The Best American Short Stories is the longest-running and best-selling series of short fiction in the country. Heidi Pitlor has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 2007. Each year, Pitlor works with a different guest editor to select the best twenty short stories that were published in print and online magazines. Literary magazine editors who wish their short fiction to be considered for the edition send their selections in for consideration.
The qualifications for selection are:
- Original publication in nationally distributed American or Canadian periodicals
- Publication in English by writers who are from, live in, or have made North America their home
- Original publication as short stories (excerpts of novels are not considered)
Capsule Stories 2021 Best American Short Stories Selections
Capsule Stories sent in the following six short stories for consideration for Best American Short Stories:
“Family Tree” by K-Ming Chang
K-Ming Chang / 張欣明 is a Kundiman fellow, a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree. Her debut novel Bestiary (One World/Random House, 2020) was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. More of her writing can be found at kmingchang.com.
Read “Family Tree” in Capsule Stories Spring 2021 Edition: In Bloom
“Honey(comb)” by Taylor Wyna Stewart
Taylor Wyna Stewart is a writer from Birmingham, Alabama, whose work has been featured in Cypress Press, Aura Literary Arts Review, and Reckon Women. Taylor serves as the founder and editor in chief of Camellias, a Southern regional magazine dedicated to the modern Southern woman. Say “hi” on Twitter and Instagram at @TayyWyna.
Read “Honey(comb)” in Capsule Stories Summer 2021 Edition: Starry Nights
Read our interview with Taylor Wyna Stewart
“The Heat” by Cassie McDaniel
Cassie McDaniel has published poems and fiction in Human Parts, Used Furniture Review, Split Quarterly, and The Mangrove Review. She lives north of Orlando. Say hi on Twitter at @cassiemc.
Read “The Heat” in Capsule Stories Second Isolation Edition
“Old Goliath” by Emily Uduwana
Emily Uduwana (she/her) is a California-based poet and artist. Her work has appeared in recent issues of The Northridge Review, Stonecoast Review, and Pensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality and the Arts. She can be found on Twitter at @em_udu.
Read “Old Goliath” in Capsule Stories Autumn 2021 Edition: Dancing with Ghosts
“Ghosting” by Amy Wang
Amy Wang is a writer from California. In her free time, you can find her reading fanfiction. Her work is published or forthcoming at Twin Pies Literary, Ogma, and X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine.
Read “Ghosting” in Capsule Stories Autumn 2021 Edition: Dancing with Ghosts
Read our interview with Amy Wang
“Hungers” by Tomas Baiza
Tomas Baiza is originally from San José, California, and now lives in Boise, Idaho. He is a Pushcart-nominated writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Parhelion, Meniscus, PANK Magazine, 101 Proof Horror, The Meadow, Peatsmoke, The Good Life Review, Kelp Journal, Black Lawrence Press, Bacopa Literary Review, Passengers Journal, and elsewhere. Tomas’s first novel, Deliver Me: A Pocho’s Accidental Guide to College, Love, and Pizza Delivery, and his short fiction collection, A Purpose to Our Savagery: Stories and Poems, will appear from Running Wild/RIZE Press in 2022.
Read “Hungers” in Capsule Stories Winter 2021 Edition: Sugar and Spice
It was difficult to narrow down our 2021 Best American Short Stories selections to send in because we published so many fantastic stories this year across five editions of our literary magazine. Thank you to each and every one of our contributors for sending us your work. We are so grateful to publish it!
Disclosure: Capsule Stories is an affiliate of Bookshop.org, and we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Please consider buying your books through Bookshop.org to support independent bookstores—and Capsule Stories!