Sunday, September 14, 2008

One Story!

The Brooklyn Book Fair was awesome. Everyone should come next year, everyone who ever read a book or wanted to publish anything at all. But anyway.

My favorite find in a day of awesome finds was One Story, a non-profit group that publishes a short periodical every three weeks. Each issue contains one story--that's it. The point is that it's "a literary magazine you'll actually read." A subscription for an entire year is only $21 for an entire year, 18 issues! It's a perfect gift price. Go! Subscribe!

One Story's hope is to revive the art of short story, which we all know isn't really supported by mainstream publishing and book-buying. And they're doing it pretty well--they've been around since 2002, have been celebrated by such high-nosed publications as the New York Times, and their most recent issue was an O. Henry pick.

In case anyone needs a reminder about why they want to support The Short Story:

1) They're a hard sell now, but they're immortal (think of what you remember most of Salinger's, Hemingway's, Fitzgerald's, Joyce's, to name a few of the old boys--I, at least, remember the short stories)

2) Short stories rock. They're often sharper and more affecting than novels. But they're nearly impossible to sell in a bookstore because we publishers can't afford to produce single-volume short stories for a price you're willing to pay

3) Every great novelist (at least in recent times) who has ever struggled to make it produced a bunch of stellar short stories to submit and get people's attention... and then locked them up in a drawer for most of their career. How sad for the world.

Also, everyone at the booth was really, really nice. (Incidentally, the editor is Hannah Tinti, the author of that book The Good Thief you've been hearing so much about lately.)

9 comments:

Kim Kasch said...

I still remember 1978 when Stephen King had Night Shift published. I loved it then as a young kid and would love - even now - to see these kinds of compilations of short stories.

Julie Weathers said...

Moonie, were there a lot of people there? I hope so. It makes my heart soar when these gatherings are well attended.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'd love to see the short story return. many of my fondest memories of reading are of short stories. Certain genres, like SF, tend to specifically lend themselves to this genre too, it seems to me.

angelle said...

oh yeah we were encouraged to submit to one story when i was taking classes at gww.

im so sad i missed bbf this year. and next year. and next year. but the year after that i shall be there. was there anyone good speaking? i miss being able to author stalk.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

The short story is such an awesome form - and I've been really glad to see so many websites and online magazines picking up where traditional publishing can no longer afford to publish shorts. There's some evocative and really tight writing out there and it's so good to know that there are those who support the form.

Conduit said...

The short story form has been good to me, and I'll always be a fan. If it wasn't for some agents and editors (i.e. mine) still supporting them, the wonderful movie Million Dollar Baby would never have been inspired by them.

Anonymous said...

don't forget Brokeback Mountain was a short story...

Amy MacKinnon said...

One Story is a favorite of mine. I became a devotee of Hannah Tinti's when she chose the then unknown writer Paul Yoon for One Story. His book of short stories will be released soon and I urge everyone to get a copy. He's a brilliant writer, storyteller, human being. I've just finished Hannah Tinti's THE GOOD THIEF and it's no wonder Ms. Tinti was able to recognize the genius in Mr. Yoon: it takes one to know one.

jalexissmith said...

I'm not usually a big short story fan but a friend lent me her copy of "I Was Told there Would be Cake" by Sloan Crosley and the one about weddings was insightful and hilarious. That book was the PERFECT subway commute read.

I recommend it :)