maurice Leblanc: A collection of stories first published in 1905 starring the wily and stylish Lupin.
Classic Short Stories Online. This is a treasure trove of short stories you can browse by title and author. If you have trouble deciding, you can let the website choose: Every time you reload the page, you get a new story recommendation, like The Lady or the Tiger by Frank Stockton or The Open Window by H.H. Munro.
Top image courtesy of Everett Collection/Shutterstock.
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