Thursday, June 13, 2013

Random thoughts from a lost week

I'm writing this post as I sip coffee outside a bourban bar in Louisville, Ky. (Rest assured, I have not just crawled out of the bar but am up early each morning to write.) This week, I've made my annual pilgrimage to Louisville to read English essays. I'm with a thousand or so other exhausted high school and college teachers at the end of the long school year. This week is always tiring (reading hand-written essays from 8 to 5 each day) but also uplifting (it's amazing what some student writers can produce) and gives me hope for the future of fiction.

And what will that future look like? Recently, I spoke to a longtime fiction veteran, a man with numerous novels and short stories to his credit, who asked me why kids no longer read short stories. He'd been asked to judge a writing contest for college students and had been disappointed by the quality of the submissions. I told him the kids I teach don't read short stories, except in English and creative writing classes. Kids read graphic novels, though, and grasp multi-text (written, visual, ect.) narratives better than their adult counterparts.

So where does that leave the future of the short story?

Hopefully novel-length fiction is in a better place. I know Stephen King has publicly denounced the e-book recently, but given the youth's fascination with technology, I think we should all be pulling the the e-book to succeed. Will it save the short story, at least the straight text version as we know it? Who knows? But it might save the novel.

In other news, I received the first round of cover art for my December novel (see below). I like it a lot.


Hannah Dennison said...

I love the cover! It's great!

Irene Bennett Brown said...

The cover plus the intriguing title -- yeah, I have to read this book!