Tuesday, October 4, 2016

When a Themed Submission Call Prods a Story

September was such a busy month for my writing that I've not yet mentioned—not here on the blog anyway—one publication that made me particularly proud. Those who write and read creative nonfiction, and especially fans of short works, know the quality of the essays and nonfiction narratives at Brevity, all presented in 750 words or less.

I'm so pleased that Brevity chose to publish my work, "On the Near Side of the Tracks," in their Fall 2016 issue, which had a special focus on race. What makes this slightly more gratifying is that this story—though the actual experience lasted less than 10 minutes—was one I sat on for years, not knowing precisely how or when or where to tell it.

When I came across the Brevity themed call for submissions in the spring, something slid into place in my head—and eventually, onto the page. I believe that's true for some stories: we wait and ponder and think, and wait some more, often not sure if it's ever going to live on the page. Then, something clicks and we "suddenly" know how to write about it, where to send it, and that it's time to tell it.

I'd love it if you took a few minutes (really, that's all it takes to read 750 words!) to read it. While there, perhaps take a bit more time to read some of the other stellar work in the special Brevity issue, which includes work by Deesha Philyaw, Roxane Gay, Tyrese Coleman, and several others, all with unique perspectives.

I'd been chasing a Brevity byline for a while, undaunted by a half-dozen rejections before this wonderful acceptance. That's not unusual, that's the writing life. Whatever you're chasing, I hope it shows up in your writing life.

UPDATE (10/19/16): Over at the Brevity blog, you can now read about the steps I took to nail this long sought after acceptance

1 comment:

Louisa said...

I read your story. It's powerful. I admire that you went back and owned your error. That took a lot of courage.