The trailer you just watched (go ahead, watch it!) accompanies the short story “Your Fate Hurtles Down at You” by Western Mass. resident (and past Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellow) Jim Shepard, just published in Electric Literature. The trailer is notable because, well, it’s an animated trailer for a short story, and how often do you see that? But also, because it’s part of an experiment in literary journal publishing that will be interesting to follow.
The publishers of that journal plan to distribute five-story issues in multiple formats: electronically for iPhone, Kindle, and eBook readers, and in paperback using print-on-demand technology. Spending less on printing (because of the aforementioned electronic publishing and print-on-demand), they’re paying their authors more – an unheard of $1000 per accepted work (plus, no submission fees). This author-friendly tack may be partially responsible for attracting both Jim Shepard and Michael Cunningham to the inaugural issue.
It’s interesting to consider these experiments not as replacements for existent literary journal models but as additional avenues for individual artists. Could multi-format publishing help preserve or better yet, expand opportunities for creative writers?
At the very least, I hope it means more short story trailers. That music is catchy!