American Short Fiction was founded in 1991 by Laura Furman at the University of Texas Press, 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. The magazine is a two-time finalist for the National Magazine Award for Fiction, and in 2019 was selected as a winner of the Whiting Literary Magazine Prize. American Short Fiction is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and is based in Austin, Texas.
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.
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.