Author and highly respected blogger, Anne R. Allen, has published an excellent article on the re-emergence and growing popularity of short stories in the latest issue of Writer's Digest Magazine. Anne has given me permission to present the bare bones of her detailed article here. Be sure to check out the rest of this well-written, informative article in the November/December 2014 issue of Writer's Digest.
As Anne says, "Bite-sized fiction has moved mainstream, and today's readers are more eager than ever to 'read short.' Here's why writing little stories is paying off in a big way."
Anne goes on to mention "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," Amber Dermot told The New York Times.
2. Anthologies are hot.
"Multi-author anthologies are a great sales tool, and they've been reborn in the e-book space, where they're inexpensive to put together and provide wide visibility."
3. Publication identifies you as a professional.
Publishing your short stories in anthologies and journals will show agents, publishers, and reviewers that you're serious about your craft and publishing. And they can also help get your name out there and start building a fan base.
4. Networking with short fiction editors can further your career.
"Editors at small magazines often have connections in the publishing world."
5. Filmmakers buy rights to short stories.
"Just as indies are re-invigorating publishing, they are also the lifeblood of the film industry."
6. Online retailers favor authors with more titles.
"The more titles you have in an online bookstore, the more visible you are." And it's easy to turn out several short stories per year.
7. Short fiction contests can build your bio.
"Contests are easy to find and enter in the Internet era. [...] A win or even honorable mention looks great in a query or bio."
8. Shorts keep fans engaged and draw new ones.
"Shorts keep fans interested while they're waiting for the next book, and a free story in between is a great marketing tool. Consider writing a couple of shorts about your main characters while you're working on a novel."
9. Today's short stories make money and hold their value.
"Per word, a story can make more money than a novel. Not only does it take less time to write, a Kindle Single often sells for the same price as a novel-length e-book, and can be repurposed many times."
And finally, writing short stories is a great way to learn to write tight and make every word count, which is a great carry-over for any other kinds of writing you may do.
Check out these excellent related articles by Anne R. Allen on her award-winning blog:
Here's Why You Should be Writing Short Stories
10 Reasons Why Short Stories are Hot.
The New Golden Age of Short Fiction.
Besides publishing her popular craft-of-writing books under the series, An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction, the award-winning Fire up Your Fiction and Writing a Killer Thriller (and the upcoming Captivate Your Readers), as well as her handy, clickable e-resources, Spelling on the Go and Grammar on the Go, Jodie Renner is a sought-after freelance fiction editor and author of numerous blog posts on writing captivating fiction. Find Jodie on Facebook and Twitter, and check out her posts alternate Mondays on The Kill Zone blog. Subscribe to Jodie's sporadic (3-6 times a year) newsletter HERE.