In the December 2013 issue we launched our ‘Favourite Stories’ feature, with seven writers each introducing a short story which they feel stands out as a shining example of the form. Suzanne Berne picks out a perfect sketch from recent Nobel Prize winner and short-story stylist Alice Munro, Sophie Hannah weighs up Herman Melville’s ever-popular proto-slacker Bartleby, Charlie Hill and Andrea Gillies admire Katherine Mansfield each from a different angle, Katherine Hill is mesmerised by Lorrie Moore, Rebecca Mascull awed by Raymond Carver, and Karin Salvalaggio explains how a much-anthologised and widely analysed Joyce Carol Oates classic continues to inform her own writing.

Too often ignored by commercially-led publishers (especially here in the UK), and mistakenly maligned as a mere apprenticeship on the path to longer-form fiction, each writer demonstrates that the short-story at its best is dynamic, provocative and unforgettable.