(Crossposted on Amazon.co.uk and goodreads.com - where I have awarded it 2 stars).
When I first started reading "How to Write Short Stories For Magazines -- and get Published" by Sophie King after I bought it I wondered if I'd made a mistake. It deals primarily with the type of short fiction you find in Women's Magazines like "Woman's Weekly" and "Best", and this is not a genre of fiction I generally read.
However on the principle that a short story is a short story I persevered. I thought I might still get some value from it, and I did.
The stuff about characterisation and plotting was especially useful. The viewpoint chapter is good, but didn't tell me anything I didn't know.
The dialogue chapter, however, is a curate's egg - some of it is good but some of it is horrible. This woman actually suggests using alternatives to said and gives some suggestions that are bad. And the chapter on First or Third Person contains a major editing gaff. Throughout the book there are examples of stories she's had published as examples (and I suspect to boost page count). In this chapter she states that she's using one story at the end and then uses another completely.
The rest of the book is full of reasonable advice, but somehow the whole book feels a bit anaemic. It's the first book I've read on writing short stories, but it seems lacking. The internal layout is odd compared to most books and it and the stories seem to be aimed at boosting the page count. I'm absolutely sure there must be better books about the art of short story writing than this one. It might be worth getting out of the library, but I wouldn't recommend buying it.