by Anne R. Allen, author
I thought short stories stopped being relevant for professional writers decades ago, when mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post stopped publishing fiction; I equated short fiction with those finger exercises piano students do before they graduate to real music. If you’re serious about a career in fiction, you write novels … right?
Wrong. Short stories are having a revival in the digital age. As book marketing guru Penny C. Sansevieri wrote in The Huffington Post, “Short is the new long. Thanks to consumers who want quick bites of information and things like Kindle Singles, consumers love short.” It seems the short story is back—on an iPhone near you.
Here are nine factors working in favor of a short story renaissance:
1. Small, portable screens are changing the way we read.
“The single-serving quality of a short narrative is the perfect art form for the digital age. … Stories are models of concision, can be read in one sitting and are infinitely downloadable and easily consumed on screens,” bestselling short-story writer Amber Dermont told The New York Times.
Cal Morgan of Harper Perennial agrees. “The Internet has made people a lot more open to reading story forms that are different from the novel,” he says.
When Amazon in 2011 launched its Kindle Singles program—which publishes works of fiction or creative nonfiction of 5,000–30,000 words—it sold more than 2 million short titles in 14 months. Today, it’s further promoting short fiction with a Short Reads section—where customers can choose stories from the Singles library by the length of time required to read them—and Day One magazine, which showcases short fiction from new authors……………………………………………