I consider myself more a reader of novels than of short stories, but just as I have found time for writing short fiction, I am also learning to give it a place in my reading schedule – and for pleasure as well as for ‘educational purposes’. For this I am also developing some rules, e.g. I don’t want to read more than around 1500 words from a conventional screen, and so until someone buys me an e-reader, I’m unlikely to read a longer short story I find on the web. Even if it looks tempting, printing it involves a trip downstairs – which sadly could be enough to put me off.
I’m much happier with literary magazines, whose stories usually vary in length and are perfect for a bus journey or a night when I’m between novels, and the annual volumes of winning stories from the bigger short story prizes are also a good investment for entertainment value and for getting a clue as to what judges might be looking for (although not forgettting that the following year the judges will probably be different!)
Up to now I haven’t gone for short story collections by a single author, but am thinking it might be time to put some on my Christmas list, and so if Santa is listening, please send me any (or all!) of these: – Tania Hershman’s White Road, Vanessa Gebbie’s Storm Warning, or Tom Vowler’s The Method (both of these from the admirable Salt Publishing)
Meanwhile I do have the latest Yellow Room Magazine to keep me going, with a particularly nice cover this time, and (just spotted!) some very complimentary comments on Blue-Sky Thinking (which appeared in the previous issue) from an accalimed short story writer and teacher – (and this year a novelist too) . Thanks Sally!
It turns out I’m not in the prizes, but the story may be read out on hospital radio, come the day. I must say I rather like the idea of its bringing a smile to the sick people of the South East. Assuming they like it, of course!