On the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Lovin' Blog, I wrote an article about magazines, specifically "Dark Wisdom" (http://sqt-fantasy-sci-fi-girl.blogspot.com/2006/12/dark-wisdom.html). In the article I mentioned that short story markets are drying up and changing. In another comment on an earlier blog, SQT asked: "What do you do if you have a story and no real market?"
William Jones, in a comment on the aforementioned blog wrote (which I have edited a little to match it to this site, but you can check it against the original on the other blog):
Many bookstores have difficulty selling "literary" magazines (short fiction magazines) of any genre. The reason is because they are not considered entertainment, such as magazines like XBOX, and Entertainment Weekly, which do not require a large investment of time, and usually give a quicker return (in knowledge or pleasure). Reading short fiction is a bit tougher. The result is bookstores have difficulty moving such magazines.The answer might rest in online magazines, but if the above concepts of entertainment magazines apply, the problem isn't fixed, it is simply shifted to a new medium.There seems to be far more short fiction writers than there are readers
Is that true? I made a comment about poetry on another site, stating it was dead. Stating that most people who read poetry also wrote poetry, and that as a whole, I considered it a dead art form. I stand by that. But are we reaching a point in our multimedia culture where we start to make the same comments about short fiction?
I don't have the answers, just more questions. Still, I believe there will always be storytellers and always be people who enjoy hearing their words, or reading them.
Eventually I would like to try and publish an online magazine. In some way this blog has felt like a magazine to me. It has offered short stories, essays, and some personal portraits. I've tried to keep it entertaining.
So now, that I've rambled in this direction and that, let me answer SQT's question. What do you do with your stories if there is no market for them? You keep finding places to tell them. Give them to friends, publish them online, whisper them in the night. Keep them alive. The stories will only die when the imagination dies, and when creativity is replaced by mundane acceptance of reality in black and white.