Ohio Festival of the Short Story / Friday & Saturday, May 7 & 8, 2010

full name / name of organization: 
The Cincinnati Review / University of Cincinnati
contact email: 

Theory of the short story has a long history, from writers and thinkers such as Edgar Allan Poe, Anton Chekov, and B. M. Ejxenbaum to contemporary theorists such as Susan Lohafer, Mary Louise Pratt, and Charles E. May. In recent years, critical anthologies and monographs such as The Postmodern Short Story: Forms and Issues (2001), The Supernatural in Short Fiction of the Americas (2003), and Reading for Storyness (2003) indicate continued and diverse interests in the field. How is the short story best defined? Should it be regarded as merely an "apprentice genre" for creative writers and literature students? What are its pedagogical advantages? What would a poetics or rhetoric of the short story look like? How does the short story function differently across cultures?

The Cincinnati Review invites participants to present papers and break-out sessions focused on the short story. Readings and a public interview will feature Lee K. Abbott (Ohio State University, author of seven short-story collections), Nancy Zafris (University of Georgia Press, editor of the Flannery O'Connor Award in Short Fiction), Margaret Luongo (Miami University of Ohio, author of If The Heart Is Lean), and Donald Ray Pollock (author of Knockemstiff).

We seek critical presentations of approximately 20 minutes from scholars of diverse interests and backgrounds. Possible presentation topics include (but are not limited to): historical perspectives on the short story; closure in the short story; electronic publication of short fiction; performing the short story; the short story across cultures; short stories in the classroom; the lyric short story; the nonfiction story/narrative essay; short-story cycles or sequences; cognitive approaches to the short story; the short story and metaphor; reading the short story; and short-story retellings.

Break-out Sessions
We seek proposals for hands-on, small-group discussions and/or exercises of approximately 45 minutes. For example, a session called "Postmodern Narrative Strategies in the Short Story" might open with the leader's introduction to the topic, move to an examination of an exemplary text, and end with a short exercise in one strategy. Possible session foci include (but are not limited to): research and the short story; narrative framing in the short story; revising the short story; the gothic story; misreadings; short stories into film; the anti-story; the minimalist short story; and short-story collaborations.

To participate in either category, or both, submit a proposal of no more than 300 words to Peter Grimes at grimespe@email.uc.edu by March 15, 2010. Please include your name and affiliation. Feel free to propose entire panels or break-out sessions as a team.