Over the years, I’ve published several short stories, and I’ll submit a novel for consideration in the near future. While I love reading (and writing) in both forms, I find that many of my friends prefer novels almost exclusively. Short story collections generally don’t sell as well as novels, even in this supposed age of short attention spans.
Amazon’s kindle provides the opportunity for digital readers to discover a world of short stories they never knew existed. No longer will the decision for what short story sees the light of day be made primarily by editors of The New Yorker and its like. What your high school English curriculum marked as canon material, will only scratch the surface of easily available short stories.
Classics will always be available, and the big name writers will always find a platform for their stories, whatever the lengths, but with kindle and other ereaders, authors can publish their short stories without producing an entire collection, or waiting years to get responses from understaffed literary journals.(Yes, I have actually had responses come back after more than a year.)
Our work will remain available on sites like Amazon for as long as said sites exist. Readers will stumble upon stories that look interesting, discover that they’re shorts, and hopefully, find it’s a form they can easily dip in and out of, a form fit for today’s busy world. Some of them will be hooked on the satisfaction of getting from Once upon a time to The End all in a sitting. Some of them will be hooked on your writing and storytelling ability.
Write what the work moves you to write. Write what you observe, care about, and fear. Write what entertains you and upsets you, and end it at its natural length. Make it the best that you can, and then release it to the world. It may not find an audience today, but stay with the process. The readers will show up.
Go write something!