In Defense of Free Fiction

Jen Doll at The Atlantic explores how much of a role pay should play in the “business” of writing. Throughout the piece, Doll refers frequently to Harper Perennial editor Carl Morgan’s experimental blog 52 Stories, which published a new short story each week by a writer who worked for free. Morgan said he received an astounding number of submissions–a sign, he claims, of how the creative impetus for writing does not need to be sparked by money. Picking from the stories he had received, Morgan recently published a collection, titled Forty Stories, that showcases some of the best his blog had to offer. It is available here as a PDF.

Forty Stories contributor Ben Greenman perhaps sums our thoughts up best:

“For the same reason musicians donate songs to tribute albums or actors work for scale on projects that interest them. I’m writing stories, and I like for them to find homes, sometimes for profit, sometimes not–art isn’t money, at its root, and when the two line up felicitously, fine, but if they diverge, that’s fine, too.”


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