May is Short Story Month

Who says so? Dan Wickett, and that’s good enough for me.

There are months for just about everything, it seems. Since 1996, April has been National Poetry Month. As the 2009 edition of National Poetry Month wound down, Dan decided to step forward and declare May Short Story Month. Dan is a tireless literary enthusiast, founder of the Emerging Writers Network, and now co-director of Dzanc Books–which under its own name and various imprints does as much as anyone on the current literary scene to bring new short story writers into the light.

In its few years, Short Story Month has gained momentum and is observed by a number of presses and literary sites. Check in with the Short Story Month Facebook Page and see what’s going on. At the Emerging Writers Network, Dan will be posting about three stories a day, many of them live on the ‘net. Fiction Writers Review will observe the month with reviews, interviews and more. Matt Bell–editor of Dzanc’s new online literary journal The Collagist, and author of the recently published How They Were Found–also promises a full slate of short fiction goodness. And don’t forget The Short Review, devoted entirely to reviewing short story collections.

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Short Story News (2)

You may not have realized it, but the month just ending as I type this has been National Short Story Month. Yet another initiative from Dan Wickett of the Emerging Writers Network, and in only its third year, the month is designed to generate interest in a form too often relegated to the margins–much as the more established National Poetry Month has done in April. Though I’m late in stepping in to plug it, this is the internet: so follow the link and spend some time reading some of the (literally) dozens of posts from the last month, some from Dan, others from guest bloggers, profiling both collections and individual stories. There are also a number of links to various websites that, unlike LS, participated vigorously. Tania Hershman also did a great job of promoting the month, both at her own blog and at The Short Review. (I promise to do better next year.)

As previously noted, the online journal storySouth is the engineer of what they call the Million Writers Award, an effort to recognize the most notable online short stories of the previous year. Dozens of stories were deemed notable (find them here, complete with links). Of these, ten finalists have been named–follow the link to read them and vote for the top prizes. (Voting runs through June 17.)

Emerging Writers Network

A nice mention of New Madrid and my story “Call It Beautiful” in Dan Wickett’s February 20 post at the Emerging Writers Network blog. Both at EWN and Dzanc Books, Dan is a tireless champion for new literary voices, and has a particular love for short stories. He edited a recent anthology called Visiting Hours published by Press 53, another independent press doing great work.

All About Lulu

Dan Wickett of the Emerging Writers Network sends word of this reading tomorrow night (Thurs Aug 14, 7:30pm) at Skylight Bookstore in LA’s Los Feliz neighborhood: Jonathan Evison reading from his debut novel on Soft Skull, All About Lulu, a coming-of-age story Publisher’s Weekly calls “viciously funny” and “a stunner.” In the LA Times, Antoine Wilson praises the verve and vitality of the writing, though he gives the book a mixed review. But Skylight promises free beer and jello shots, plus an “Appalachian buffet”–so it should be good times.