We take it as a good omen. On the very day our Kickstarter campaign reached it’s funding goal, the Giller prize was awarded to Lynn Coady for her short story collection, Hellgoing. Add that to last month’s Nobel prize win by the Queen of Short Stories, Alice Munro, and it looks like it’s a very good time indeed to be writing and publishing short fiction.
I love the novel, and it will always be my medium of choice for storytelling. But the succinct beauty of a well-crafted short story always leaves me slightly breathless. I don’t write short fiction because I am ever so slightly in awe of the form and its masters.
As with poetry, every word in a short story must count. That there are 5000 of them, rather than a few dozen, makes the short story writer’s job that much harder. Each paragraph in a well-written short is a poem unto itself.
A novelist has the luxury of developing her characters, themes and settings over time. A short fiction writer encapsulates these in a few sentences, all of which must advance the plot. In many ways the short story is the pinnacle of the written word, marrying the clarity of poetry to the complexity of prose.
As a writer I am inspired to continue to push my own prose up to reach that short fiction bar. As an editor I feel privileged to play midwife to the stories that travel through our submissions inbox and onto the pages of Pulp Literature. And as publishers, we are thrilled and honoured to be able to offer to you.
Long live the short story!