“I need to read more. I just can’t find the time.”
“My attention span is too short for reading.”
“I don’t know the last time I’ve read a book.”
These are all real sentences from real people I’ve heard in the last few months. Some said to me, some snippets from conversations happening nearby. And for each one, I just wanted to take the person’s hand, look them deep in the eyes, and whisper, join me in the Land of Short Fiction.
The Land of Short Fiction is WONDERFUL. It’s got multiple characters wandering amongst its hills, each going on separate adventures. This land contains MULTITUDES and is not limited by genres! In one story, you can be deep inside the head of an insecure college freshman, and in the next? A Pirate on a wild chase across the seven seas. You can experience 10 stories written by the same author, learning who they are based on what they create. Or you can take a trip around the world, experiencing multiple voices, exploring Australia and Asia and Africa through the eyes of authors who know it best.
I love the Land of Short Fiction. But I wasn’t always this way! Like most people, I gravitated towards novels. Maybe it was because I grew up on books like Harry Potter, and my “short fiction” was reading a chapter or two a night. Or maybe because the short fiction I was exposed to in school was really rather boring. (BRB going to write emails scolding my high school teachers for not making us read Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.)
Or maybe it was because… novels are just way more popular than short stories?
But I wish this wasn’t so! I wish there were Short Story Book Clubs, where we would read anthologies and argue over which story was the most impactful. Can we make this a thing? Please?
I myself didn’t start writing short fiction until I joined my writers group in August 2018. My mother would encourage me to try it when I was younger, but I was young and dumb and set on becoming a world famous author, and world famous authors (as far as I knew) all wrote novels.
But it was really when I began writing short fiction that I began growing as a writer.
I think I’m going to dedicate the remainder of April to short story anthologies. I’ve been wanting to read Burning Girls by Veronica Schanoes and Mixed: An Anthology of Short Fiction on the Multiracial Experience edited by Chandra Prasad for a while now. Like, they’ve been sitting on my side table staring at me for a few months, trying their best to guilt me into opening them. So now here I am, making this blog post, keeping myself accountable. Check back on me in May and I’ll let you know my thoughts on these collections. 😉
Now, before I go, let me share my two dreams with short fiction.
I hope to one day convince everyone to join me in the Land of Short Fiction, so that it becomes natural for someone to hear “I need to read more. I can’t find the time,” and respond, “Have you tried short stories? They’re great!”
Well… it’s a little scary to type this out… but I hope to one day have a collection of my own. I already have a title: The Night the World Ended. And a made-up genre: apocalyptic sentimentality.
Until then, I’ll continue to publish GREAT short fiction with Dandelion Revolution Press, taking the world by storm with our multi-genre collections & dynamic female characters. And I’ll continue to be an advocate for short stories everywhere, because YES! THEY ARE WORTHY!
My question for you, dear reader: What short story collection are you hoping to read next?