The first published Malayalam short story was Vasana Vikruti in the magazine, Vidya Vinodini, in 1891. It was written by journalist Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar but the publishers did not reveal his name in the publication so that the writer remained anonymous to the readers.
The increase in the number and circulation of magazines aided the growth of short stories because there was an increased demand for short fiction. The development of the genre and the evolution of newspapers are closely linked.
The leading writers of those days were Pandalam Kerala Varma, Kodungallur Kunhikuttan Thampuran, Appan Thampuran, Seevolli Narayanan Nampoothiri, C.V. Kunhiraman, C. P. Achutha Menon, Thelappurathu Narayanan Nambi, Karatt Achutha Menon, Chitramezhuthu K. M. Varghese, E.I. Pengiyachan, M. Ratnam, and Kannambra Kunhunni Nair.
Close on their heels were writers like Chelanat Achutha Menon, K.P. Kesava Menon, K.N. Ezhuthachan, C.A. Kittunni, K.S. Mani, S. Rama Variyar, Pavunni Thaikkadu, and Vattavilakathu Sankara Pillai.