Finding Short Stories
Locating short stories is often more difficult than locating novels, since there are fewer bibliographic tools that catalog and index stories. In addition, print indexes do not typically provide subject or plot access to short stories, which is essential if only the plot is known.
That said, community-based resources such as message boards and listservs are excellent ways to locate a short story. General web searches may also turn up a reference to a story, or its complete text.
Some databases to which your library subscribes may also be helpful in locating short stories. The following databases allow users to limit searches by categories such as genre, subject, first and last line, and setting, and to search for keywords in plot summaries and across the full text of digitized stories:
Short Story Index
If you are seeking a short story for which you already know the title, you may wish to review the Humboldt State University Library Short Stories and Criticism guide to learn about useful tools and search strategies you can use at your local library. Additional short story indexes, including the print editions of Short Story Index, can be identified by searching the Library of Congress online catalog under subject headings such as:
Short Stories, American - Bibliography.
Short Stories, American - Indexes.
Short Stories - Bibliography.
Short Stories - Indexes.