What feasts all these reading rooms offer us now on the Web. There is so much sweeping talent to click through. Of the two hundred pieces Scott Garson narrowed down for me I have chosen fifty by fifty different writers. There were several pieces it was hard to leave out.

In choosing the final fifty, I looked for story. I looked for some sort of sense of completion, some sort of narrative movement. What drew me were shapes that offered more than a trick, more than a scene that cries to go on, more than a one-note joke. I discovered pieces, ends in themselves that take my breath away with sorrow or resonant laughter, leave me with lingering memories.

This is what these gorgeous little stories did for me and I hope they do the same for you.

Can I steal Matt Bell's title? I have worked to assemble here for the reader a showroom filled with fabulous prizes, prizes that take on a variety of styles and hit us in a myriad of ways. I and the writers here welcome your entry.

Darlin' Neal's fiction has appeared in The Southern Review, Puerto del Sol, elimae, Juked, Shenandoah and others. Her work is forthcoming in anthologies from Dzanc Books and Snowvigate Press. She teaches in the University of Central Florida's MFA program.

To link to this directly: http://wigleaf.com/09top50intro.htm

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