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Issued triannually, American Short Fiction publishes work by emerging and established voices: stories that dive into the wreck, that stretch the reader between recognition and surprise, that conjure a particular world with delicate expertise—stories that take a different way home. Stories published by American Short Fiction are anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Non-Required Reading, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, and elsewhere.
American Short Fiction was founded by Laura Furman at the University of Texas Press and in cooperation with the Texas Center for Writers and “The Sound of Writing” broadcast on National Public Radio. It quickly gained a national reputation for first-rate fiction. During its initial run, from 1991 to 1998, the magazine was a two-time finalist for the National Magazine Award for Fiction. In 2006, American Short Fiction resumed publication under the guidance of the good people at Badgerdog Literary Publishing, Inc., where it continued its award-winning record, most recently in the hands of the talented Jill Meyers. American Short Fiction is now published by American Short Fiction, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and is based in Austin, Texas.
In the inaugural issue of the magazine, which included Joyce Carol Oates and a young Dagoberto Gilb, Furman wrote of the “shared love and respect for narrative itself” that formed the foundation of American Short Fiction and continued: “We have great faith in our readers. We are sure that, just as we do, they have a love of reading and a desire for the involvement that good writing gives us all.” Our goal here at American Short Fiction is to respect that involvement by offering consistently intelligent, engrossing, and beautiful reading, in print and on this website, and we appreciate your company. “Stories! Stories, stories, stories!” cried the narrator on the final page of that first Spring ’91 issue, in a work by W. D. Wetherell. Stories, indeed.