"These are not stories you've already read in The New Yorker," said S&S senior editor Penny Kaganoff about the selections in Scribner's Best of the Fiction Workshops, a new trade paperback annual she launches this month. The collection instead draws from submissions by more than 100 graduate-school fiction writing workshops in the U.S. and Canada -- "Not the usual suspects -- writers we hope will be the bestselling and critically acclaimed authors of tomorrow," she added.

Kaganoff developed the series with Barnes &Noble buyer John Kulka, who saw a void in the market and approached S&S with the idea. Kulka serves as series editor, along with book critic Natalie Danford. Alice Hoffman acted as the first year's guest editor, and Scribner has already made the commitment for next year's annual, with Carol Shields on board as guest editor for 1998.

A healthy 20,000 first printing is planned for the series, and Kaganoff told PW that she expects to go back to press, since series such as Houghton Mifflin's Best American Short Stories and Anchor's Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards regularly sell in high five- to six-figure ranges. And to kick off publication, S&S has a series of local readings with contributors, at chains and independents alike.

And those contributors -- 22 in all -- may not remain unknown for long. Dutton has already picked up one contributor's collection of short stories, and serial rights for one contribution was sold to Ms. Perhaps the New Yorker is next.