The Short Story Advent Calendar 2016: Giveaway open till Oct. 9


Disclaimer: Giveaway copy is courtesy of the kind people at The Short Story Advent Calendar, but I bought my own copy. I know one of the creators, Michael Hingston, and reviewed his novel The Dilettantes here.

Forgive me for talking about Christmas in early October, but the second edition of The Short Story Advent Calendar is on sale now, and I’m so excited to offer one copy to a lucky reader.

Last year, first The Short Story Advent Calendar was a sellout and a social media sensation, thanks to retweets from Patton Oswalt and Margaret Atwood. The SSAC is exactly what it sounds like, but more than the sum of its parts: individually bound short stories that you open every day from December 1 to 25. In addition to opening a little gift each morning, the creators post interviews and extras on their website to accompany each story, and you get to share your reaction with book people on the internet.

I went a bit further last year and made an “unboxing” video each morning. Check out the playlist here, and do subscribe, because I’ll be back at it again come December.

Here’s the giveaway announcement on YouTube, where I reveal my five favourite short stories from last year’s calendar. 2015 contributors included CanLit favs like Richard Van Camp, Vivek Shraya, and Heather Birrell; American big shots like Jess Walter, and even a couple dead white dudes, like F. Scott Fitzgerald.

This year, who knows what’s inside? Find out with me! Enter the giveaway by commenting (see “How to enter” below) or buy your copy at here – don’t wait too long, they ship in late October and they will sell out!

How to enter & other fine print

  • To enter: tell me about your favourite short story or collection in the comments, and make sure your comment either includes your email address, or links to somewhere I can find it. Or email me at and put SSAC in the subject line. (If you don’t have a favourite short story/collection, that’s okay! Just tell me how excited you are to start reading them, or something.)
  • Rules and regulations:
    • Contest is open till October 9, 2016.
    • On October 10, I will randomly choose a winner. I will notify the winner by email and ask for their mailing address. If I don’t hear back in 48 hours, I’ll choose again.
    • The winner’s calendar will ship in late October.
    • The giveaway is open internationally, but can only ship to addresses in Canada, USA, Mexico, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Good luck!





  1. Naomi

    I don’t think I need to tell you how much I would love this. I don’t have a favourite short story, but some collections I have liked lately are The Party Wall (I know this is considered a novel, but the stories in it are very separate), Bad Things Happen, Eating Habits of the Chronically Lonesome, Olive Kitteridge. And I loved The Lottery – have to read more of hers!

    • Roxanne Felix-Mah

      To me, short story anthologies are fascinating. Kinda like halloween candy – because some can thoroughly delight you and you wish you had more … and others leave with you with a very bitter taste in your mouth, and you think “how did this even get included”. Hence, why it is difficult for me to have a favorite short story collection. There was one I really loved, though – and arg …. I’ve googled everywhere for it and I can’t find it. But it’s a collection of stories about *NOT* being a mother. For whatever reason, by choice, not by choice … it was wonderful. Such a diversity of stories and women. Awesome. Please enter me in your contest 🙂 You know my contact info 🙂

  2. edmontonjb

    What a neat idea! My favorite short story collection is This Is Paradise. Thanks for the chance!


  3. aly3360

    I don’t have a favourite short story collection, but I have many favourite stories. I read Where the Red Fern Grows when I was younger and it’s always one that’s stuck with me.

    ayoung3360 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  4. Kristine

    Oh my gosh, thank you so much for the amazing giveaway! I love short stories and this would be fantastic. So hard to name a favourite collection, especially with so many great Canadian writers to choose from.

    Thanks again for the chance to win!

  5. Rebecca Foster

    This sounds really fun! I like doing special reading projects in the runup to Christmas. Two of my favourite recent story collections were The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra and The Heaven of Animals by David James Poissant.

  6. Jayson Merryfield

    I kid you not, my favorite short story collection is The Playboy Book of Science Fiction, which features more big name sci-fi authors than most, and is far less titillating than one would think looking at the big gold Bunny on the cover. 🙂

  7. Jody Spencer

    Great contest! I enjoyed watching you enjoy this last year.
    I sent you an email with my favourites but I’ll list them again: Opposite of Loneliness and Smoke and Mirrors.

  8. Jen

    My favorite collection of short stories is The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra. It’s a series of interconnected stories set in Russia that spans the second world war to present day. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to start it again from the beginning. I recommend it to everyone.

  9. Kristen Dixie

    I ❤️❤️❤️❤️ short stories. I’m a huge fan of Mavis Gallant’s work and the recent American Housewives: Stories is one of the most creative, insightful and unique collections I’ve ever read. I love the idea of a short story advent calendar! 📚🎄

  10. lauriecburns

    I love shorts. I read a lot of them. I am even in a club. A short stort club! I think my favourite recent collection is Heather O’Neills “Daydreams of Angels.”
    Thanks for the chance!

  11. Carolyn O

    So totally into this. I just finished The Best American Short Stories 2016, which was a great read (wide-ranging, in many senses), and one of my other favorites this year was Helen Oyeyemi’s What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours.

  12. paul childs

    Dubliners by Joyce. I re-read all 15 stories every few years, and I’ve used the best (IMHO) story in there ‘The Dead’ as my reading for Read-In Week multiple times. A lot of other stories and collections come close (Salinger, Updike, Atwood) but again IMHO the modern short story starts there, and nothing since has reached that peak of perfection.

  13. Bellezza

    My two favorite short stories are similar in theme, and they are both classics. The first is O’Henry’s The Gift of the Magi, and the second is Guy de Maupassant’s The Necklace. I like them because they have an ending which makes me gasp, both for the surprise in plot but also for the way each author nailed the ironies in life.

    Having grown up with a traditional Advent Calendar, one with a scripture behind each door, I am open to new ways to anticipating Christmas Day, and this sounds a delightful one for bibliophiles such as ourselves. Thanks for putting this on my radar, and the opportunity to win one of my own.

  14. Jakob, The Viking

    It’s hard to pick a favorite. I love to browse little book stores and find stories or collections by local authors, they might only be in one store and in 100 copies, but often they are honest and delightful and you can feel they are a work of love.

  15. Pauline

    My favorite short story is definetly “A Simple Heart”, or “Un cœur simple” or “Le perroquet” in French by Gustave Flaubert. It reminds me of my childhood ! So much memories 🙂
    Cheers from Paris !

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