31 Days of Stories: Introduction

April 30, 2013 by · 4 Comments 

Short_Story_Month_2013For a country that boasts some of the best short-story writers in the world, Canadian readers and publishers don’t seem to have a lot of faith in the form. As a category, short fiction barely outsells poetry, and publishers constantly reject short-story manuscripts on the basis that they are too difficult to market. If they do accept collections of stories, it is usually on the understanding that they will fill a gap until the arrival of the novel that will follow.

I’ve written elsewhere about my bafflement at this prejudice against short fiction, and to be fair, there have been encouraging signs of a renaissance in the past year. House of Anansi Press has instituted a new imprint, Astoria, exclusively devoted to short fiction. The National Post began running a monthly column, Shortcuts, focusing on Canadian short fiction (a column that, full disclosure, I have a vested interest in). And online outlets like Joyland and Found Press continue to display a commitment to the form and its practitioners.

In that spirit, That Shakespearean Rag will be launching into another month of short-story posts beginning tomorrow. The goal is to spotlight a different story for each of the 31 days in May. The month has once again been chosen to piggyback on Dan Wickett’s annual Short Story Month at his site. As in previous years, the goal is to post about one story each day; as in previous years, I will probably fall short of this goal. One must be realistic about the demands of work, home life, and other, unforeseen circumstances.

This year, 31 Days of Stories turns six. One of the reasons I keep returning to this project is that it has yet to bore me. Another is that after six years, I still delight in the process of revisiting stories I’ve already read, and discovering new ones. The intent when I began the 31 Days was to cast a light on the breadth of short fiction globally. I am not interested in provincialism, and have always aimed to cover writers domestic and foreign, living and dead, in English and in translation. This is the spirit that drives the project forward. It is a constant process of discovery for me and, I hope, perhaps also for those who stumble across the posts.

(The Short Story Month banner is by designer Steven Seighman.)

Comments

4 Responses to “31 Days of Stories: Introduction”
  1. Steph says:

    Thank you for doing this. I always enjoy it.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Yay–looking forward to it!

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  1. […] every day in May, as inspired by Steven Beattie’s doing so for years now over at http://www.shakespeareanrag.com/. Follow along and read some of these stories, and the books they appear in. I think I might do it […]

  2. […] every day in May, as inspired by Steven Beattie’s doing so for years now over at http://www.shakespeareanrag.com/. Follow along and read some of these stories, and the books they appear in. I think I might do it […]