Let Us Now Praise Famous Short Story Writers (And Demand They Write a Novel)
almost 2 years ago
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"I’m not sure, having spoken to many non-writers (including many avid readers) that the market will ever support a plethora of commercially successful short fiction. Readers cite the lack of time or interest in constantly immersing themselves in new situations, new scenarios, new characters. They cite plot over character, which will always favor the novel. They say if they’re going to read, they’d rather invest than dip in and out. And of course, mainstream magazines continue to die out and lose readership, and fewer and fewer feature fiction in their pages. So possibly, short story writers are doomed to remain “writer’s writers,” and that might be the problem we really have to solve: how do we assure that short story writers can feel free to pursue their craft without the pressure to move into another, longer form?"
"Maybe we should support short stories not as the cash cows they never will be, but as a vital and necessary art form that we wish to preserve. Maybe there could be more support for short story writers, more awards, fellowships, grants, and showcases. Maybe critics could review short stories collections the same way they review novels. Maybe Time Magazine could occasionally feature the next great American short story writer, whoever she or he may be. Maybe there could be more financial support for, a wider distribution of, the kind of literary magazines that publish top notch, innovative short fiction. Maybe high schools could teach more than the same five short stories (sorry, Updike) so that kids could learn to love the form early on."
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