At Larry Dark's Story Prize blog, an interview with Wells Tower, whose fine collection of stories is one of the finalists for this year's prize. An interesting excerpt:
What do you like about the short story form? Is it the form that comes most naturally to you as a writer?
I respect the form for cutting us so little slack. Readers often approach a short story suspiciously.They know they're being asked to embark on a brief relationship, one that won't give them days or weeks of enagement, as a novel does. A "Why should I care about you? This is just a quick fling" sort of deal, which leaves us with the challenge of devising stories that matter much, and quickly, without contrivances or bad emotional syrups. You can't waste time or language in a short story. I like that rigor. Keeps you honest.