Galaxy Galloper Press is creating novellas
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Works between 15,000 and 50,000 words are often considered "un-publishable" by literary magazines and agents alike. But what ever happened to the novella?

Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Shelley's Frankenstein, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, Chopin's The Awakening--- the list goes on. So why is it that much of "great" literature is in the form of novellas, yet today novellas are seen as unmarketable?

In short, publishers don't want to take risks, and novellas historically have always been risky. They straddle a line that makes them "weird" or "other," and critics claim they are "too short." But there is beauty in brevity. I see novellas as a sort of poetic novel-- with all the depth of story and none of the filler, more complex than short stories and equally as satisfying as novels.

One thing that is obvious when looking at the famous pack of novellas is their lack of author diversity, primarily because the form has died out. It is the mission of Galaxy Galloper Press to give a voice to those who write novellas and revitalize this great art form-- regardless of race, gender, class, etc. We just want more novellas in the world, more voices represented, because the current publishing industry has silenced everything that falls in a certain word range. I see the stigma against the novella as a form of oppression, silencing thousands of voices who have incredible stories to share that happen to have an uncommon word count.

Actually, I am not convinced novellas are uncommon, especially considering NaNoWriMo's target word count of 50,000 words. Most agents/publishers would turn their noses up at fiction of this length, unless it was middle grade or young adult (excluding fantasy, science fiction, etc.), because their job is to sell novels. And in the current climate, 50,000 words doesn't cut it. Some people may suggest that 50,000 words is a springboard to a longer work, but I would argue there are probably many writers who have written works that length, revised them, and are satisfied with how they are. But, given the pressures of the industry, those writers may feel obligated to pad their novellas to novel length, ultimately failing to do so, given how unnatural it feels when something shorter is working. The worst thing is those works of 15,000-50,000 words, however they were crafted, will almost never breathe their stories into the literary world unless authors give them away for free. And that isn't because they cannot sell. It's because publishers are afraid they cannot sell.

After all, everything is leaning longer nowadays. Movies are often upwards of two and a half hours, many approaching three. Novels must be 60,000 words. No, 80,000! Even when reading great modern novels, I can't help but feel the urge to cut about 40,000 words of padding and unnecessary tension to hit the target word count so desired by literary agents. That's not to say everything should be novella length, but there is certainly a place for it. This odd pull between society's shortening attention span and longer works of art could serve to be counterbalanced by shorter works packed with compelling characters and themes. Novellas are a stunning, neglected art form, and we want to see them on the literary scene front and center.

If you help us get started, we won't have to do the scummy business of charging entry fees for future contests and can get more novellas out into the literary world. Thank you for your time and your support!
Tiers
Star Skipper
$1 or more per month

Star Skippers give a little, and it means a lot. In exchange for your thoughtful donation, you will receive:

  • a digital copy our newly-released novellas
Planet Prancer
$5 or more per month

Planet Prancers appreciate how novellas can transport us to other worlds, and for your kindness, you will receive: 

  • a digital copy of our newly-released novellas
  • access to our writing community
Galaxy Galloper
$20 or more per month

Galaxy Gallopers embark on the mission of our press with us and for your dedication, you will receive: 

  • a digital copy our newly-released novellas
  • access to our writing community
  • a print copy of each of our newly-released novellas
Works between 15,000 and 50,000 words are often considered "un-publishable" by literary magazines and agents alike. But what ever happened to the novella?

Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Shelley's Frankenstein, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, Chopin's The Awakening--- the list goes on. So why is it that much of "great" literature is in the form of novellas, yet today novellas are seen as unmarketable?

In short, publishers don't want to take risks, and novellas historically have always been risky. They straddle a line that makes them "weird" or "other," and critics claim they are "too short." But there is beauty in brevity. I see novellas as a sort of poetic novel-- with all the depth of story and none of the filler, more complex than short stories and equally as satisfying as novels.

One thing that is obvious when looking at the famous pack of novellas is their lack of author diversity, primarily because the form has died out. It is the mission of Galaxy Galloper Press to give a voice to those who write novellas and revitalize this great art form-- regardless of race, gender, class, etc. We just want more novellas in the world, more voices represented, because the current publishing industry has silenced everything that falls in a certain word range. I see the stigma against the novella as a form of oppression, silencing thousands of voices who have incredible stories to share that happen to have an uncommon word count.

Actually, I am not convinced novellas are uncommon, especially considering NaNoWriMo's target word count of 50,000 words. Most agents/publishers would turn their noses up at fiction of this length, unless it was middle grade or young adult (excluding fantasy, science fiction, etc.), because their job is to sell novels. And in the current climate, 50,000 words doesn't cut it. Some people may suggest that 50,000 words is a springboard to a longer work, but I would argue there are probably many writers who have written works that length, revised them, and are satisfied with how they are. But, given the pressures of the industry, those writers may feel obligated to pad their novellas to novel length, ultimately failing to do so, given how unnatural it feels when something shorter is working. The worst thing is those works of 15,000-50,000 words, however they were crafted, will almost never breathe their stories into the literary world unless authors give them away for free. And that isn't because they cannot sell. It's because publishers are afraid they cannot sell.

After all, everything is leaning longer nowadays. Movies are often upwards of two and a half hours, many approaching three. Novels must be 60,000 words. No, 80,000! Even when reading great modern novels, I can't help but feel the urge to cut about 40,000 words of padding and unnecessary tension to hit the target word count so desired by literary agents. That's not to say everything should be novella length, but there is certainly a place for it. This odd pull between society's shortening attention span and longer works of art could serve to be counterbalanced by shorter works packed with compelling characters and themes. Novellas are a stunning, neglected art form, and we want to see them on the literary scene front and center.

If you help us get started, we won't have to do the scummy business of charging entry fees for future contests and can get more novellas out into the literary world. Thank you for your time and your support!

Recent posts by Galaxy Galloper Press

Tiers
Star Skipper
$1 or more per month

Star Skippers give a little, and it means a lot. In exchange for your thoughtful donation, you will receive:

  • a digital copy our newly-released novellas
Planet Prancer
$5 or more per month

Planet Prancers appreciate how novellas can transport us to other worlds, and for your kindness, you will receive: 

  • a digital copy of our newly-released novellas
  • access to our writing community
Galaxy Galloper
$20 or more per month

Galaxy Gallopers embark on the mission of our press with us and for your dedication, you will receive: 

  • a digital copy our newly-released novellas
  • access to our writing community
  • a print copy of each of our newly-released novellas