Joan Connor on small presses

joan connor how to stop loving someone cover


I have been thinking recently how grateful I am for small presses and university presses for keeping the short story alive.  Most commercial presses will not touch story collections unless by an already established author, usually an established novelist.  Similarly agents generally refuse to represent story collections.  The rationale seems to be that there is no market for them; they are not commercially viable.  I find this perplexing.  My students love stories and read them voraciously, as do my colleagues and writer friends.  I am currently teaching a course in the novella, and the novella also is tough to place in the market.  Nonetheless, my students are loving the form, and we are writing a collaborative novella in the class.  They enjoy writing a novella as much as they enjoy reading the novella.  All of this makes me think that there is a market for these shorter forms.  Cynically, I suspect that it comes back to greed.  The market dictates that there is no market because it fears there is no money to be made.  Likely wrongly.

So thank you small presses and university presses for preserving these forms.

Joan Connor is the author of five collections: How to Stop Loving Someone (Leapfrog Press, 2011), History Lessons, The World Before Mirrors (nonfiction), We Who Live Apart, and Here on Old Route 7. She is a professor of creative writing at Ohio University.

About Leapfrog Press
Leapfrog Press was created to search out, publish, and aggressively market books that tell a strong story. Leapfrog began its life in Wellfleet, Mass., at the outer end of Cape Cod, in 1993. In 2008 we migrated to Falmouth, Mass., and in 2012 we made the move to Fredonia, N.Y., a town with a rich creative history and an equally rich present in the arts and science. Our list is eclectic and includes quality fiction, poetry, and nonfiction; books that are described by the large commercial publishers as midlist, and which we regard as the heart and soul of literature.

2 Responses to Joan Connor on small presses

  1. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website.

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  2. kathrynharo says:

    As I recently wrote in another comment, it wasn’t until I entered into SUNY Fredonia’s Introduction to Creative Writing that I really welcomed the realm of short stories into my reading regime. This class, along with the Visiting Writer Series, has introduced me to the art of short fiction. I now certainly agree that it is wonderful that there are presses that print off these types of works. Crossborder has been another fantastic means of introducing me to amazing writers too.

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