Friday, March 5, 2010
Accept My Story!
There was an article in Poets & Writers a few months ago by Benjamin Percy, I believe. He talked about submitting his work over and over to first top tier publications, then second tier, then tird tier, etc., etc. (I think he created the tier classifications himself). The important thing is that after sending a story out about a hundred times, he finally got a call from a top tier journal. He accomplished what he had set out to do--they accepted his story due to his perseverance (and obviously, the quality of his work).
For those of you who don't know, I'm an aspiring writer. In recent years, it seems like everyone I talk to is also trying to become a published writer. I mean, who doesn't feel compelled to pick up a pen (or boot up their computer) to write the next great novel after finishing a book that completely satisfies? I write short stories and am trying to work up the nerve to start a novel, or at least to create a storyline for one. I wrote a creative thesis for my Master's degree, which consisted of ten short stories. I'm working on polishing them a bit and have started to send a few out to literary magazines and reviews around the country. Someone once told me that if no one knows that you write then you aren't truly a writer. Writers have to put themselves out there, share their most intimate thoughts with strangers, who may or may not like the product of months and sometimes years of hard work and revision. More often than not, this courage will be met with criticism. But at least someone is reading the work; someone somewhere has read that story that took 18 months to perfect. I have received a few rejections already and I'm okay with that. I'm glad that someone is reading my fiction. I even received a nice e-mail back from Redivider, which is out of Emerson College, and that encouraged me even more. Last week, I submitted a different story to Redivider, hoping that they will give me a second chance to impress.
I subscribe to a few lit journals, and read a few other ones online every week or month. I think it's so important to not only read work from established writers but also stuff from people that are just breaking out. Mainly, I want to support them, but also, as a submitter to these same magazines, I want to check out my competition! Besides the Kenyon Review, Narrative and Southeast Review, does anyone have any recommendations?