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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Genre Rejection

Shortly after submitting my short story collection for the University of Michigan Press' Michigan Literary Fiction Awards, my manuscript was returned with this note . It says: "Please find enclosed your submission for this year's University of Michigan Press' Michigan Literary Fiction Awards. Please note that this year we are no longer accepting for the category of short story collection, and are only accepting submissions for the novel category." Even small presses are turning their back on the humble short story. I find that depressing, but it was nice of them to return the crisp, unread manuscript.


Crystal King said...

For a book about creative writing I've been working on I've done a lot of research into trends in publishing. More and more often, I've been seeing that short story collections are only picked up when an author already has a successful full-length book published. It usually has nothing to do with the skills of the author but more about hoping to add on sales to someone who has already published. It's a shame really--some people are masterful at the short story but not the novel, so requiring one before the other probably limits a lot of writers, thus doing a major disservice to the reader.

Anonymous said...

I know. You have to wonder how people like Alice Munro started. I don't believe she ever published a novel before starting her incredible short story career. There are so many of them--Katherine Mansfield, Saki (his stories are hilarious if you've never read them) and I remember a collection from a couple of years ago that I loved called YOU ARE NOT A STRANGER HERE by Adam Haslett. He was a lawyer, I think, before he published this book (his first)

Anonymous said...

This journal is endearing.