Those of us who obsess about this kind of thing have probably already read the essay in yesterday’s New York Times Book Review lamenting the health and well-being of the short story, which has been limping along on its last legs for decades now. The essay (with which I mostly I agree wholeheartedly) ends with a plea that people read Best American Short Stories. Uhh… shouldn’t they be reading the magazines the stories originally appeared in? I know it’s idealistic and/or naive to even think so.
Which leads one to another question — which is, does the traditional short story publishing route— publish in the little magazines, work your way up to the slicks and anthologies, land an agent and then, a book deal — even work anymore, for anyone, whether they be writers, readers or small-magazine publishers? As I’m so fond of saying, that (meaning the traditional stort story publication route) and three bucks will buy you a cup of coffee.
This blog, with its two or three loyal readers (thank you!) has probably had more eyes cast over it than the last three or four short stories I published. I know this should be my punchy, wrap-up solution paragraph, but I can understand why, after such a strong start, the NY Times essay ended with such a milquetoast plea (read Best American Short Stories? He might as well just have begged the world to read, period). Let me know if you’ve found a viable solution.