shining the spotlight on short story collections
This from the Financial Times, where Martha Kearney talks about judging the BBC National Short Story Award.
I have enjoyed short stories through most of my life, and found the process of reading the entries a genuine pleasure. With many younger writers as well as more established names, there was immense variety. There were also some bizarre points of concurrence. What is it in the zeitgeist that made at least three of the entries write about the Sami people of Finland or drove others to choose the Fens or pick the Hindu goddess Kumari as a theme?
She also says:
Overall, we felt that there was a polarisation in the entries, with true excellence at the top of the field and then a drop in quality. Too many of the stories felt like compressed novels. Others had striven too hard for “the big ending” or predictable twist in the tale. The perfect short story arrests the reader’s attention immediately and then goes on to illuminate an entire life through one scene or a few actions.