Short Story Writers

Short story writers write short pieces of prose fiction that generally focus on a single theme, simple plots and few characters. There is considerable debate surrounding what should be the appropriate word limit for a piece of fiction to be considered a short story; it is generally considered to be between 1000 to about 20,000 words. Edgar Allan Poe, the famous American author regarded to be one of the earliest writers of short stories defined a short story as a short piece of fiction that can be read in one sitting. However this categorization is also subjective, there is no concrete definition of what constitutes the time limit for one sitting. Many novelists begin their career as writers of short stories. Writing shorter pieces of prose before commencing a lengthier piece of work gives them an opportunity to hone their writing skills and get an idea about the readership for their works. It also helps popularize the writer’s name in the market so that any other work by the same author is received favorably. Short stories are mostly based on a single theme that revolves around a small cast of characters, and are usually less complex than novels. Listed below is a collection of the biographies about the lives and works of famous short story writers from around the world.
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 1 Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 13, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: November 23, 1990

British writer, Roald Dahl, is considered as one of the greatest children’s authors. He is one of the best-selling authors of all-time and had a career spanning decades. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, The Twits and Matilda are some of his classic works. He also wrote short stories and novels meant for adults.

 2 Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 21, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: July 2, 1961

Ernest Hemingway was an American novelist and short-story writer who had a strong impact on 20th-century fiction. He published seven novels and six short-story collections and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea are some of his classic works. He ended his own life in July 1961.

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 3 Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 7, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian
Died: August 7, 1941

Rabindranath Tagore was an Indian polymath who contributed greatly to the fields of literature, art, and philosophy. Referred to as the Bard of Bengal, Tagore is credited with reshaping Bengali literature and music. The first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, Tagore is also credited with composing the national anthems of India and Bangladesh.

 4 Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 19, 1809
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: October 7, 1849

American writer Edgar Allan Poe is regarded as the architect of modern short story, the inventor of the detective-fiction genre and a major contributor towards science fiction genre. The influential writer is recognised for his tales of mystery and macabre. His notable works include The Raven (poem), The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher (short stories).

 5 John Hughes

John Hughes
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Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: February 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: August 6, 2009

 6 Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 2, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: September 24, 1991

Dr. Seuss was an American children's author, illustrator, and political cartoonist. He is credited with writing some of the most famous children's books ever, including The Cat in the Hat. His works were translated into over 20 languages and sold more than 600 million copies by the time of his death. Many of his creations were adapted into animated cartoons.

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 7 Mark Twain

Mark Twain Image
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 30, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: April 21, 1910

Mark Twain, “the father of American literature,” was one of the world’s greatest 19-th century humorists and authors. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were drawn from his childhood experiences in Missouri. In his later life, he sunk into bankruptcy and also recovered.

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 8 Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming
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Famous As: Author of James Bond Series
Birthdate: May 28, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: August 12, 1964

Ian Fleming was a British writer, naval intelligence officer, and journalist. Fleming is credited with creating one of the most popular characters of all time, James Bond. His James Bond series of novels have sold more than 100 million copies, making them one of the best-selling fictional book series in history. Jamaica’s Ian Fleming International Airport is named after him.

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 9 Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Author Neil Gaiman has written numerous novels, short stories, film scripts, and comics. He has won the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and Nebula awards, and the Carnegie and Newbery medals. Some of his best works are American Gods, Stardust, The Graveyard Book, and the comic series The Sandman

 10 George R. R. Martin

George R. R. Martin
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Novelist
Birthdate: September 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
George R. R. Martin wrote the epic fantasy series of novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, which inspired the iconic Emmy-winning HBO series Game of Thrones. Also known as the "American Tolkien," he was featured on TIME 100. He has earned the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, too.
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 11 Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 26, 1894
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British, American
Died: November 22, 1963

English writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley wrote countless books, including novels, short stories, non-fiction, and poems. He is best remembered for his science-fiction novels Brave New World and Island. The seven-time Nobel Prize nominee was also a Companion of Literature of the Royal Society of Literature and a Vedanta believer.

 12 Diane Ladd

Diane Ladd
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 29, 1932
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Diane Ladd is an American actress, author, and filmmaker. Over the years, Diane Ladd has contributed immensely to the success of several films and TV series. Perhaps, her greatest contribution to Hollywood is guiding and mentoring her daughter and Academy Award-winning actress Laura Dern. Both Ladd and Dern received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress for the film Rambling Rose

 13 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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Famous As: Writer & Physician
Birthdate: May 22, 1859
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British, Scottish
Died: July 7, 1930

 14 Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 14, 1916
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: August 8, 1965
Shirley Jackson redefined the genres of horror and mystery through her works, which include over 200 short stories and six novels. Her iconic novel The Haunting of Hill House was made into a popular Netflix series and several movies, including the 1963 and 1999 versions of The Haunting

 15 Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 29, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: March 6, 1888
Novelist and short story writer Louisa May Alcott is best remembered as the author of the 1868 novel Little Women and its sequels, Little Men and Jo's Boys. She initially wrote using the pseudonym “A. M. Barnard.” She never married and remained a life-long feminist and abolitionist.

 16 Henry James

Henry James
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 15, 1843
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: February 28, 1916

Henry James was an author, regarded as one of the greatest novelists ever to write in the English language. One of his novellas titled The Turn of the Screw has been the most analyzed ghost story in the history of English language literature. While his works have been adapted into films, he has been the subject of several other stories.

 17 Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 16, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: German, American
Died: March 9, 1994

German-American poet and short story writer ,Charles Bukowski, addressed the ordinary lives of poor Americans in most of his works. Since his death, he has been the subject of many critical books and articles. His stories have inspired several films like Tales of Ordinary Madness, Crazy Love, and Factotum.

 18 John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 27, 1902
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: December 20, 1968

Famous for his novels The Grapes of Wrath and Tortilla Flat, John Ernst Steinbeck was noted for his sympathy for the plight of workers in his books. The Nobel laureate, who said he did not deserve the prize, authored 33 books, some of which were best sellers during his time. His books were also adapted into films.

 19 J. D. Salinger

J. D. Salinger
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 1, 1919
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: January 27, 2010
J. D. Salinger is best remembered for his controversial novel The Catcher in the Rye, which was banned in many school libraries due to its sexual content. His other notable works include the anthology Nine Stories and the novella Hapworth. He spent much of his life in seclusion. 

 20 Truman Capote

Truman Capote
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 30, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: August 25, 1984
Truman Capote is best known for his novella Breakfast at Tiffany's, which was made into a movie that starred Audrey Hepburn, and the non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. His short story Shut a Final Door won the O. Henry Award. He was a lifelong friend of author Harper Lee.

 21 Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: December 16, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: March 2, 1982

Philip K. Dick was an American writer who was known for his work that explores varied social and philosophical themes. Dick's novels have inspired films like Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau. In 2005, his novel Ubik was included in Time magazine's list of 100 greatest novels published in English since 1923.

 22 Ruskin Bond

Ruskin Bond
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 19, 1934
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian
Sahitya Akademi Award-winning children’s author Ruskin Bond is best known for creating the protagonist Rusty, modeled on his childhood in Dehradun and found in his books such as The Room on the Roof. Many of his books, such as The Blue Umbrella have been made into films. 

 23 Jack London

Jack London
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 12, 1876
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: November 22, 1916

Jack London was an American novelist, social activist, and journalist. A pioneer of American magazines and commercial fiction, London was one of the first authors from the US to become an international celebrity. His life and work inspired several films, such as the 1943 movie Jack London and 1980 film Klondike Fever. He was also portrayed in several TV series.

 24 Reginald VelJohnson

Reginald VelJohnson
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 16, 1952
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 25 James Joyce

James Joyce
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 2, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Irish
Died: January 13, 1941

James Joyce was an Irish novelist, poet, teacher, short story writer, and literary critic. Widely considered one of the 20th century's most important and influential writers, James Joyce contributed immensely to the modernist avant-garde movement. Joyce's work has influenced several scholars and writers, such as Jorge Luis Borges, Salman Rushdie, Seán Ó Ríordáin, Flann O'Brien, John Updike, and Cormac McCarthy.

 26 Jules Verne

Jules Verne
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 8, 1828
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: French
Died: March 24, 1905
French author Jules Verne, also known as the “Father of Science Fiction,” is best remembered for his legendary adventure novels Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in Eighty Days, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. He also became the world’s second most-translated writer since 1979.

 27 Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 3, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Polish, Ukrainian, British
Died: August 3, 1924

Joseph Conrad was a Polish-British writer. Considered one of the greatest English-language novelists of all time, Conrad is credited with bringing a non-English sensibility into English-language literature. Many of his works have inspired several films, TV series, and video games. His anti-heroic characters and narrative style have influenced many authors like Salman Rushdie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and T. S. Eliot.

 28 Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: June 5, 2012
Ray Bradbury is best remembered for his writings in the science-fiction, mystery, and horror genres, the most notable being the short story anthology Martian Chronicles and the novel Fahrenheit 451. He also contributed to the screenplays of various series and films, and won an Emmy for writing The Halloween Tree.

 29 William Faulkner

William Faulkner
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Famous As: Writer, Nobel Laureate
Birthdate: September 25, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: July 6, 1962
Nobel Prize-winning Southern author William Faulkner is remembered for works The Sound and the Fury, A Rose for Emily, and As I Lay Dying. He immortalized Mississippi as the fictional "Yoknapatawpha County" in his works. He also won two Pulitzers, one each for A Fable and The Reivers.

 30 William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs
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Famous As: Novelist, Short Story Writer
Birthdate: February 5, 1914
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: August 2, 1997
Beat Generation author William S. Burroughs soared to fame with his novels Junkie and Naked Lunch, with the latter being at the center of a censorship issue. Also known by his pseudonym, "William Lee," he exhibited artwork such as the Gunshot Paintings. He accidentally shot and killed his second wife.

 31 Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov
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Birthdate: January 29, 1860
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German, Russian
Died: July 15, 1904

 32 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 15, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Nigerian

 33 P. L. Travers

P. L. Travers
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 9, 1899
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Australian, British
Died: April 23, 1996

 34 Donna Douglas

Donna Douglas
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 26, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: January 1, 2015

 35 Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: June 6, 1799
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 10, 1837

 36 Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Famous As: American Novelist
Birthdate: July 4, 1804
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: May 19, 1864

 37 Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac
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Famous As: French Novelist and Playwright
Birthdate: May 20, 1799
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: French
Died: August 18, 1850

 38 Herman Melville

Herman Melville
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Birthdate: August 1, 1819
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: September 28, 1891

 39 O. Henry

O. Henry
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Famous As: Short Story Writer
Birthdate: September 11, 1862
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: June 5, 1910

 40 Munshi Premchand

Munshi Premchand
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Famous As: Novelist and Author
Birthdate: July 31, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian
Died: October 8, 1936

 41 Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro
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Famous As: Nobel Prize Winner in Literature
Birthdate: November 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

 42 Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein
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Famous As: Science Fiction Writer
Birthdate: July 7, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: May 8, 1988

 43 Washington Irving

Washington Irwing
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Famous As: Author, Historian, Diplomat
Birthdate: April 3, 1783
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: November 28, 1859

 44 Holiday Reinhorn

Holiday Reinhorn
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Famous As: Fiction Writer
Birthdate: March 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

 45 L. Frank Baum

L. Frank Baum
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 15, 1856
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: May 6, 1919

 46 Thomas Clayton Wolfe

Thomas Clayton Wolfe
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 3, 1900
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: September 15, 1938

 47 Patrick Rothfuss

Patrick Rothfuss
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 6, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 48 Dazai Osamu

Dazai Osamu
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 19, 1909
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Japanese
Died: June 13, 1948

 49 Donald Ray Pollock

Donald Ray Pollock
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 23, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

 50 E. M. Forster

E. M. Forster
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 1, 1879
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: June 7, 1970
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