Many of us who write in shorter forms, especially short stories, have begun to despair of our market. The list of periodicals that have folded in recent years is staggering; at times we feel like shell-shocked New Yorkers waiting outside newspaper offices for casualty reports from the Titanic.
Some blame electronic media for the demise of so many journals and magazines whose lifeblood was short fiction, and there’s no doubt they have played a role. In a truly Darwinian twist, however, electronic media have given rise to a new venue that’s even more accessible to writers: portable reading devices.
In the July/August issue of Poets & Writers, Adrian Versteegh writes about how the popularity of such devices has opened up new markets for works that can be read in a single sitting. Short stories, novellas, essays, even long poems and poetry cycles — all forms that are devilishly hard to get into print these days — are candidates for this kind of audience, and the article gives helpful details about who’s soliciting what and how to get more information.