April 12, 2005
Atlantic Monthly quits publishing monthly short stories
This may be from the members only part of the mediabistro.com site, but here are just the first two paragraphs.
The Atlantic and The Decline of the Short Story
A novelist and short story writer laments the passing of a monthly tradition
April 11, 2005
As has been reported in The Times April 5 and online at Maud Newton and elsewhere previously, The Atlantic Monthly is cutting fiction in regular issues in favor of a newsstand-only annual issue. Yes, we'll still get fiction from The Atlantic, but I'm sad anyway; I especially enjoy reading short fiction in magazines because someone has done my work for me—sifted through hundreds or maybe thousands of stories to select one that will enthrall me and perhaps introduce me to a new writer whose work I will now want to explore. It's a little gift each month, and I'll miss it.
The particulars of the short story's decline, at least in terms of its profile in commercial magazines, are well documented in a May 2004 article by Kelly Jane Torrence for Doublethink . The conventional wisdom is that magazines are bowing to the realities of necessary advertising revenues, which put pressure on sections that don't perform based on reader feedback. As a result, the inclusion of fiction in commercial magazines has become an exception to standard procedure. The number of available outlets for short fiction has been steadily shrinking, from The Saturday Evening Post to Redbook to Cosmopolitan, which still publishes excerpts occasionally, to Mademoiselle, which ceased publication in 2001. More recently, Seventeen dropped regular stories in 2003, and Jane discontinued fiction during its redesign in 2004, though both run an annual fiction contest.
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