dog-daysQ: We’re aware that you reside in Bridport, home of perhaps the largest short story competition on the UK, and that you read for that. We guess that gets a lot of entries form all sorts of angles. From reading those entries, what does that tell you about the state of the British short story?

A: From the number of entries received for the Bridport Prize, I would say that interest in writing short stories has never been higher. There are so many writing courses available to students now. There was a time when there was only the highly prestigious UEA course for would be fiction writers. Now there are courses online, adult education courses, university short courses and any number of MA programmes. Inevitably this means a rise in the number of people exploring writing short fiction.

What is less clear is who is reading these stories. It is obvious that the desire to express oneself through writing is growing, but are we creating more writers than readers? The short story is attracting many would be writers, but publishers still avoid the short story as a genre, citing lack of interest from readers.  Perhaps there is an argument for training short story readers as well as writers!

Pages: 1 2 3 4