Too busy to read these days? It’s an interesting idea because as a civilisation we’re probably reading more now than ever before. But our time is so limited—life is so busy and interrupted—that we’re reading in bite sized chunks. Facebook posts, tweets, emails, texts and only when we really have the time do we relax with a novel. It seems too big a job to handle.
This is why the Novella and Short Story as forms of writing are making a comeback. The short story was where the Australian Literary scene began in the 1890’s. Back then, the issue was a different one: many readers struggled with lack of funds to purchase a bound book, so stories were published in magazines or as pamphlets. But I’m guessing time was also an issue then. The everyday person on the street or on the farm was busy just scraping by and getting the stuff done so they could survive. Perhaps not so much has changed after all?
I recently spent an evening at the Queensland Writers Centre hearing Brisbane author, Nick Earls, talk about his set of novellas and his reasons for trying this form. Nick shared some interesting insights into modern reading habits. We want to read, we really do! But the time-poor among us are turning to shorter story forms to satisfy that need to finish the book. With a short story or novella, we can read it in one sitting and not feel we’ve failed to finish yet another task.
With these thoughts in mind here are Rhiza Connect we are planning to publish our first collection of Short Stories. Submissions are open now until 31st December 2018. For all the details you need, go to our Short Story Submissions page on the Rhiza Connect website.