MFA Students in the library
Celebrating Short Stories

» The Conference on the American Short Story


TBA (postponed due to the global pandemic) | CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY, ORANGE, CA

The Conference on the American Short Story: A Diamond Jubilee for Postwar Fiction critically examines and celebrates the reading and writing of short fiction in the United States. This conference considers short-form storytelling over the past seventy-five years—what Mark McGurl defines as The Program Era—and into the form’s vibrant future. The conference conversation welcomes diverse perspectives of scholars, writers, readers, teachers, and students.

The Conference on the American Short Story is hosted by Chapman University, where current editor of The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction Richard Bausch teaches. In The Atlantic, Bausch captured part of why the short story matters: “To my mind, nothing is as important as good writing, because in literature, the walls between people and cultures are broken down, and the things that plague us most—suspicion and fear of the other, and the tendency to see whole groups of people as objects, as monoliths of one cultural stereotype or another—are defeated.”

The conference welcomes a range of voices, perspectives, and identities. Conference venues are accessible by ramp entrances and an elevator. Panelists will make session outlines available in large-font format, and Forum papers will be available prior to the conference via Chapman University’s Digital Commons. All scheduled speakers will use microphones. The conference registration form includes a space for participants to indicate accommodations.

The Conference on the American Short Story invites two types of submissions: Panel Presentations and One-Page Papers for the Forum on Teaching the Short Story.