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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2018 > Less is more

Less is more

In this month’s masterclass, Helen M Walters analyses a story where economical writing creates a powerful impact

This month’s story is a perfect demonstration of the fact that, in short story writing, less can very often be more. The Last Night Of The World by Ray Bradbury is, at around 1,500 words, a lot shorter than many of the stories we’ve considered in these masterclasses, but it packs a hell of a punch. As usual, you will gain most from this discussion if you read the story for yourself. You can read it here: https://writ.rs/lastnightoftheworld

The story was originally published in Esquire magazine in 1951 and the historical context is important. Just after the end of the Second World War and as the Cold War was gathering pace, an imagining of the end of the world was something that will have resonated with many.

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About Writing Magazine

EXCLUSIVE this month, with your Writing Magazine: How to Perfect Your Submission - Tips from a Publisher Publisher, author and consultant Scott Pack offers a definitive guide to the publishing package and everything you need to include to give your manuscript submission its best chance of success. AND In this month's main magazine: Check out the latest competitions and opportunities to get published in this month's Writers' News – there's £48,800 in writing prizes to be won and over 40 opportunities to get published. Author advice • We explore ways of getting your writing to new readers, with details of how to run a memorable author event, and how to approach schools to set up school visits. • Should you be happy with a small boutique agency or hold out for a big hitter? • Will your young editor understand your older characters? • The value of listening to your characters Industry insight • Innovative publisher Clare Christian considers whether publishing needs a new business model. • Womag writers are up in arms at new rights terms from Woman’s Weekly. We explain the controversial new terms and their impact. • Why are author incomes falling? Agent Piers Blofeld calls publishers to account. • Where the weird world’s at – explore the fantasy publishing landscape. Interviews and profiles with authors of all levels, including: • Star interview with gangland crime bestseller Jessie Keane, talking about the no-holds-barred approach that makes her Queen of the Underworld. • Chick-lit bestseller Carole Matthews charts her writing day and recalls how she got her first break in Writing Magazine! • Explore the life and career of the father of modern bestsellers – Mark Twain • Novelist Kerry Fisher explains how she straddles the worlds of feelgood fiction and domestic noir