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The much underrated short story

19 Apr

http://americanfiction.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/close-encounters is an enchanting article by Washington DC-based Mark Athatakis about one of Lynne Tillman’s short stories called ‘Love sentence’ from her new collection, ‘Someday This Will Be Funny’. It’s always saddened me that short stories aren’t more popular than they are and was somewhat horrified when David Constantine said at the recent Oxford Literature Festival about Helen Simpson being forbidden from including ‘and other stories’ on her book covers so that they’re mistaken as novels, although (like Annie Proulx, Alice Munroe etc.) Helen is known as a short story writer. You can hear my podcast reviews of Oxford Lit Fest on iTunes, Google Feedburner, Podbean etc. – links on my website or on the ‘Where to find me’ menu on this blog.

Back in September 2008 I attended a Creative Writing Teachers Conference (speakers included the delightful Fay Weldon) and sat in on a workshop hosted by novelist Tibor Fischer. I had (and still have) his short story collection ‘Don’t Read This Book If You’re Stupid (published in the U.S. as ‘I Like Being Killed: Stories’) and asked him how he got it published when it’s notoriously difficult. He told me that he’d been given a three book deal and only signed it on the condition that one could be an anthology, although he admitted that it was far more work than either of the novels as they had to be seven polished stories rather than one, albeit shorter.

Mark’s D.C.-Area Readings section is packed with events in his area to the beginning of August. So if you’re not to far away (sadly I am by about 3,500 miles) there might be something of interest.

If you’re a writer then Mark’s ‘For Authors and Publishers’ might make interesting reading but not if you’re self-publishing your work… if the latter and you do read it, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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