Cover Photo: This photograph shows a wooden sign nailed onto a tree. The sign has an arrow pointing forward and reads "Dead End." The sign is the only part of the photograph in-focus; we can see leaves and spots of light around the sign, as if light is being filtered through a forest.
Photograph by Mike Erskine/Unsplash

How to Write an Ending

Why is it so hard to land the ending of a story? We want the endings of our stories to feel surprising yet inevitable—which is easier said than done.

Mockingjay Eleanor & ParkLittle WomenPoetics

Diagnosing the Problem with Your Ending

The Flannery O’Connor–Style Cosmic-Comeuppance Ending

I Love Lucy

The Flashback Ending

Sabrina & Corina

The Flash-Forward Ending

The Best American Short StoriesThe O. Henry Prize Stories 2017

The Rewind or “Curtain Call” Ending

The Best American Short Stories 2018

The “Frozen in a Moment of Possibility” Ending

Friday Black

The Best American Essays 2018

Jenny Shank's story collection Mixed Company won the George Garrett Fiction Prize and was published by Texas Review Press. Her novel The Ringer won the High Plains Book Award. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Poets & Writers, Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Toast, Barrelhouse, and Dear McSweeney's. Her work has been honorably mentioned by The Best American Essays, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and her mother. She teaches in the Mile High MFA program at Regis University and the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver.