Free Short Stories

We believe that the key to writing good short stories is reading good short stories.

Below, we have provided an ever-expanding selection of old and new short stories that are free to download.

Short story writers are listed alphabetically.

In 2020 we’ll be adding a wide range of new stories to read online.

Recently added stories will be fund at the top of the page.

Recently added

Aiken, Conrad ‘Silent Snow, Secret Snow’ (online read: c. 6000 words)

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That’s because we’re a very small, but passionate team who spend hundreds of hours curating resources such as these classic short stories. But we don’t just focus on the old. We’re also a paying market, publishing brilliant new work of fiction and non-fiction. Please do consider supporting us in whatever way you can, so we can maintain the work we do. Thank you.

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Anderson, Sherwood ‘The Dumb Man’ (c. 500 words)

Ade, George ‘The Collision’ (c. 1500 words)

Ade, George ‘The Divine Spark’ (c. 1000 words)

Ade, George ‘The Juvenile and Mankind’ (c. 500 words)

Antsey, F. ‘Marjory’ (c. 8500 words)


Baldwin, James ‘Bruce and the Spider’ (c. 500 words)

Baldwin, James ‘The Bell of Atri’ (c. 500 words)

Baldwin, James ‘Casablanca’ (c. 500 words)

Baldwin, James ‘Antonio Canova’ (c. 1000 words)

Baldwin, James ‘Arnold Winkelried’ (c. 500 words)

Baldwin, James ‘Doctor Goldsmith’ (c. 500 words)

Baldwin, James ‘The Endless Tale’ (c. 1000 words)

Balzac, Honore de ‘The Conscript’ (c. 6000 words)

Balzac, Honore de ‘Innocence’ (c. 1000 words)

Balzac, Honore de ‘The Devil’s Heir’ (c. 6500 words)

Bierce, Ambrose ‘An Occurrence at Owl Creek’ (c. 3000 words)

Bierce, Ambrose ‘Oil of Dog’ (c. 1500 words)

Brown, Alice ‘Bankrupt’ (c. 7500 words)

Brown, Alice ‘Heartease’ (c. 3500 words)

Brown, Alice ‘The Advocate’ (c. 4500 words)

Brown, Alice ‘The End of All Living’ (c. 7000 words)


Chekhov, Anton ‘The Bet’ (c. 3000 words)

Chekhov, Anton ‘The Lottery Ticket’ (c. 2000 words)

Chekhov, Anton ‘About Love’ (c. 4000 words)

Chekhov, Anton ‘An Actor’s End’ (c. 2500 words)

Chekhov, Anton ‘Art’ (c. 2500 words)

Chekhov, Anton ‘An Avenger’ (c. 2000 words)

Chesterton, G. K. ‘The Blue Cross’ (c. 7500 words)

Chesterton, G. K. ‘The Bottomless Well’ (c. 6500 words)

Chesterton, G. K. ‘The Eye of Apollo’ (c. 6000 words)

Chesterton, G. K. ‘The God of Gongs’ (c. 6000 words)

Chesterton, G. K.  ‘The Hammer of God’ (c. 6500 words)

Chesterton, G. K. ‘The Purple Wig’ (c. 5500 words)

Collins, Willie ‘A Fair Penitent’ (c. 4500 words)

Conrad, Joseph ‘An Anarchist’ (c. 8500 words)

Crane, Stephen ‘A Desertion’ (c. 1500 words)


Defoe, Daniel ‘The Apparition of Mrs Veal’ (c. 3500 words)

De Mille, James ‘The Artist of Florence’ (c. 7000 words)

De Quincey, Thomas ‘Love-Charm’ (c. 13,000 words)

De Quincey, Thomas ‘The Avenger’ (c. 19,000 words)

Dickens, Charles ‘The Black Veil’ (c. 4500 words))

Dickens, Charles ‘Criminal Courts’ (c. 2000 words)

Dickens, Charles ‘Down with the Taid’ (c. 4000 words)

Dickens, Charles ‘The Ghost of Art’ (c. 2500 words)

Dickens, Charles ‘The Baron of Grogswig’ (c. 4000 words)

Dickens, Charles ‘The Child’s Story’ (c. 2000 words)

Dahl, Roald ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ (c. 3000 words)

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor ‘The Dreams of a Ridiculous Man’ (c. 8500 words)


Eliot, T. S. ‘Eeldrop and Appleplex’ (c. 3000 words)

Eggleston, Edward ‘A Basement Story’ (c. 6500 words)

Eggleston, Edward ‘Adventures in Alaska’ (c. 1500 words)

Eliot, George ‘Brother Jacob’ (c. 17,000 words)


Field, Eugene ‘Daniel and the Devil’ (c. 3000 words)

Field, Eugene ‘Death and the Soldier’ (c. 1500 words)

Flaubert, Gustave ‘The Dance of Death’ (c. 3000 words)

Freeman, Mary ‘A New England Nun’ (c. 5000 words)


Galsworthy, John ‘The Knight’ (c. 13,000 words)

Galsworthy, John ‘The Stoic’ (c. 30,000 words)

Goldsworthy, John ‘The Silence’ (c. 8000 words)

Goethe, Johann ‘New Paris’ (c. 5500 words)

Gogol, Nikolai ‘The Clash’ (c. 4500 words)

Gaskell, Elizabeth ‘An Accursed Race’ (c. 6500 words)

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (c. 6000 words)

Greene, Graham ‘The End of the Party’ ( c. 3500 words)

Gissing, George ‘A Capitalist’ (c. 5500 words)

Gissing, George ‘The House Of Cobwebs’ (c. 8000 words)

Gissing, George ‘The Salt of the Earth’ (c. 4000 words)


Hardy, Thomas ‘The Grave by the Handpost’ (c. 4000 words)

Hardy, Thomas ‘The Three Strangers’ c. 8500 words)

Harte, Bret ‘An Heiress of a Red Dog’ (c. 5500 words)

Harte, Bret ‘Under Karl’ (c. 6500 words)

Harte, Bret ‘Who Was My Quiet Friend?’ (c. 3000 words)

Hawthorne, Nathaniel ‘The Wedding-Knell’ (c. 3000 words)

Hawthorne, Nathaniel ‘The Ambitious Guest’ (c. 3500 words)

Henry, O ‘The Gift of the Magi’ (c. 2000 words)


Irving, Washington ‘Conspiracy of the Cocked Hats’ (c. 2000 words)

Irving, Washington ‘Little Britain’ (c. 5000 words)

Irving, Washington ‘The Bermudas’ (c. 2500 words)

Irving, Washington ‘The Birds of Spring’ (c. 2000 words)

Irving, Washington ‘The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow’ (c. 12,000 words)

Ing, Charles ‘Tight Squeeze’ (c. 6000 words)

Ingelow, Jean ‘A Last Want’ (c. 8000 words)

Ingelow, Jean ‘The Prince’s Dream’ (c. 3500 words)

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Jacobs, W. W. ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ (c. 4000 words)

James, M. R. ‘Lost Hearts’ (c. 4000 words)

Jerome, Jerome K. ‘The Man Who Did Not Believe In Luck’ (c. 3000 words)

Joyce, James ‘Araby’ (c. 2500 words)

Joyce, James ‘A Little Cloud’ (c. 5000 words)

Joyce, James ‘After the Race’ (c. 2000 words)

Joyce, James ‘An Encounter’ (c. 3500 words)

Joyce, James ‘Counterparts’ (c. 4000 words)

Joyce, James ‘Eveline’ (c. 2000 words)

Joyce, James ‘The Boarding House’ (c. 3000 words)


Kipling, Rudyard ‘How the Leopard got his Spots’ (c. 2000 words)

Kipling, Rudyard ‘Wireless’ (c. 6500 words)

Kipling, Rudyard ‘A Bank Fraud (c. 2500 words)

Kipling, Rudyard ‘Beyond the Pale’ (c. 2000 words)

King, Charles ‘Starlight Man’ (c. 9500 words)

King, Charles ‘Van’ (c. 8000 words)


Lawrence, D. H. ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’ (c. 7500 words)

London, Jack ‘Aloha Oe’ (c. 2500 words)

London, Jack ‘The Story of Keesh’ (c. 3000 words)

London, Jack ‘How to Build a Fire’ (c. 7000 words)

Lovecraft, H. P. ‘The Cats of Ulthar’ (c. 1500 words)

Lovecraft, H. P. ‘The terrible Old Man’ (c. 1000 words)


Mansfield, Katherine ‘The Stranger’ (c. 5000 words)

Mansfield, Katherine ‘The Garden Party’ (c. 5500 words)

Mansfield, Katherine ‘The Voyage’ (c. 3000 words)

Mansfield, Katherine ‘The Ideal Family’ (c. 2500 words)

Mansfield, Katherine ‘Miss Brill’ (c. 2000 words)

Mansfield, Katherine ‘The Singing Lesson’ (c. 2000 words)

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia ‘Eyes of a Blue Dog’ (c. 3000 words)

Maupassant, Guy de ‘The Kiss’ (c. 1500 words)

Munro, H. H. (SAKI) ‘The Mouse’ (c. 1500 words)


Nesbit, Edith ‘Acting for the Best’ (c. 4500 words)

Nesbit, Edith ‘Archibald the Unpleasant’ (c. 5000 words)

Nesbit, Edith ‘Billy the King’ (c. 5500 words)

Norris, Frank ‘A Deal in Wheat’ (c. 5000 words)

Norris, Frank ‘The Wife of Chino’ (c. 5500 words)

Norris, Frank ‘Two Hearts That Beat as One’ (c. 4000 words)


Orwell, George ‘The Shooting of an Elephant’ (c. 2000 words)

Osbourne, Lloyd ‘Ben’ (c. 6000 words)

Osbourne, Lloyd ‘The Golden Castaways’ (c. 3500 words)


Parker, Dorothy ‘A Telephone Call’ (c. 2500 words)

Poe, Edgar Allan ‘The Imp of the Perverse’ (c. 2500 words)

Poe, Edgar Allan ‘The Angel of Odd’ (c. 4000 words)

Poe, Edgar Allan ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ (c. 2500 words)

Poe, Edgar Allan ‘The Black Cat’ (c. 4000 words)

Poe, Edgar Allan ‘Four Beasts in One’ (c. 3000 words)

Potter, Beatrix ‘Ginger and Pickles’ (c. 1000 words)

This page receives about 10,000 views a month and we are keen to continue expanding this resource, for our users. We have limited resources, but with your help, we can continue to build and support writers and readers, past and present.

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Quiller-Couch, Arthur ‘Elisha’ (c. 1500 words)

Quiller-Couch, Arthur ‘The Burglary Club’ (c. 3000 words)

Quiller-Couch, Arthur ‘The Dark Mirror’ (c. 1000 words)


Roby, John ‘The Goblin Builders’ (c. 3500 words)

Ruskin, John ‘The King of the Golden River’ (c. 9000 words)


Skinner, Charles ‘The Barge of Defeat’ (c. 500 words)

Somyonov, S. T. ‘The Servant’ (c. 2000 words)


Twain, Mark ‘Luck’ (c. 2000 words)

Trollope, Anthony ‘George Walker at Suez’ (c. 8000 words)

Trollope, Anthony ‘Returning Home’ (c. 9000 words)



Van Dyke, Henry ‘Ashes of Vengeance’ (c. 500 words)

Van Dyke, Henry ‘The Art of Leaving Off’ (c. 2500 words)

Verne, Jules ‘A Drama in the Air’ (c. 7000 words)


Wells, H. G. ‘The Crystal Egg’ (c. 7000 words)

White, E. B. ‘The Door’ (c. 2000 words)

Wilde, Oscar ‘The Birth of the Infanta’ (c. 7500 words)

Williams, William Carlos ‘The Use of Force’ (c. 1500 words)

Woolf, Virginia ‘A Haunted House’ (c. 1000 words)



Yeats, William Butler ‘Out of the Rose’ (c. 2500 words)

Yeats, William Butler ‘The Old Men of the Twilight’ (c. 2000 words)

Yeats, William Butler ‘The Twisting of the Rope’ (c. 3000 words)

Younger, Charlotte M. ‘The Last Fight in the Coliseum’ (c. 3000 words)


Zola, Emile ‘Captain Burle’ (c. 11, 500 words)

Zola, Emile ‘The Flood’ (c. 8000 words)