“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?
11 thoughts on “Short and Sweet.”
I can’t wait to read your apocalyptic short story collection! It’s going to be incredible 🙂 And yes, you have definitely convinced me of the merit of short stories! I just got the collection Once Upon an Eid that I’m excited to dive into.
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So happy you’ve fallen in love with short stories as well, I LOVE reading yours! Once Upon an Eid sounds really interested & maybe we can swap collections when we’re done. 🙂
Can’t wait to read your collection
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Thanks Karen! I can’t wait to finish it up & share it one day 🙂
Can’t wait to read the collection! 🙂
I’m currently reading yours – the Secrets We Kept but I can’t wait to share this idea with my girlfriends!
Yes! Spread the short story love! 🙂
I love the short stories in your new publication. You are so right, short stories are great when you have short spurts of time. Forget social media and start reading again. Great imaginative short stories are the best!
I’ve definitely learned to love them over the last few years!
It is November and this post just surfaced on my screen. I am so happy it did. I have wanted to read good short fiction as it is a format I don’t read and didn’t really know where to begin. And now I do! Thank you so much; I look forward to reading yours and many other short stories.
Sheryl, and now it is mid-November and I am just now seeing your comment! Funny how that works. I’m so happy this has convinced you to try Short Fiction! Let me know if you need any recommendations, or if you read any of the ones I mentioned. I would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂