Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Logical Extension

Book awards tend to play it close to the vest--perhaps for good reason. Falsely raising authors' expectations or giving away the fact that certain books might or might not be receiving serious consideration are two possibilities prizes definitely want to avoid. And those may be among the reasons most awards don't post blogs. So why are we starting a blog for The Story Prize? Because our mission is broader than handing out an award each year. The purpose behind our book award is to promote short fiction--to encourage writers to write stories, publishers to publish them, and readers to read them. And blogging is a logical way to extend that mission.

One thing we won't do is slam a collection, story, or author. Sometimes, I may get up on my soapbox in response to news. For instance, I previously contributed a couple of posts to the National Book Critics blog, Critical Mass. One was on the state of short fiction (obliquely in response to Stephen King's introduction to The Best American Short Stories 2007), and the other was to comment on judge Zadie Smith's decision not to choose a winner in the Willesden Herald Short Story Prize. I'll continue to respond here to events and situations relating to short fiction and literary awards as they occur.

What this blog will do, of course, is offer news about The Story Prize, for instance who our judges will be and details of our annual event. And once we announce our finalists in January, we plan to post profiles of and Q&As with each of the three authors. We also would like to occasionally offer brief interviews with writers, editors, critics, publishers, agents, booksellers, and librarians. And we want to make room for occasional guest posts as well. Along the way, we hope we'll be able to call attention to some good stories and collections and add another voice in support of short fiction.