What Happened to the Short Story?

Shortstory

One of the last college classes I took was an elective on British literature. And one of the focal points of the class was the analysis of short stories. Some authors we studied were James Joyce, Jorge Luis Borges, and Haruki Murakami. And prior to that I’d had no experience with short stories. I can’t remember ever studying them in high school and I definitely hadn’t ever purchased a collection on my own.

In the couple of years since graduation I’ve had no more exposure to short stories but for the few I’ve read here on WordPress. But maybe it’s just me. Maybe there are still writers out there who release short story collections and have large followings. I just have no idea who they are if they do in fact exist. Is this the norm or am I detached from the rest of you?

And I’m not talking about those writers who write dozens of 30 page short stories and just put them on Amazon every other week. Anyone can do that and receive little to no recognition for doing so because the quality just isn’t there.

Do you write short stories? Do you happen to read them?

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55 thoughts on “What Happened to the Short Story?

  1. Thuglit is a monthly collection of short story crime fiction. Most of the stories are really great. I am a regular reader. I read short stories all the time. The last book of short stories I read was 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill which was amazing.

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  2. A good short story is a fine way to take a break, a lovely intermission, a spring fling. A good thing to have on your eReader at all times, to pass the time in line or to enjoy on a quiet park bench.

    Writing short stories is a great way to switch gears. I use them to stretch my muscles and try new things I may not otherwise attempt. How few words can I tell something and keep it meaningful? It’s a great challenge.

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  3. Midnight Breakfast is a monthly collection of short stories on a variety of subjects. I write short stories, too.

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  4. Love short stories. In this busy life they should play a bigger part.

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  5. Once upon a time there were these things called “magazines”. They were a paper product and so there was no need of computer, tablet or smart phones to use them. Most of these “magazines”, no matter the theme, be they about farming, guns, life in the city or hats, had at least one short story included every publishing cycle. Ah, the golden days of the short story.

    Actually, I post a new short story here every week. Since I post them I also read them – I hate being a hypocrite. I’ve read a lot of fiction put out by fellow bloggers that I’ve liked.

    Short story collections have never done well financially unless the author had a huge following. In the last year I’ve read three short story collections from fellow bloggers.

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    • Are you talking lit magazines or what? Cause there are plenty of magazines I can’t imagine releasing short stories.

      I tend to stay away from stories on blogs. Way too many other posts to get to. Unless it’s Megan Hodson’s 100 word stories. Then yes.

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      • 30 or 40 years ago just about every magazine had short stories. Now very few of them do. The world has changed and nobody wants to read short stories so they don’t carry them any more.

        With blogs I guess it’s where you set your priorities. I want to read fiction so I do. To me reading good fiction is so much better than reading a person write about fiction – that’s dull and I have better things to do.

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      • Oh. I wouldn’t know anything about way back then.

        You’re right. I’d prefer my fiction from my bookshelf. And if I come across a blogger I might want to read, then I’ll snag their book.

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      • I interpreted your post in part as asking why it seemed in the past most authors wrote a lot of short stories while today they don’t seem to write as many.

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  6. I think they’re making a comeback. There are tons of anthologies out there now. Many authors are also putting out books of short stories these days. I loved one I read recently called The Power of Six, by Nicholas Rossi. Publishers shied away from them, but Amazon gave them new life. I’ve decided to create one myself.

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  7. Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ is a delicious short story collection, her first and won the Pullitzer. There are great short story collections and I enjoy them.

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  8. I get collections of short stories from the library quite often. Neil Gaiman’s are good, as are Stephen King’s. I write my own from time to time, and have published several collections too. You can tell how well they’re selling from the fact that I am typing this on the bridge of my personal dirigible, crossing the Atlantic from my North American Home to one of my European houses….

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  9. I can’t think of the last short story I read. I have a hard time with short stories, no matter how well written. I prefer long stories over short, so I feel like short stories just leave me with more questions than answers. And I’d rather have a little more. I do give people who write short stories a lot of credit, though. It’s much easier to be wordy, I think. So, brava!, to them!

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  10. In my opinion, one of the best short story writers in modern times is Christopher Conlon. He writes novels and books of short stories. Sorry. I start gushing when I talk about his writing. Although some of his works are too graphic for my taste, he does write literature. If you look him up on Amazon and read samples of his work, you’ll see what I mean. He also has a blog, but I don’t think it’s with WordPress..

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    • Hm. I’m obviously not familiar with him or his work. I’ll have to look him up.

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      • One of his books–a collection of short stories–is called “Thundershowers at Dusk.” Christopher Colon is one of those dark brooding Byronic types. but when he writes he can write from the perspective of a child, a woman, even an infant. He’s amazing. Lives and teaches near Washington, DC. Obviously, I’m one of his biggest fans.

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      • One of his books–a collection of short stories–is called “Thundershowers at Dusk.” Christopher Colon is one of those dark brooding Byronic types. but when he writes he can write from the perspective of a child, a woman, even an infant. He’s amazing. Lives and teaches near Washington, DC. Obviously, I’m one of his biggest fans. It’s difficult to say if his stories are plot driven or character driven. They are an even blend of both.

        Liked by 1 person

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