State of the Short Story Union…

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.

1 Comment

  1. I got nothing. I don’t much like to think about it, in fact, though I suppose the genre short story is in an ever so slightly happier position…really I’d rather just write novels.

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