Between texting and tweeting, attention spans have shortened to almost microscopic proportions. We can't even B bothered 2 write whole words anymore, let alone sentences.
Well, those who are accustomed to getting to the point quickly (short story writers in other words), can now have their moment in the sun. Amazon is publishing short singles, and so are some of the romance and sci-fi publishers.
There’s no doubt about it, the short story is having “a moment”. It started this time last year, when Lydia Davis, not so much a short-story writer as a short-short-story writer (some of her tales are only a sentence long) won the Man Booker International Prize, a decision that took the literary world by storm.
When Davis’ triumph was followed by a Nobel Prize for the Canadian short-story writer Alice Munro, people started to mutter that something significant was afoot. While two successive prizes could be coincidence, the renaissance of the short story was confirmed when the American George Saunders won the inaugural Folio Prize at the start of the year for Tenth of December. Something of a writer’s writer – beloved of Zadie Smith and Jonathan Franzen – Saunders was catapulted into public view and on to the bestseller lists. And with him – blushing as it cast off its “Who? Little old me?” mantle – went short-form fiction.