Curious Fictions helps readers discover (and pay for) quick tales


Most of you, I believe, haven’t learn a brief story in a very long time. Effectively, there’s a Y Combinator-backed startup referred to as Curious Fictions seeking to change that — and to show these tales into an everyday supply of revenue for his or her writers.

The corporate was based by Tanya Breshears, a designer who beforehand labored for Airbnb. (I’ve recognized Breshears for greater than a decade, since she and I attended Stanford on the identical time.) She additionally writes quick fiction herself, and he or she began Curious Fictions as a aspect challenge.

Breshears advised me that she is aware of readers who care about fiction however “weren’t actually award of quick fiction.” There’s no dearth of quick fiction magazines, however “it’s arduous to pay for, and more durable to learn on cellular.” On the identical time, she was satisfied that many readers would take pleasure in, and pay for, quick tales if she made issues simpler. (The current viral success of “Cat Individual” appears to again this up.)

So Curious Fictions is an uncluttered, mobile-friendly web site the place readers can discover tales. There’s a weekly featured story chosen by Breshears, however you can even browse a wider choice primarily based on the writers and genres that curiosity you. Earlier than you dive in, the positioning tells you what number of phrases are in a narrative and the way lengthy it ought to take to learn.

Breshears mentioned that even when was the positioning was simply an thought, she obtained an enthusiastic response from quick story writers.

“It’s actually powerful,” she mentioned. “The unreliability of revenue makes it one thing that most individuals can’t pursue full-time. I needed to make that simpler for folks.”

curious fictions

Curious Fictions isn’t essentially meant to compete with present publications. In reality, it solely accepts tales that had been already appeared elsewhere, partly as a result of Breshears mentioned she needed the positioning to be “low danger for the writer,” significantly when she was beginning out.

However the place most journal pay authors one time, upfront, Curious Fictions can present a recurring supply of revenue. Readers can signal as much as pay $5, $10 or $15 per thirty days, after which the cash is distributed to the authors of the tales that they preferred that month. They will additionally tip authors for particular person tales.

Breshears emphasised that the service remains to be very early — she began engaged on it in 2016, however she didn’t begin on-boarding authors in earnest till she joined the YC accelerator just a few months in the past.

Even so, there are already greater than 100 authors on the platform. Breshears mentioned they’re at present skewed in the direction of science fiction and fantasy (not essentially the most important names within the subject, however all writers who’ve been professionally printed), as a result of authors have to be invited to create a profile and put up tales, and people are the genres the place she had connections.

Over time, nevertheless, Breshears mentioned she’s hoping to carry on authors from a variety of genres. She additionally desires to experiment with codecs past quick tales.

“There’s plenty of unrealized potential now with cellular gadgets,” she mentioned. “Not solely with quick tales, however different type components: novels … fan fiction, serialized tales.”

Featured Picture: Darren Johnson / EyeEm/Getty Pictures

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