I'm over on Sandra Danby's blog today, talking all things short story. Here's an excerpt:
A warm Yorkshire welcome today to my blog to short story writer Amanda Huggins, a 2018 Costa Short Story Award runner-up, who has clear ideas about writing the short form. Welcome Amanda! “There’s been talk in recent years of a short story renaissance. In January 2018 The Bookseller magazine reported that sales of short story collections were up 50%, reaching their highest level in seven years. However, this turned out to be largely due to a single book — Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks. This January the news was all about poetry — sales were up 12% in 2018, for the second year in a row.
“It’s great to see a renewed interest in both forms — certainly a couple of independent bookshops I’ve talked to this week have confirmed that short story sales are up — and more collections are being featured in review columns. There was also the buzz around Kristen Roupenian’s short story, ‘Cat Person’, published in the New Yorker at the end of 2017, which really resonated with a younger audience. Whatever you thought of that story, it was all good publicity for the short form.”
“As a writer, I know that crafting a two thousand word story requires a different set of skills to novel writing, and the former should never be seen as practice for the latter — a short story isn’t a miniature novel any more than a novel is a protracted short story. Although short fiction is suited to the pace and attention span of the modern world, some readers say they don’t read shorts because they can’t lose themselves in the story the way they can in a novel. It is true that they demand your fine-tuned focus, they seek to be read straight through, and every sentence weighs in heavy because it has to earn its place. Yet all these things bring their own rewards. A cracking story will repay your time and attention by leaving you with something to think about for days after you’ve read it.
“When I’ve finished reading a novel I often pass it on, however I usually keep short story collections and return to them over the years in the same way that I do with poetry. I have countless favourites, many by established authors, but also a growing number by emerging short story writers. The collections on my shelves include books by William Trevor, Tessa Hadley, Helen Simpson, Helen Dunmore, Raymond Carver, AL Kennedy, Wells Tower, Stuart Evers, Miranda July, Yoko Ogawa, KJ Orr, Ernest Hemingway, Taeko Kono, Haruki Murakami, Richard Ford, Alice Munro, Flannery O’Connor, Anton Chekhov, Nikolai Gogol, Annie Proulx, Isaac Babel, Angela Readman, and AM Homes.”
If you'd like to read the full post, you can find it HERE