Short Fiction in Theory & Practice (Journal)

ISSN 20430701 , ONLINE ISSN 2043071X

Short Fiction in Theory & Practice provides an international forum for all those writing, reading, translating or publishing the short story, in all its diversity – including flash fiction, the novella, cycles, sequences, anthologies and single-author collections; hypertext, popular fiction (e.g. science fiction, horror), the prose poem, the non-fiction story and other hybrid genres. It looks at the short story from the practitioner’s viewpoint; we are concerned with the ongoing process and philosophy of composition rather than the ‘postevent’ dissection of literary texts.

Category: Cultural Studies

Short Fiction in Theory & Practice is an interdisciplinary journal celebrating the current resurgence in short-story writing and research. Looking at short fiction from a practice-based perspective, it explores the poetics of short-story writing, adaptation, translation and the place of the short story in global culture.

All submissions are peer-reviewed. Contributions are welcome from individuals who do not consider themselves academics, and may take the form of personal commentaries, reflections, interviews and reviews, as well as conventional essays. We are pleased to consider proposals from those publishing or promoting the short story, as well as from short-story writers.

Notes for Contributors Download

Call for Papers Download

Short Fiction as Humble Fiction

Call for Papers is now open for Short Fiction as Humble Fiction, a conference organised by EMMA (Etudes Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone) with ENSFR (European Network for Short Fiction Research) on 17–19 October 2019 at Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, France.

Keynote speakers: Elke D’hoker (K.U. Leuven, Belgium) and Ann-Marie Einhaus (Northumbria University, UK)

The title of this conference may sound like a provocative statement. It may suggest a definition of the genre as a minor one, as has too often been the case in the history of the short story. Yet the conference has another purpose altogether. We would like to reverse the perspective and claim short fiction not exactly as a minor genre, but as a humble one. As such, what can short fiction do that the novel cannot? What can it better convey? We suggest to use the concept of the ‘humble’ as a critical tool that may help reframe and redefine short fiction, a notoriously elusive genre. How do short story writers deal with humble subjects – humble beings (the poor, the marginal, the outcasts, the disabled, etc.) and the non-human (animals, plants, objects), the ordinary, the everyday, the domestic, the mundane, the prosaic? How do they draw attention to what tends to be disregarded, neglected or socially invisible (Le Blanc) and how do they play with attention and inattention (Gardiner)? How do they contribute to an ethics and a politics of consideration (Pelluchon)? What rhetorical and stylistic devices do they use? What happens when they broach humble topics with humble tools, a bare, minimal style, for instance? How does the humble form of the short story – its brevity – fit humble topics? Does it paradoxically enhance them? Does the conjunction of the two give the short story a minor status or can it be empowering? In other words, should the humble be regarded as a synonym of ‘minor’ or as a quality and a capability (Nussbaum)?
Asking such questions will open a rich debate. How does the humble nature of short fiction connect with the epiphany, the moment of being, the event? If along with Camille Dumoulié we consider that the ethical dimension of short fiction stems from its being ‘a genre of the event’, could a humble genre also be considered an ethical genre? If there is an ethics of short fiction as a humble genre, where can it be located? Since the term ‘humble’, from the Latin humilis, ‘low, lowly', itself from humus ‘ground’ – is often used as a euphemism for ‘the poor’, we can consider its representation of humble characters (as in Joyce’s Dubliners or Eudora Welty’s short stories) as well as the way this genre handles the theme of poverty, of extreme hardship and constructed deprivation (as in Dalit short fiction) or its representations of and reflections on the earth and all that relates to the environment.

The theme of the humble is also manifest in its very inclusiveness and openness to the reader, or in the very precarious nature of the genre, in its openness to other genres. Dealing with short fiction as a humble genre will thus lead contributors to take into account its interactions with humble arts and media: the art of engraving, sketching or photography used in the illustrations of the volumes or magazines in which many modernist short stories were initially published; the radio that broadcast so many short stories, sometimes read by the short story writers themselves, as occurred on the BBC with, for instance, Frank O’Connor; the web today, with flash fiction online, micro fiction or video performances of short fiction. How do these various art forms and media shape each other and how do these interactions construct short fiction as a humble genre? In other words, how does the motif of the humble morph into an ‘experiential category’ (Locatelli) or a poetics of the humble?
Reframing the humble as an aesthetic category will help reread short fiction and better capture its elusive contours, focusing either on well-known short fiction by famous writers that will be approached from a different angle or retrieving some unfairly neglected texts from oblivion, as, for example, Ann-Marie Einhaus, has started doing in her work on The Short Story and the First World War. Or again, Elke D’hoker’s current work on short fiction and popular magazines.

This conference means to cross national borders and disciplinary boundaries, especially those separating literature and the visual arts or literature and philosophy. The questions asked can be broached through short fiction written in English by writers of various nationalities over the 19th and 20th centuries until nowadays. The suggested interpretations of the term ‘humble’ are not limitative but indicative.

Proposals of about 300 words together with a short biographical note (50 words) should be sent to Christine Reynier ( and Jean-Michel Ganteau ( by 15 January 2019.

A selection of peer-reviewed articles will be published in The Journal of the Short Story in English and Short Fiction in Theory & Practice.

Organising committee
Lynn Blin, Isabelle Brasme, Jean-Michel Ganteau, Laura Lainvae, Xavier Le Brun, Maroua Mannai, Judith Misrahi-Barak, Christine Reynier.

All articles submitted should be original work and must not be under consideration by other publications.

Journal contributors will receive a free PDF copy of their final work upon publication. Print copies of the journal may also be purchased by contributors at half price.

Editorial Board

Emma Young
University Campus Oldham, UK

Eleanora Rao
Università degli Studi di Salerno, Italy

Gerald Preher
University of Lille, France

Mohamad Rashidi Mohd Pakri
USM, Malaysia

Bran Nicol
University of Surrey, UK

Derek Neale
The Open University, UK

Adnan Mahmutovic
Stockholm University, Sweden

Andy McInnes
Edge Hill University, UK

Chris Machel
University of Chichester, UK

Sue Roe

Robert Sheppard
Edge Hill University, UK

Karen Stevens
University of Chichester, UK

Peter Wright
Edge Hill University, UK

Theresa Wray

Sarah Whitehead
Kingston University, UK

Loree Westron
University of Chichester, UK

Minna Vuohelainen
City University London, UK

Felicity Skelton

Suzanne Scafe
London South Bank University, UK

Dave Swann
University of Chichester, UK

Paul March-Russell
University of Kent, UK

Leena Eilitta
Helsinki University, Finland

Moy McCrory
University of Derby, UK

Elke D’hoker
KU Leuven, Belgium

Gill Davies
Edge Hill University, UK

Philip Coleman
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Ashley Chantler
University of Chester, UK

Dean Baldwin
Penn State University, Behrend College, USA

Corinne Bigot
Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle, France

Ina Bergman
University of Würzburg, Germany

Dan Disney
Sogang University, Korea

Sarah Dobbs
University of Sunderland, UK

Lucy Durneen
Institute of Continuing Education, Cambridge University, UK

Zoe Lambert
Manchester University, UK

Tom Jenks
Edge Hill University, UK

Ursula Hurley
Salford University, UK

Charles Holdefer
University of Poitiers, France

Andy Hedgecock
Independent Scholar

Nicholas Foxton
Kingston University, UK

Carol Fenlon

Karen D’Souza
Edge Hill University, UK

Alison MacLeod
University of Chichester, UK

International Bibliography of Book Reviews in Scholarly Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences (IBR)
International Bibliography of Periodical Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences (IBZ)
Poetry & Short Story Reference Center


  • Volume (9): Issue (1)
  • Cover date: 2019


  • Volume (9): Issue (2)
  • Cover date: 2019


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  • Cover date: 2017


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  • Volume (6): Issue (1)
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  • Volume (5): Issue (1)
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  • Volume (4): Issue (1)
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  • Volume (3): Issue (1)
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  • Volume (2): Issue (1)
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  • Volume (1): Issue (1)
  • Cover date: 2011


  • Volume (1): Issue (2)
  • Cover date: 2011

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