Author Archives: Stefen Styrsky

About Stefen Styrsky

Stefen Styrsky's fiction has appeared in The Offing, Number Eleven Magazine, Inch, and the Tahoma Literary Review. A few years ago he earned an MA degree in fiction writing from the Johns Hopkins University. Stefen lives in Washington, DC.

The Bad Batch

It’s a movie by the inventive writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour. (Her first film  A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was described as a Persian vampire spaghetti Western.)  I reviewed The Bad Batch for Litbreak. If you have a chance, … Continue reading

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Red Squirrels

Two months ago the website Litbreak published my story Red Squirrels. I should’ve mentioned it then, but you know how thing sometimes just get away from you. Anyway, I’m really proud of this story. It was a stretch stylistically and … Continue reading

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The North Water by Ian McGuire

Here’s the latest in my very occasional series of 500-word book reviews. Thanks for reading! The North Water by Ian McGuire (Henry Holt and Co, 2016) It’s the late 1850’s and the disgraced surgeon, Patrick Sumner, fresh from the Sepoy … Continue reading

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Don’t Be Afraid to Tell Your Story; or the Genius of Roxane Gay

I have to confess to a problem. I’m afraid to tell stories. It’s not that I fear the actual telling, writing about a series of events that build to some sort of climax and/or resolution. Rather, I’m afraid to begin … Continue reading

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Desert Boys

Topicality can kill otherwise good fiction. Politics, current events, new technologies might make a story seem immediate and important, but can also quickly date it, making it seem naive or, worse, irrelevant. Then there’s the danger of didacticism. Essays barely … Continue reading

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Moonlight: A Film by Barry Jenkins

  My review of Moonlight is now up on Litbreak. If you have a second, please check it out! Moonlight  

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Isaac Babel and Flash Fiction

My short essay about Isaac Babel’s flash fiction is now up on SmokeLong Quarterly, a website dedicated to the form of flash. The essay is part of their “Flash, Back” series that “asks writers to discuss flash fiction that may … Continue reading

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Effective Use of Cliche in Narrative

Along with “Show, don’t tell,” the other writerly maxim most commonly batted about is to avoid the use of clichés. Nothing marks a novice writer (or one who isn’t really trying or not paying attention) more than sentences filled with … Continue reading

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Hitchcock Truffaut and Some Thoughts on Craft

Artists of all types – writers, painters, composers, et al. – have always drawn inspiration from work by other artists in their chosen fields. I’m often inspired to write after reading a really good story, one I find beautiful or … Continue reading

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Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story

Normally I don’t write blog entries about work I publish. Too self-promoting, too “look at me, look at me!” even this selfie age. Blogs should be about something other than the writer. In this case I’m making an exception. I … Continue reading

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