Story (magazine)
Story was a magazine founded in 1931 by journalist-editor Whit Burnett
Whit Burnett
Whit Burnett was a writer and writing teacher who founded and edited the literary magazine Story. In the 1940s, Story was an important magazine in that it published the first or early works of many writers who went on to become major authors...

 and his first wife, Martha Foley, in Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Austria. Showcasing short stories by new authors, 67 copies of the debut issue (April–May, 1931) were mimeographed in Vienna, and two years later, Story moved to New York City where Burnett and Foley created The Story Press in 1936.

By the late 1930s, the circulation of Story had climbed to 21,000 copies. Authors introduced in Story included Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski
Henry Charles Bukowski was an American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles...

, Erskine Caldwell
Erskine Caldwell
Erskine Preston Caldwell was an American author. His writings about poverty, racism and social problems in his native South like the novels Tobacco Road and God's Little Acre won him critical acclaim, but they also made him controversial among fellow Southerners of the time who felt he was...

, John Cheever
John Cheever
John William Cheever was an American novelist and short story writer. He is sometimes called "the Chekhov of the suburbs." His fiction is mostly set in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the Westchester suburbs, old New England villages based on various South Shore towns around Quincy,...

, James T. Farrell
James T. Farrell
James Thomas Farrell was an American novelist. One of his most famous works was the Studs Lonigan trilogy, which was made into a film in 1960 and into a television miniseries in 1979...

, Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller was a US satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His best known work is Catch-22, a novel about US servicemen during World War II...

, J. D. Salinger
J. D. Salinger
Jerome David Salinger was an American author, best known for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, as well as his reclusive nature. His last original published work was in 1965; he gave his last interview in 1980....

, Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American writer who worked principally as a playwright in the American theater. He also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs...

 and Richard Wright
Richard Wright (author)
Richard Nathaniel Wright was an African-American author of sometimes controversial novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerns racial themes, especially those involving the plight of African-Americans during the late 19th to mid 20th centuries...

. Other authors in the pages of Story included Ludwig Bemelmans
Ludwig Bemelmans
Ludwig Bemelmans was an Austrian author, an internationally known gourmet, and a writer and illustrator of children's books. He is most noted today for his Madeline books, six of which were published from 1939-1961...

, Carson McCullers
Carson McCullers
Carson McCullers was an American writer. She wrote novels, short stories, and two plays, as well as essays and some poetry. Her first novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter explores the spiritual isolation of misfits and outcasts of the South...

 and William Saroyan
William Saroyan
William Saroyan was an Armenian American dramatist and author. The setting of many of his stories and plays is the center of Armenian-American life in California in his native Fresno.-Early years:...

. The magazine sponsored various awards (WPA, Armed Forces), and it held an annual college fiction contest.

Burnett's second wife, Hallie Southgate Burnett, began collaborating with him in 1942. During this period, Story published the early work of Truman Capote
Truman Capote
Truman Streckfus Persons , known as Truman Capote , was an American author, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's and the true crime novel In Cold Blood , which he labeled a "nonfiction novel." At...

, John Knowles
John Knowles
John Knowles was an American novelist best known for his novel A Separate Peace. He died in 2001 at the age of seventy-five.-Early life:...

 and Norman Mailer
Norman Mailer
Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director.Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S...

. Story was briefly published in book form during the early 1950s, returning to a magazine format in 1960. Due to a lack of funds, Story folded in 1967, but it maintained its reputation through the Story College Creative Awards, which Burnett directed from 1966 to 1971.

O. Henry Awards

Conrad Aiken
Conrad Aiken
Conrad Potter Aiken was an American novelist and poet, whose work includes poetry, short stories, novels, a play and an autobiography.-Early years:...

 was the first Story Writer to win an O. Henry Award
O. Henry Award
The O. Henry Award is the only yearly award given to short stories of exceptional merit. The award is named after the American master of the form, O. Henry....

, when his short story "The Impulse" (April 1933) was honored. The following year, William Saroyan
William Saroyan
William Saroyan was an Armenian American dramatist and author. The setting of many of his stories and plays is the center of Armenian-American life in California in his native Fresno.-Early years:...

's classic "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze
The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze
"The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze", originally published under the title "The Flying Trapeze" and also known as "The Man on the Flying Trapeze", is a 19th century popular song about a flying trapeze circus performer, Jules Léotard...

" won the Third Place Award. Another Saroyan Story-published work, "The Three Swimmers and the Educated Grocer", would also claim an O. Henry Award in 1940.

In 1935, Nelson Algren
Nelson Algren
Nelson Algren was an American writer.-Early life:Algren was born Nelson Ahlgren Abraham in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Goldie and Gerson Abraham. At the age of three he moved with his parents to Chicago, Illinois where they lived in a working-class, immigrant neighborhood on the South Side...

 won the first of his three O. Henry Awards for his short story "The Brother's House". He was one of three writers published in Story that year who were honored (the other winners were Dorothy McCleary for "Little Elise" and Jerome Weidman for "My Father Sits in the Dark"). The following year, Story scored three more O. Henry Award winners (Ernest Brace for "Silent Whistle"; Elizabeth Coatsworth for "The Visit" and Eric Knight for "The Marne"); followed by four winners in 1937 (Hamlen Hunt for "The Saluting Doll"; J.M. McKeon for "The Gladiator"; Katherine Patten for "Man Among Men"; and Prudencio de Pereda for "The Spaniard" in 1937). Placing multiple winners into the annual O. Henry Award anthology became an annual tradition for Story into the mid-1940s.

Algren's friend Richard Wright
Richard Wright
Richard Wright may refer to:* Richard Wright , African-American novelist, writer, poet, essayist* Richard Wright , also known as Rick Wright, English musician, founding member of Pink Floyd...

 won Second prize in the O. Henry Awards for his Story-published "Fire and Cloud" in 1938. Hallie Southgate Abbett's story "Eighteenth Summer" won Third Prize in 1941, while in 1943, Third Prize was awarded to William Fifield's "The "Fisherman of Patzcuaro".

Between 1934 and 1946, 25 writers had won 27 O. Henry Awards, including Irwin Shaw
Irwin Shaw
Irwin Shaw was a prolific American playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and short-story author whose written works have sold more than 14 million copies. He is best-known for his novel, The Young Lions about the fate of three soldiers during World War II that was made into a film starring Marlon...

 (for "God on a Friday Night" in 1939) and Mary O'Hara, whose 1941 O. Henry Award-winning "My Friend Flicka
My Friend Flicka
My Friend Flicka is a 1941 novel by Mary O'Hara, about Ken McLaughlin, the son of a Wyoming rancher, and his horse Flicka. It was the first in a trilogy, followed by Thunderhead and Green Grass of Wyoming . The popular 1943 film version featured a young Roddy McDowall...

" which served as the basis for a popular movie. (Along with Saroyan, Hamlen Hunt was a double-winner.) Most winners from Story did not win a top prize (First, Second or Third), but were honored by being cited as one of the best stories of their respective year. The honor carried with it the privilege of being published in the annual anthology of short stories by O. Henry Award winners.

After the 1989 revival of the magazine, Story writers continued the O. Henry Award-winning tradition.


In 1989, Story was revived as a quarterly by the husband and wife team of publisher Richard Rosenthal and editor Lois Rosenthal, fulfilling their promise to Burnett that they would relaunch Story some day. Their Story, published by F&W Publications in Cincinnati, continued until 1999 with Winter 2000 being the final issue.

With a circulation of 40,000, Story was a five-time finalist and two-time winner of the National Magazine Award for fiction. The Rosenthals featured such established authors as Andrea Barrett
Andrea Barrett
Andrea Barrett is an American novelist, and short story writer. Her Ship Fever collection of novella and short stories won the National Book Award in 1996...

, Barry Lopez
Barry Lopez
Barry Holstun Lopez is an American author, essayist, and fiction writer whose work is known for its environmental and social concerns.-Biography:...

, Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates is an American author. Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published over fifty novels, as well as many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction...

 and Carol Shields
Carol Shields
Carol Ann Shields, CC, OM, FRSC, MA was an American-born Canadian author. She is best known for her 1993 novel The Stone Diaries, which won the U.S. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction as well as the Governor General's Award in Canada.-Biography:Shields was born in Oak Park, Illinois...

, while introducing new authors such as Junot Díaz
Junot Díaz
Junot Díaz is a Dominican-American writer and creative writing professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology . Central to Díaz's work is the immigrant experience...

, Elizabeth Graver and Abraham Rodriguez. With the sale of F&W forthcoming, the Rosenthals brought Story to an end with the Winter 2000 issue.

External links

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