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Why radio works: Mr. King, about the state of US short stories October 3, 2007

Posted by William Spear in >> News, >> Out Basket.

Stephen King

Florida or Maine

Re: The State of short stories in United States

Dear Mr. King:

Please accept compliments on your essay titled What Ails the Short Story ( 30 September 2007; New York Times; http://www.nytimes.com/ ). Your reference of shopping for publications too often hidden in a magazine rack only found by those familiar with a janitor’s stock in trade was humorous.

As delightful as the janitorial skillset needed to secure the preferred magazines was, the damning description of those short story writers writing for peers or critical praise was disheartening. Your call for talent that can’t help itself, that “roars along in fair weather or foul, not sparing the fireworks” is saluted.

Might you consider how radio drama would broaden the reach of those authors which make you scream, “Oh, man, you gotta read this!” Audio theatre’s reach – whether over the air, across the Internet, or bundled onto a CD – would add more visibility to the Karen Russells, John Barths, Beverly Jensen, or Jim Shepards of the genre. It might even draw the next great writers into format.

Maybe a few seasons of adaptations through radio drama’s format would encourage a larger audience to “hold on tight” to the thrill ride of short stories and keep the genre from deteriorating as you’ve bleakly described.

Radio works. Just like pushing the eject button in an F-111.


Screaming Meteor Productions


Stephen King’s website


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