YOSS (Year Of the Short Story) aims to unite fellow writers and readers everywhere in one cause—to bring short fiction the larger audience it deserves.
The YOSS Manifesto:
- We believe in putting an end, once and for all and upon a time, to the publishing industry’s dour and potentially self-fulfilling prophecy that “Short story collections don’t sell.” We feel that when people stop perpetuating this gloomy statement, it will cease to be true.
- We believe that the short story is a literary prose form with its own history, aesthetic, and readership. It is not simply fewer pages than a novel. It is not a practice exercise for the novelist. Writing a short story requires specific skills and techniques, as does assembling a collection of individual stories that all contribute to a unified whole.
- We believe in reading and re-reading. Short story collections are perfect for short and long attention spans. A good collection will grab a reader as much as a good novel will—and often it won’t let go. Part of the thrill of reading a short story is the opportunity to read it more than once. Unlike the novel, the once-read story warmly (and sometimes provocatively) invites you to come again.
- We believe that people are hungry for good writing, period. We have heard fellow readers express their desire for “something they can sink their teeth into.” We ask those readers: Have you ever decadently indulged in an entire Pot of Gold box—biting into numerous chocolates without even consulting the map, savouring without guilt the ones you like, and just as guiltlessly discarding the ones you don’t like as much? We have one word for you: ANTHOLOGY.
- We believe that the paper book is the truest and most delightful form for short story collections to take, but we also embrace new technologies, media, and ways of reading when they benefit the short story form and help deliver it to enthusiasts and new readers alike.
- We believe that short story collections are dreams-come-true for filmmakers, TV writers, and playwrights, since they offer a wide selection of well-defined, atmospheric, and concise story ideas to choose from, rather than a single idea that may require a great deal of pruning.
- We believe that just as some novels are better than others, some short fiction collections are also better than others. But this distinction is not up to YOSS to make. As in all matters of taste and art, preference is subjective.
- We believe there is a wealth of brilliant, entertaining, and thought-provoking short story collections out there, waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.
How You Can Help:
- Buy more short story collections.
- Readers: Ask booksellers where their short story collection shelves are (and if they don’t have these shelves, ask for them). Booksellers: Recommend short story collections to readers more often, and highlight short story collections in your seasonal promotions. Why not have a YOSS table, for instance?
- Publish more short stories.
- Suggest short story collections to your book club.
- Host YOSS-themed events.*
- Talk, write, blog, and tweet about YOSS; link willy-nilly to this webpage; and join The YOSS Machine on Facebook
- Make a YOSStini! (one part deceptively simple syrup to two parts full-bodied booze with complex characters)
*Download the YOSS logo or the YOSStini to post as a badge on your website or blog, or to advertise your YOSS event. And please use them however you like—Stickers! Coffee mugs! T-shirts!—for your own YOSS-promotion purposes.