National Short Story Month?

As of right now, there actually isn’t a National Short Story Month, though some efforts have been made toward one in the past.  What will it take to get this thing off of the ground?  From TSP:

The people have spoken (some of them, at least), and the result of our poll so far is that a whopping 90% of respondents agree that yes, we do need a National Short Story month.

When I posted about this a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t realize that some had already declared May National Short Story Month, including Dan Wickett of the Emerging Writers Network and Dzanc Books, who put forward this idea two years ago. When we rolled out The Story Prize in 2004, I was making some noise about the idea myself (if you follow the link, please ignore the awful caricature), and it wasn’t the first time.
But it’s going to take more than a little noise to make it happen. For NSSM to come about and have any impact, it will need to have a strong organization behind it, a real concerted and nationally coordinated effort, and buy-in from bookstores, schools, and libraries, not to mention authors and publishers. Readerville has been kind enough to host a thread to discuss National Short Story Month, so please weigh in if you have ideas about how to make this happen.

2 Replies to “National Short Story Month?”

  1. Come on, 90%? Seriously? With a number that high, I’d guess that the respondents consisted almost exclusively of fiction writers. (I’m guessing those same people are also almost unanimously in favor of higher book advances, more tenure track positions in creative writing, and the abolition of television and videogames. In other words, a self-serving poll and hardly objective.) Trying to justify the creation of a Short Story Month with such dubious and subjective poll results is utterly ridiculous.

    Given how poorly short story collections sell, I’d guess that only a small portion of the general public would have any interest whatsoever in a Short Story Month. After all, poetry has had its month for many years now, and I don’t exactly see any poets enjoying rockstar status with the public as a result.

  2. I agree that the 90% – at a site called “The Short Story Prize” – is somewhat irrelevant. I do think, though, that a national yearly spotlight on short stories could only be a positive thing, in the long term.

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