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 Art, Theory, and Practice of 21st Century

 Short Stories in English


An Indian Perspective







Proposed Editors: Dr. Mohammad Tariq and Eram Fatima





CaveMark Publications 


Dear Scholars

This is to bring to your scholarly attention that we are bringing out a book on Art, Theory, and Practice of 21st Century Short Stories in English: An Indian Perspective. We, therefore, cordially invite you to contribute to this book and help this work get published with your sharp critical acumen. To understand the nature of the work, you are requested to go through the Synopsis attached to this proposal. If you feel interested in this venture, as we hope you are, please respond to this modest proposal as soon as possible. The synopsis presented before you is all for your kind perusal.

We positively look forward to hearing from you soon….!




Short Story dates back to the traditions of oral storytelling such as Homer's Odyssey and Illiad. These narratives were called rhyming verses. Anecdotes of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were called “Gesta Romanorum” flourished in Europe. Mythic tales, legends, folk tales, fairy tales, fables, and anecdotes thus became precursors of the short story. Short stories have traveled across countries and boundaries and have evolved as a consuming literary expression and have occupied a prominent place in different cultures. It was only towards the end of the nineteenth century that the short story germinated after a long gap. Short story in modern times has been described as a liminal and hybrid form, a combination of different literary genres (Achilles and Bergmann 2015). A Short story is a succinct work of literature, authored in narrative prose. A classic definition of a short story is that it can be read in one sitting, features or focuses on a limited cart of characters, self-contained incidents, or series of incidents, and evokes a “single effect.” H. G. Wells says in the work The Short Story that "A short story is or should be a simple thing it aims at producing one single vivid effect; it must explode and finish before the interruption occurs or fatigue sets in…. (56).  


In the Twenty-First Century, a short story refers to a work with a word count of no larger than “seven thousand.” Stories shorter than one thousand words are called “flash fiction.” Longer stories that are short of novels are called “novellas.” A short story is said to have the least unpredictable erratic gyrations and is based on a single incident. The reader comprehends the broader view of events of life-giving insights into issues associated with society, heroic adventure, human belief, emotions and lifestyle of the people, etc. Somerset Maugham lends his view on the short story by saying that it has a definite design that incorporates a departure, a climax, and a point of the test.


A short story is a concise, concentrated form of narrative which gives a moment of epiphanic illumination. It is imbued with valuable artistic properties that have made it appreciable, and popular, and have risen in estimation as an artwork. Its essence lies in its symmetry and compactness, being unified, carefully crafted, and created in a meager setting in a single location rather than multiple ones. The short story focuses on a single event or a crisis as compared to novels that are more time-consuming and more complex in their plot. A short story has fewer characters along with settings, so this lends dramatic and thematic unity to this genre.


The critics have been reluctant to accept a short story as a substantial and sufficient genre. E. M. Forster refused to find a short story as a complete and suitable vehicle for entertainment as it lacked in length. It is brevity, and compactness that constitutes the greatest limitation of short stories. A short story has its limitation in the fact that the author is not given the liberty to elaborate his extent of analysis of the felt experiences. Alice Munro in The Selected Stories (1985) reflects on the short story as “a story is not a road to follow, I said it's more like a house. And you, the visitor, in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turn or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again and the house, the story contains more than you saw the last time.” (16-17)


The theme and subject of the short story change with the change in the writers’ vision and social milieu. The technique of short stories seems to ever evolve when it comes to creating new idioms, motivations, events, and even narrative themes. Short stories being brief in form displays an economy that is different and shuns elision, amplification, implication, arrangement, and redundancy for generalization. In modern times, the most dominant form includes one event-plot story, one mini-novel, two Chekhovian, and one cryptic/ludic or suppressed narrative. The most recent transmutation of the short story is the “biographical story” to do with the factual. This is the most interesting form and has taken a new direction in recent times.


Every writer adopts techniques and themes according to the demand and needs of his subject and also according to his comprehension of its relevance. It gets swayed by the prevalent cultural ethos and mood which is consequently reflected in the short story form. Anton Chekhov made short story reached its apotheosis. With the ushering of the twentieth century, the modern short has entered its golden age. Its popularity is growing which is subjected to the influence and pressures of modernism that the genre has metamorphosed. Short story now exhibits great freedom, innovation, and experimentation in technique and form. The short story will potentially make a breakthrough in the future with the exploration of new ideas and shake off the prominence of novels and poetry as a substantial genre.


Short story in India sprung around Indian independence. Indian English short story was a by-product of Indian English fiction. Mulk Raj Anand’s The Lost Child and Other Stories (2004) was a trendsetter in Indian English literature. Pioneering Indian short story writers are generally known as Bankim Chandra, Raja Rao, C.V. Desani, Toru Dutt, Rabindra Nath Tagore, K.S. Venkataramani, R.K. Narayan, Khushwant Singh, Jug Suraiya, K.N. Daruwalla, Jayant Mahapatra, Rohinton Mistry, etc. Amongst female writers, Kamla Das, Shashi Deshpande, and Bulbul Sharma among others were outstanding in the beginning. Other Indian short story writers, of them, are commonly known as Rabindranath Tagore, Ruskin Bond, Munshi Premchand, Mulk Raj Anand, Mahasweta Devi, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, M. T. Vasudevan Nair, Devdutt Pattanaik, Kamala Suraiyya, Harishankar Parsai, Krishna Sobti, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, O. V. Vijayan, Bharati Mukherjee, Vishnu Prabhakar, Bhagwati Charan Verma, Qurratulain Hyder, Ismat Chughtai, Mahasweta Devi, Mamoni Raisom Goswami, Anita Desai, Jhumpa Lahiri, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Vasudhendra, Rashmi Terdal, Janice Pariat, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, Kanishk Tharoor, K. Madavane, Blake Smith, Anjum Hasan, Baburao Bagul, Jerry Pinto, Vandana Singh,  Tashan Mehta, Anjali Sachdeva, etc.


The future belongs to a short story with its projection of life in its beauty and ugliness, with its realism and philosophy, with its tensity on individual vision and experience, evoking situations in a length of few pages with excitement and ripples. A novel, with its structural complexities and length of time, would be a passé in times to come. Short story with its extraordinary future would continue to discover "The unity of the individual", and embody truth in art; there is a kind of “manifesting,” “knowing,” and “understanding” of the essence of living when it comes to this form. Ian Reid in his work The Short Story explains that “there, in short story is its form no matter how random and broken that will seem. The old assumption of beginning and ending those very neat assertions have fallen away completely in a place where the only actuality is life, the only end (never realized) death, and the only value is what love can manage (63).


In times to come, short story would find itself in a magnificent vault becoming fully accomplished, evocative, self-sustaining literature. The future market of short stories will be larger and highly remunerative with incremental growth of creative writing courses all over the world. We, therefore, welcome literary approaches to the short story in general and Indian short story in English in particular ways that elucidate how the short narrative form functions with special reference to contemporary Indian short fiction, art theory, and practice. Papers may explore, but are not limited to the following themes and sub-themes:


Suggested Topics

History of Short Story in India and the world at large / Literary Movements and the Short Story

Children’s literature: format, illustration, design, issues related to the content, etc.

Short Fiction Theory / Short Story Subgenres / Short Story and the Canon

Short Story versus the novel: What’s the problem? / Short Story and Psychology

Short Story and Philosophy / Genre Slippage / Closure in the Short Story

Short Story Rhetoric / Short Story and Storytelling / Short-Short Stories or Flash Fiction

Short Story Cycles / Short Story and Life Writing / Short Story – Fiction versus Faction

Writing the Short Story / Translating the Short Story / Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction Criticism, Form, and Issues / Short Story and Culture / The Italian Short Story

The Canadian Short Story: Definition? / Short Story Criticism / Short stories and politics

Short Story and the Visual Arts/Dance/Music/Theater / Modernism and the Short Story

Short Story and the Media/Film/Hypertext/Multimedia / Children’s short story: Definition

Short Story and Code Switching / Postcolonialism and the Short Story /

Short Story Editing and Anthologizing / Short Story and Pedagogy

Short Story Publishing and Reception / Magical Realism and the short story

Ecology and the Short Story / Gender, Sex and the Queer Short Story

Adaptations of the Short Story / Food, Culinary Culture, and the Short Story

Suggested Ways of Writing Short Stories / National traditions (e.g., Irish, Australian, Canadian, Taiwanese, German, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish…)

Gay and Lesbian short stories; and Short Story issues / Philosophy and the Short Story

Anglophone short stories from other countries and continents

The diasporic Indian short story / Indentured/labor diaspora short stories

Historical approaches to the Short Story / The Short Story and the oral tradition

Multilingualism and the Short Story / Short Story and Migration

Short Story and Disability / Gender and genre intersections / Feminist Short Stories

Borders, Intersections, and Identity / The postcolonial short story as a vehicle of resistance

Multicultural, transnational, and transcultural short-story writing

Cosmopolitanism and nationalism in contemporary short-story writing

Migration and mobility in the contemporary short story / Other intersections: nature and environment, human-nonhuman, human-machine, human-animal.




Last Date of Abstract Submission

October 15, 2023

Last Date of Abstract Acceptance / Rejection Notification

October 20, 2023

Last Date of Full Chapter Submission

October 25, 2023

First Review Notification by

October 30, 2023

Last Date of Revised and Final Version of Submission

November 10, 2023



All the papers must be typed in English in A4 size (MS Word Document file),Times New Roman Style (Font Size 12), in double space (2) with at least 1(one) inch margin from all sides. The papers must follow MLA 9th Edition. If you don’t have the Manual, you may download it just by touching the following links:

Shortest version

Short version

Full MLA 9th Edition


Authors should submit single word file that must contain the following information


(Times New Roman, Font Size 14, Bold)


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can a previously published paper be a part of this book? No.

How much time will it take?

After the date of final submission, it may take 3 months for editing and other formalities.

Will I get a copy of the book? Yes.

Will it be available online to buy?

Yes, it will be available on major online shopping apps such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal etc.

Will this be useful for the promotion of teachers under the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS)?

Yes. We believe it also helps in NAAC and NBA as well since the activity counts under individual achievements. The proposed book will have an ISBN registration. Details of the same will be updated for the authors accordingly. 

Will there be any charges?

No. But we may have to bear the charges of the inks and the pages. It will be decided after the finalization of the book. The Book Handling Charges may be Rs. 500. The payment will not be compulsory. If there is quality in your paper and you are not able to pay the processing fee, the editorial board will do the needful.

Where will it be published?

The proposed book will be published by CaveMark Publications, Private Limited, India, and printed at Thomson Press, Delhi.



Dr. Mohammad Tariq (tariq faraz)

 ORCID: 0000-00029404-6346

Research Gate University Profile Link

Assistant Professor of English, Department of English Studies and Research

J. S. Hindu P.G. College Amroha-244221 (M. J. P. Rohilkhand University, Bareilly)

Former Assistant Professor of English, Department of Languages (English)

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Integral University Lucknow-226026

Eram Fatima

Research Scholar at Integral University. Lucknow

Chief Managing Editor

The SPL Journal of Literary Hermeneutics: A Biannual International Journal of Independent Critical Thinking 





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About the Editor


Dr. Mohammad Tariq

Mohammad Tariq (also known as Tariq Faraz, is a distinguished writer, academician, scholar, and a researcher. He is currently Assistant Professor of English at J. S. Hindu P. G. College Amroha-244221 (MJP Rohilkhand University, Bareilly). He is at present Academic Counselor (English) at JSHPGC, Branch, Amroha. Almost for a decade (2012-2020), he boasts an illustrious academic career spanning over a decade as Assistant Professor of English in the Department of Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Integral University, Lucknow. He has also worked at Lucknow Christian Degree College as Lecturer in English. He is Editor-in-Chief of The SPL Journal of Literary Hermeneutics: A Biannual International Journal of Independent Critical Thinking (, life-long member of Re-Markings: A Biannual Refereed International Journal of English Letters, Member of Editorial: Editorial Review Board of International Journal of English and Comparative Literary Studies. Published by Baynoon Centre for Studies and Development (BCSD), Oman, Jordan. He was awarded “Khwaja Ahmad Abbas Award” for Short Story Writing presented by Tasmia Educational Society and Indian Cultural Society at an Award Function: Tasmia Auditorium Okhla New Delhi on April 3, 2021. “State Award (UP)” given by the Government of Uttar Pradesh on Teachers Day (September 5, 2021) for making a significant contribution to the National Education Policy-2020 in the Higher Education conducted by MJPR University facilitated by the Vice-Chancellor at J. S. Hindu PG College, Amroha-244221.

Tariq was born in Barabanki and brought up in Lucknow. A mufassil boy who had a bunch of uncertain dreams, blurred vision of life with an unending learning attitude. He was primarily educated at Lucknow University and studied English language and literature, Urdu Humanities, and Modern Indian History. Tariq qualified for UGC-NET and wrote his doctoral dissertation on Paul Ricoeur’s Hermeneutics of Suspicion in English and he was awarded the Degree of Ph.D. in English by Lucknow University. The subject of his doctoral thesis was “Metaphor, Time and Narrative: Paul Ricoeur’s Philosophy of Language and Literary Hermeneutics.” It was a philosophical inquiry about the nature of language and the development of religious hermeneutics to literary studies. It showed the way how a purely religious discipline legitimately came to be associated with literary hermeneutics. The thesis was broadly oriented towards Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics of suspicion. He teaches English, language, literature, criticism, and Contemporary Literary Theories. Tariq has garnered recognition as a distinguished author, having contributed significantly to the literary landscape. Among his notable publications are:

A significant feature of his personality is his deep interest in academic leadership, the future of academic institutions, and the fresh avenues, both in creative writing and critical thinking i. e. modern English and Urdu poetry. Tariq writes in both the languages, Urdu and English. His area of specialization is in the Philosophy of Language, Existentialism, and Literary Hermeneutics. Tariq is an inquisitive and avid reader. His main aim is to help people discover new meaning in their lives and work, and at a systems level, connect to the deeper meaning in organizations, communities, and societies for the larger scheme of things for positive change. As a dedicated educator and mentor, he has inspired countless students and professionals to pursue their passions and achieve their full potential. 

Eram Fatima 

Eram Fatima is currently a research scholar at Integral University. Lucknow and Chief Managing Editor of The SPL Journal of Literary Hermeneutics: A Biannual International Journal of Independent Critical Thinking ( with life-long membership. Eram is currently an English Instructor at OSN Academy Pvt. Ltd., Lucknow for the past one year (2022-2023). She has also worked as a Director in Bal Bharti School at IIM Road, Lucknow (2008-2023). Eram is the recipient of "State Award (UP)" for Self- Composed Poem "Predilections" and stood second, organized by All India Society of Education, Sanskriti Matrayalay, Government of India, held on 14th-15th December, 2019. She is the recipient of "Navdurga Awards: A Tribute to Womanhood (Stree)" in the field of education as 'Women Achiever', organized by Sindh Welfare Community ((March 2016). She attained her graduate and post-graduate degree from the University of Lucknow being one of the prestigious and oldest government owned institution of higher education. She has pursued her PhD from Integral University, Lucknow and her degree is awaited. She wrote her doctoral thesis on "Home and Exile, Heterogeneous and Hyphenated Identities" on four female diasporic writers namely, Bharati Mukherjee, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Shauna Singh Baldwin and Anjana Appachana. All four writers conveyed through their short fiction that with passing of time immigrants, refugees, exiles, NRIs are optimistic to merge with the transnational settings. The fear and hesitation gradually vanishes as they learn to assimilate in the host society. Eram is a dynamic and result oriented educator with fifteen years of experience in Teaching, Administration and Management of educational Institutions. She is a passionate educator with commitment to student development and the Leaning experience. She is a powerful force as an educationist and uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. It is her constant endeavour to expand her experience in the field of writing mixed genres, learning new skills, thereby contributing to society. Eram is a budding and promising poet who has been the recipient of many literary awards. Endowed with excellent communication and written skills, she can utilize her competence and make significant contribution in the field of education.

CaveMark Publications, India

Tel: +91-8604605947


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