Short Story Friday: The Plan

Thanks to your encouraging comments, I have decided to go forward with the Short Story Friday experiment. Yep, we’re going to crowdsource the Mormon short stories available online. The premise is this:

  1. That there are numerous Mormon-themed short stories available for free on the Internet.
  2. That the best way to find the goods ones is via a crowd-sourcing project.
  3. That this will not only be entertaining and interesting, but that it will create a data set that may be of use to the Mormon Literature Database and perhaps the AML, and more importantly that this will be a nice way to collect some of the better and/or more interesting stories out there. The idea is to not be exhaustive, but to create exposure for the stories that participating individuals dig up.

How it’s going to work:

I looked at a few options, but decided to settle on the easiest one because I don’t think we need all the complicated options that other crowdsourcing projects require. So: I have created a Google spreadsheet form and linked to it below. Whenever you find a story that seems of interest, fill out the form. Every Friday, I will post one entry result here at AMV. We’ll run this until we get tired of it, but I’d love to do it at least 8-10 times. And if we have to skip a week or two because people are busy, that’s cool.

Here’s a list of possible sources to get things started — if you have additional sources, link to them in the comments section or e-mail me at my first name AT motleyvision DOT org and I’ll update the list. Individual authors and various and sundry publications may have isolated stories here and there — entries to the form don’t have to be from the list below.


Dialogue — A Journal of Mormon Thought (Archives of vol. 1-38)

Sunstone Magazine archives

The Friend archives

New Era archives

Popcorn Popping archives

Weber Studies archives

BYU Library Digital Collections (I’m not going to break them all out, but there may be creative writing master’s theses, stories from the 19th and 20th century Mormon publications collections, etc.)


Click here to fill out the Short Story Friday form

Here’s the link to the Spreadsheet so you can see what’s already been submitted

Thanks and enjoy your archives digging. We’ll start Friday, Feb. 13. If nobody has submitted anything by then, you’ll force me to self-promote and post something from Popcorn Popping. NOTE 2/13/09: Something has come up at work, and I won’t have Internet access during my lunch hour. We’ll start next week. Besides — you still get a great post today from the inimitable Harlow Clark.

11 thoughts on “Short Story Friday: The Plan”

  1. William,

    I commend you for this, and strongly encourage you that when you get this up and running, you wind up mentioning it on AML-List. Indeed, I think it would be a good idea to post a weekly post on AML-List on Thursday telling them which short story will be under discussion that week.

    By the way, I’m assuming that for now, we’re only looking at short stories that already have a legitimate online source. Yes?

  2. Sort of. But I know that I have a broader definition of legitimate than a lot of people.

    I can say this for sure:

    Self-published on an author’s personal Web site is okay, but will likely get pushed down the list unless it brings something awesome to the table.

  3. By “legitimate” I meant: something that stands a good chance of not breaking copyright law. E.g., an author’s personal website is fine. Someone else’s personal website…not so much.

    I also meant: I assume that we’re not looking at print sources and then trying to get permission to post them here. Yes?

  4. Ah, gotcha. That is correct. Anything submitted should already be clearly available for free online and posted either by a publication has permission to do so or by the author him or herself.

  5. Sorry about flaking last Friday. The inaugural Short Story Friday is set to post at around 10 a.m. tomorrow. I forget if that’s central or mountain time, though. Thanks for all who have submitted so far and keep those submissions rolling in. Digging in to the archives is highly encouraged.

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