Once upon a time, there were many popular, commercial magazines that published short fiction. You could buy them in bookstores, newsstands, drugstores, supermarkets, and variety stores. Today, there are very few of those periodicals, so publication of the short story has largely been left to literary journals. This has caused the literary journal One Story to begin a campaign, Save the Short Story, which was inaugurated at the Brooklyn Book Fair last week. upstreet supports this campaign, the details of which you can find on the Save the Short Story website. We especially like their Annotated History of the short story, and the section on How You Can Help. Here's my own How You Can Help list:
Read more short stories. I do. All the time. I even publish some of them. :)
Buy short story collections. I just bought several, including No One Belongs Here More Than You, by Miranda July; I Like It Better Now, by James B. Hall; and The Long and Short of It, by Pamela Painter.
Recommend short stories to others. I'll recommend two old favorites right now, by Frank O'Connor, who was my favorite short story writer until I discovered Alice Munro: "My Oedipus Complex," and "Guests of the Nation" (just to show that I still hold a very warm place in my heart for Frank).
Support literary journals that publish short fiction. If you're a member of The upstreet Fan Club, you probably already do this. Encourage your friends to do the same. upstreet thanks you.