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Has one short story ever launched a writing career for anyone?

— C. Selena

Right away I think of Jack London and O. Henry, who determined rather late in life to become writers, and who first gained notice through their short stories. Mark Twain, though, is a better example. By the time he was 30 years old, he had been a printer and a riverboat pilot, and found himself writing for newspapers in San Francisco. Then he wrote, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," which was printed in 1865 in the Saturday Press of New York. The story was an immediate success, and two years later became the title piece in Twain's first book, a collection of humorous sketches. The Sacramento Union sent Twain to Hawaii for a series of articles. Thereafter he moved to Connecticut, married, bought a house, and wrote his novels and bitter satires.

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