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Short Story Beginnings
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With short story writers Melissa Palladino and Randall Brown


If you've ever wondered how to begin your short story, this show is for you! 

Melissa Palladino lives in New England and has been writing fiction for seven years. She came to short stories only recently, and this is where she has picked up speed. Her story, “Spring Cleaning,” which was a published finalist in Inkwell’s annual short story competition, was nominated by them for the 2009 Pushcart Prize. She has also been published online at and was recently longlisted for the Fish Prize.  She is an active workshop participant both in person and online at Zoetrope Virtual Studio and The Fiction Workhouse. In real life she’s a private chef; you can read about her adventures (and misadventures) in cooking at

Randall Brown teaches at Saint Joseph's University. He holds an MFA from Vermont College. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cream City Review, Hunger MountainConnecticut ReviewSaint Ann's ReviewEvansville ReviewLaurel ReviewDalhousie Review, upstreet, and others. He is the author of the award-winning collection Mad to Live (Flume Press, 2008).

Please join Melissa, Randall, and Paula B. as they explore:

  • What a short story beginning should achieve
  • What sorts of beginnings there are
  • Which sorts of beginnings work and don't work
  • How beginnings and endings are related.

Interviewees: Melissa Palladino and Randall Brown
Host: Paula B.
Date: August 17, 2008
Running time: 01:04:19
File size: 31 megabytes
Rating: A tiny bit of sex
Randall Brown's Web site:
Melissa Palladino's Web site:
Links to stories mentioned on the show:
Stone Dog, via Night Train
Bathtub Mary, via Summerset Review
Five Star Literary Stories
A Practical Illustration of Entropy by Karen Carlson at Ink, Sweat and Tears