Friday, February 24, 2012

MFA Greensboro Alum Julianna Baggott Talks about Turning a Short Story into a Novel

Julianna Baggott on Turning a Short Story into a Novel
Julianna Baggott

First of all, I should confess that when I started out, I believed in the short story as the Great American Form, and that novelists were writers who simply lacked self-restraint. I believed you should be able to get everything you needed from writer to reader in 25 pages or fewer. I was a real believer, completely devout.

But a few things happened. I had a collection of stories–most of which had been published in literary magazines–that I couldn’t get published. Now, I’d been warned this might happen. In fact, Andre Dubus (the author of Broken Vessels) explained that if you keep publishing short stories, agents will come knocking . . . but they’ll only want one thing: a novel. Dubus seemed to want us young writers not to give in (or that’s how I remember it).

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