Maxine Beneba Clarke, Kate De Goldi, & Abbas El-Zine on the Art of Short Stories at the Byron Bay Writers Festival
The short story can be a challenging form, as the writers in the Small Gems session, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Kate De Goldi, Qaisra Shahaz and Abbas El-Zein, agreed. More is omitted and inferred than is included.
But what participating chair Abbas El-Zein wants to know is: do omissions heighten or limit the form?
Maxine Beneba Clarke, an Australian spoken-word poet of Afro-Caribbean descent, believes that “what is left out, is the beauty of short stories”.
“It stirs-up curiosity, possibilities, raises issues, and introduces a character,” she added.
Abbas El-Zein responded by reciting two of the shortest stories ever written:
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” The author of this six-word story is unknown.
And Knock by Fredric Brown: “The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door…”
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