Here are some examples of first person short stories. These short stories with first person point of view narration have a narrator who tells the story using first person pronouns like “I” and “my”. 1st person POV is a fairly popular style of narration. See also:
Find a First Person Short Story Example
“Sleepstalk” by Courtney Summers
The narrator goes to Jed Miller’s and stares up at his window. She’s supposed to stay away from him. Jed opens the front door and looks right at her. She’s curious how he’ll react to her. He walks down his front path to the street and goes right by her without any acknowledgement. He’s sleepwalking. She follows him. She thinks about their history and her accident.
This story can be read in the preview of Defy the Dark. (9% in)
“Nature” by Aprilynne Pike
The narrator is getting a physical. She lives in New Horizon, the longest lasting community since the Great Collapse. Her hip measurement is going to lower her final score. She had her heart set on being a Nurture but her growth spurt at sixteen put her score in the range of a Nature. This changes her life path considerably. Nurtures, Natures and Laborers all have different roles. She adjusts to this development.
This story can also be read in the above preview of Defy the Dark. (45% in)
“Marigolds” by Eugenia W. Collier
Lizabeth recalls a time when she was fourteen, in Maryland, during the Depression. A woman in her neighborhood, Miss Lottie, lives in a dilapidated home, but has a colorful marigold garden. She’s an outcast, and the children make her a target of taunts. (Summary & Analysis)
This story can be read in the preview of Breeder and Other Stories.
“Nemesis” by Kirsten Miller
The narrator is investigating a new client, Clea. She watches as Clea exits her school and heads for the bus stop. She rushes and looks fearful. A group of girls spot Clea and follow her. The narrator takes some pictures. Clea gets on the bus but the driver waits for the others. The narrator gets on as well. She runs a website called NEMESIS, which exposes bullies. She intends to gather the evidence she needs.
Most of this story can be read in the preview of Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance. (54% in)
“The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara
An inner-city class goes on a field trip to an expensive toy store. The children try to understand the differences in people’s wealth. (Summary & Analysis)
This story can be read in the preview of The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story. (22% in)
First Person Point of View Short Stories, Cont’d
“One Small Step” by Aime Kaufman
The narrator, Zaida, is a seventeen-year-old girl living on Mars. As the first human born there, she’s a celebrity back on Earth. She has billions of followers who look forward to her updates. Her parents want her to go to Harvard. She’s not sure what she wants to do. When Zaida goes out on inspection duty with her best friend, Keiko, there’s an accident.
This story can be read in the preview of Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology. (14% in)
“The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe
An unnamed narrator describes how he killed a man; he tries to convince his listener of his sanity and wisdom. He believed his boarder, an old man, watched him with an “Evil Eye.”
This is the second story in the preview of Great American Short Stories.
“The Moustache” by Robert Cormier
Mike, seventeen-years-old, is going to Lawnrest Nursing Home to visit his grandmother. She has a chronic circulatory disease and a fading memory. He isn’t eager to make the visit, uncertain if his grandmother will be having one of her bad days. (Summary & Analysis)
“The School” by Donald Barthelme
A teacher relates all of the experiences with death that his class has in a single school year.
This is the second story in the preview of The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction. (41% into preview)
“The Scholarship Jacket” by Marta Salinas
A fourteen-year-old girl in a small town Texas school has been a straight A student for eight years. This means she will be awarded the school’s scholarship jacket, but a complication arises. (Summary & Analysis)
First Person Short Story Examples, Cont’d
“Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan
Lindo is a mother and a Chinese immigrant. Her daughter, Waverly, is American born. Their mother/daughter relationship is explored as the daughter learns to play chess and progresses from her first tournament at age eight and continues as she becomes a stronger player. (Summary and Analysis)
Read “Rules of the Game”
“An Hour with Abuelo” by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Arturo doesn’t want to visit his grandfather in a nursing home during his summer vacation, but he gives in to his mother’s urging. His grandfather’s body is giving out but his mind is sharp. He tells Arturo the story of his life, which included teaching, the army, farming, and a love of books and learning. (Summary & Analysis)
“Raymond’s Run” by Toni Cade Bambara
A young girl, Hazel, trains for a May Day race while looking after her older, mentally challenged brother, Raymond. Hazel is known as the fastest runner in her neighborhood and is determined to live up to her reputation.
“The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst
The narrator, Brother, reminisces about the time a rare bird landed in his family’s garden, and about his brother, Doodle, who was physically disabled and mentally challenged.
Read “The Scarlet Ibis”
“The Use of Force” by William Carlos Williams
A doctor makes a house call to examine a young girl. He finds that she has hidden the severity of her illness and she resists the examination, leading to a battle of wills. (Summary and Analysis)
“A & P” by John Updike
Three young women wearing bathing suits enter a grocery store. Sammy, a nineteen-year-old cashier, watches them as they move through the aisles. He focuses in particular on one he calls Queenie, who looks like the leader of the group. The other employees and customers also notice the girls. (Summary & Analysis)
First Person Point of View Short Stories, Cont’d
“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe
The narrator, Montresor, tells the story of how he sought revenge against a man, Fortunato, who insulted him. He was careful to hide his feeling of ill-will toward the man. They meet one evening at a carnival, after Fortunato has been drinking. Using Fortunato’s knowledge of wine as bait, Montresor gets him to insist on a visit.
Read “The Cask of Amontillado” (Includes Summary & Analysis)
“Condensed Milk” by Varlam Shalamov
The narrator is in a Russian labor camp working in a mine. He envies Shestakov, an engineer-geologist who works in the office. While longing for some bread, the narrator is approached by Shestakov. They walk behind the barracks to talk. Shestakov has an escape plan. (Summary & Analysis)
Read “Condensed Milk”
“In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” by Amy Hempel
The narrator visits her friend, who is dying of cancer, in a California hospital. The friend wants to talk about trivial things. The narrator has waited two months to visit. (Summary & Analysis)
Read “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried”
“Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin
The narrator, a high school teacher, reads in the paper that his younger brother, Sonny, has been arrested for dealing heroin. Their lives have gone quite differently—Sonny, a jazz musician and drug user, and the narrator who is educated and living in a middle-class neighborhood—so the narrator feels guilt over not having been able to help his brother more.
“Araby” by James Joyce
Every morning, a boy looks through an opening in the blinds at the door where his friend Mangan lives. The boy can’t stop thinking about Mangan’s older sister. When she leaves her house, he follows her as long as he can. When she finally speaks to him, he can hardly answer. She asks if he’s going to the bazaar; she would like to go but can’t. He says he will bring something back for her.
“Cathedral” by Raymond Carver
A woman and a blind man have kept in contact for ten years, mailing tapes to each other. His wife has recently died, so he’s going to visit her family. On the way, he’s going to spend a night at the woman’s place with her new husband. Her husband isn’t looking forward to the visit.
First Person Short Story Examples, Cont’d
“Never Have I Ever” by Karen M. McManus
Grace is at Katie’s party after curfew, but it’s ok because her parents are away. They start playing Never Have I Ever, and Grace gets teased a bit for not having any fun because she hasn’t done any of the things that come up. The group gets a surprise when they hear the voice of Caleb Manning, who’s known for getting into trouble. Grace invited him.
This story can be read in the preview of Up All Night: 13 Stories Between Sunset and Sunrise. (8% in)
“Grace” by Darcie Little Badger
The narrator recounts an incident from eighth grade. It started her first day in a new school. She stood out as being different, being of Lipan Apache descent. She joined the chess club and ended up playing with Brandon. It became a regular thing.
“Grace” is the first story in the Amazon preview of Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance. (28% in)
“What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” by Raymond Carver
Two married couples sit in the McGinnis’s apartment, drinking and talking about real love. They use their own, and second-hand experiences, to try to define it. (Analysis & Themes)
Read “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”
“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker
Mama is an African-American woman living in the Deep South with her daughter, Maggie. Her other daughter, Dee, an educated woman who’s drawn to a traditional African identity, is coming for a visit. (Summary & Analysis)
I hope you found some great first person short story examples.