This is the first I've heard of it, but according to Creative Screenwriting it looks like short stories are having their Hollywood moment.
According to the article, Verve Talent Agency has recently sold fifteen short stories to producers and studios, some of which resulted in bidding wars. Horror and thrillers seems to be the most in demand. I haven't heard anything about this in the crime/mystery community but it can only be good news for writers.
Some highlights from the article:
- “It’s almost replacing the spec script, but definitely becoming more sought-after than the spec. To me, the short story has become a real opportunity for writers, novelists, and playwrights, to really make an impact with a different way of showing a story, unlike we’ve seen quite some time,”
- The agent compares the excitement of short stories to the explosion of spec script sales during the 80s and 90s. And it shows no signs of slowing down.
- The key driver of successful short stories “is a matter of finding a story or character we haven’t seen already. It just has to feel unique, special, and different. It has to feel like you’re taking somebody to a place they haven’t seen before,”
Like I said, this is the first I've heard of short stories being a significant conduit to a film deal or sale in recent times, but a lot of people think that the new contracts signed by WGA and SAG-AFTRA will result in studios and producers being less willing to throw millions of dollars into projects, and also that they will be green-lighting a lot fewer projects, preferring to focus on quality rather than quantity. This could also mean they will be looking in new places for material that can be produced for a reasonable cost and again, that could be beneficial to writers looking to move into film and television. I guess we'll find out.