Editor Picks, Writing

Editor Picks by June Griffin


We invited Literally Stories author and friend, June Griffin, to be Editor for a day and choose three great short stories from the site. Here is what June had to say about the three stories she chose and why she felt they were special.

The forces of nature, human and otherwise, are at work in my three top picks, which I heartily recommend to every LS reader and writer, past and future.

Without a shade of murkiness, each story reveals these forces in their own distinctive way and pays tribute to the human comedy with clarity and precision. Each of the writers has perfected a beautiful writing style, and their intriguing plots and characters keep us engrossed from start to finish.

My first pick is Irene Allison’s It Happens Every Other Sunday. The story is rich with meaning on many levels as Allison handles the dynamics of her story brilliantly in dialogue, quiet reflections, and descriptive passages.

The vivid banner picture of swirling masses of angry clouds matches Allison’s portrayal: “The sky and the earth become one and it becomes impossible to tell which is falling into which … a chamber of hell.”

These words illustrate the churning emotions of a bitter and self-centered divorced couple who meet at an isolated and neglected park in the Pacific Northwest every other Sunday in a trade-off of their five-year-old daughter. What follows is a story that ascended straight to the top of my list.

My second pick is Michael Henson’s realistic human drama, Stand-By. Set in Chicago’s O’Hare airport, seven stand-by passengers are weary and bored as the hours pass with one delay after another, but Hansen effortlessly captures us with his cool, fluid, and understated narrative style. The stressed-out passengers are nameless but Hansen tells us all we need to know about them. The elements of compassion and morality that Hansen brings to his moving story has made it a top pick.

My third pick is Friday by Jane Dougherty. The story begins with François, a lonely retired butcher, taking an afternoon walk in the crowded French neighborhood where he was born. It is Friday on a late spring afternoon, and he is anticipating the weekly treat he gives himself – spending the evening at Les Bons Copains bistrot. Dougherty became a potential top pick candidate with her superb depiction of the sights, sounds, smells and colors of François’s vibrant, multi-cultured neighborhood. When François ends up at the park, resting in an old rickety chair, Dougherty nailed the third spot by concluding her story with one of the most poignant, uplifting and exquisitely written scenes I have ever read.

I hope to see more stories from these exceptional artists.


June Griffin


Header photograph: By Xpolj42 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

9 thoughts on “Editor Picks by June Griffin”

  1. Great picks, June. it’s very interesting to read your take on the stories. Also nice to see you have been with LS from the very beginning! Good job, June.
    ATVB my friend


  2. Thanks so much for the review, June! I’m so glad you liked the story about François and his friend. It was written in hommage to a lovely neighbour who has since moved from his beloved neighbourhood to the countryside so that Vendredi (Friday) will have more room to play.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi June, I really did enjoy your thoughtful take on your chosen stories. I am quite sure that you will have given each of the authors a wee bit of a boost today.
    Glad you took up the challenge!


  4. thanks for your continued support of the site June and the time and consideration that you have put into this difficult job. I can only imagine how hard it is to pick three from the host of stories we have. I am particularly pleased that you went back to one of our stories from the very early days.


  5. Excellent choices June and a lovely narrative holding them together. I’m hoping my turn never comes as I have no idea how I will narrow them down to three!


  6. Dear June,
    Currently I am seated at Alone Park and feeding corn nuts to a squirrel who will have to watch his or her sodium and cholesterol intake for the rest of his or her rodently life. I am also happily making my way through the many stories on the site. I am new to it but I will catch up by and by.
    Strange day today–the sky is high and blue in the Pacific Northwest. This always makes me think that the region is up to something.
    Regards and thanks,
    Irene Allison ireneallison12@gmail.com


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