is a curated collection of classic and original short fiction highlighting authors from yesterday and introducing the storytellers of tomorrow.
We are a community platform + newsletter that delivers a new short story to your inbox each Friday.
WHY WE EXIST
Quite simply we love stories.
We love stories of all shapes and sizes and genres, but sometimes we want a quick escape, a short sojourn into another world or perspective. This is why we love short stories.
We grew up losing ourselves in the whimsy and wonder of Bradbury and the chills and horror of Poe. Today we’re captivated by the worlds of Chiang, Jemisin, Towles, and Baggott amongst a myriad of others. Tiny Windows celebrates those intrepid explorers who were and are willing to crack open their hearts and souls and put pen to paper.
As artists ourselves we are always on the hunt for inspiration and even properties for potential adaptation. Yet tracking down copyrights can be confusing, laborious, and expensive. In our small group, we regularly share stories that captured our attention and imagination. We thought maybe others would enjoy the same thing.
In a world drowning in content, we were shocked to discover we struggled to find a platform or outlet that fed our hunger for short stories. Literary journals are infrequent and pretentious, blogs are innumerable and difficult to find and parse quality, and the few periodicals that do publish short fiction tend to publish the same authors and often lack innovation.
In an industry where we kept finding closed doors, we decided to open a window…
ANDREW VAN WYK fell in love with stories at an early age and continues that pesky habit of reading every night. In fact, he’s made a career out of it, first plying his trade as an independent writer and producer, then joining the story department at Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, before transitioning to River Road Entertainment where he oversees development in features, tv, and documentaries. A consummate collaborator, Van Wyk thrives when working with others to bring stories to life – in any medium. It’s the reason he launched his own small content studio & production company Alchemist Arts and why he’s now overseeing Tiny Windows.
VAN DITTHAVONG started his career as an award-winning still photographer before transitioning to filmmaking. Growing up he secretly pined to be the next Emily Dickinson but life had other ideas. Now he takes long walks with his new pup Gus while running his own creative content studio & production company – goPOP FILMS. Visit gopopfilms.com or his personal site vanditthavong.com.
THE NEED FOR CLASSICS
So why include the classics on our platform of short fiction? To educate, entertain, and most importantly, inspire. In order to break the rules and create something new, you should first know the rules.
Root yourself in the greats of the past and you will help sharpen your own voice. Maybe you’ll notice a pattern – a theme that pops its head up from generation to generation – but with a new twist.
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” We are not encouraging plagiarism, but rather an acknowledgment of the artistic culture from which we hail. Obviously, each culture has its unique narratives inherent in them, but there are certain thematic underpinnings or plot devices that permeate all cultures and times, in things like The Hero’s Journey.
If you’re a reader, enjoy reading stories that have stood the test of time.
If you’re a writer or creative, discover something new from the past or for the first time – and take heart that all of the ‘classics’ we’re highlighting here are in the public domain.
Because we love seeing how people iterate and adapt stories in their own creative process, we’ve already done the homework for you, and have provided notes at the start of each story clarifying its copyright status.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
What sets us, as humans, apart from the rest of the animal kingdom is storytelling. We craft a narrative to define our place in the world, understand our role in society, and find meaning in our lives.
Stories have been with us since our earliest days. Hunters regaled those that weren’t on the hunt with exaggerated tales of bravery and danger, which led to the first cave paintings. Odysseus’ journey home hasn’t persisted through the ages because it was a factual retelling of history, but rather because it was an epic filled with lessons of morality and adventure. Children didn’t learn ethics from being read a book of rules, they absorbed universal truths through interpreting the message of Aesop’s Fables and Grimm’s Fairytales. There’s a reason religious leaders teach in parables and stories, utilizing the art of metaphor and analogy.
Facts can inform but fiction moves and inspires.