What does the library mean to you?
That was the question posed by King County Library System (KCLS) Reel Fest in January. I had 2 minutes to answer on film. I got my family to help.
Together, we made “aisles of ideas.”
We shared my experiences reading inspiring words, writing, submitting, and seeing it go quite far (no spoilers).
Our film is a Reel Fest finalist.
We’d love for you to watch it. Join us for its free online premiere on Monday, September 28 at 7pm Pacific.
How do you say goodbye to a brief universe inside you? Find out in my latest flash fiction, “Glimmering Sidewalks,” published in the first zine from The Racket: Quarantine Journal.
What amount of effort went into getting “Glimmering Sidewalks” published?
These numbers are on par with my other flash fiction publications.
I share blog posts like these because every story has a different journey to readers. So if you’re in the doldrums between drafts or facing another rejection, may this encourage you. This process has taught me that publication is always more than one step away. Read on about this story’s journey and you may find what will get you over the next hump.Read the rest of this entry »
How much does chivalry really cost on a summer night where young ideals are alive and well? Find out the dollar answer and its unexpected justification in “The Price of Chivalry,” my most recent short story publication, available now in From Whispers to Roars: Volume 2, Issue 2.
What amount of effort went into getting “The Price of Chivalry” published?
These numbers are on par with my other short stories, but larger than my relatively quick flash fiction publications.
I share blog posts like these because every story has a different journey. So if you’re in the doldrums between drafts or facing another rejection, may this encourage you. This process has taught me that publication is always more than one step away. Read on about this story’s prolonged journey and you may find what will get you over the next hump.Read the rest of this entry »
What happens when a luggage thief picks the wrong target on the early-morning airport train? Dive into the mind of a snarky antagonist in “A Damn Fine Town,” my first short story publication, available now in Down & Out: The Magazine, Vol. 1, Issue 4.
What amount of effort went into getting “A Damn Fine Town” published?
These are grueling numbers compared to how lucky I’ve been in earning relatively quick flash fiction publications.
I share blog posts like these because every story has a different journey. So if you’re in the doldrums between drafts or facing another rejection, may this encourage you. This process has taught me that publication is always more than one step away. Read on about this story’s journey and you may find what will get you over the next hump.Read the rest of this entry »
A brief conversation with a lone songbird in San Francisco. A vulnerable state before free fall. I explore these ideas in my latest flash fiction publications “Dawnsong” and “lying is the girl” out now in KYSO Flash, Issue 10 (Fall 2018).
What amount of effort went into getting these two stories published?
My statistics for “Dawnsong”:
My statistics for “lying is the girl”:
These are lucky numbers, especially given just one draft of “Dawnsong” and the small number of submissions of “lying is the girl.” Read on about my process.Read the rest of this entry »
What expectations transcend distance and life changes? I explore that in under 400 words in my latest flash fiction publication, “Reading Willow” in The Common.
What amount of effort went into getting “Reading Willow” published?
These are lucky numbers, especially given that this story didn’t earn any encouraging rejections. Read on about my process.Read the rest of this entry »
“Why I Write” is a brief reflection that earned me the Kevin Smokler Scholarship to the 2016 San Francisco Writers Conference. Today it takes on a second life over at Fiction Southeast, as part of their Why I Write series.
Why do you write? Read my answer in just 250 words over at Fiction Southeast.
Chris Tusa, the Editor, was quick and easy to work with! Though this piece was accepted almost eight months ago, I appreciated the follow-up email announcing it’s publication—on a holiday no less!
Fiction Southeast is also open to submissions in numerous categories.
What can a newborn teach his father about shaving? To find out, read my latest flash fiction publication, “bleedin’ peach” in KYSO Flash.
What amount of effort went into getting “bleedin’ peach” published?
These were exceptionally small, lucky numbers. I have stories that are approaching 30 submissions, so it’s lovely to experience quick publication magic in this case.Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve attended and hosted Shut Up & Write(!) meetups in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2013. Shut Up & Write(!) is a powerful concept. Whereas most casual writing events are focused on socializing, we get together and write. Our meetups are free and open to everyone. There’s no obligation to share or network; just do the work.
I’ve missed the writing community I left in San Francisco. But the Maryland suburbs by D.C. have their own creative charms. I’m reaching out to a local arts center, attending nearby writing meetups, and exploring what The Writer’s Center in Bethesda has to offer.
But there’s no Shut Up & Write(!) here. So I’m starting one.
I reached back out to my Bay Area friends, Cat and Rennie, the masterminds behind the concept. They were happy to help set up a new meetup group. As of this post, there are already 39 members. We have the first location happy to host us—the lovely Barking Mad Cafe in Gaithersburg (right next to a Little Free Library, no less). I’m eager to grow our writing community here.
I’m proud to share my first online publication, the 500-word flash fiction “Rivet Here” in Necessary Fiction. This story is about a new kind of relationship that blossoms in a small town when all the men leave for World War II.
What amount of effort went into getting “Rivet Here” published?
Keep reading for the details and some reading recommendations.Read the rest of this entry »
What do you focus on when you make New Year’s resolutions or broader goals? I tend to fixate on what I’ll gain. It’s less motivating to acknowledge what you’ll have to give up to make those gains, but it’s just as crucial. Consider all your goals. If they are to become accomplishments, they have to happen in some order. Order implies priority. Priority implies a few things first. What won’t make it over the finish line?
Speaking of sharing rejections, check out this anti-resumé.
Within an hour of our IndieGogo campaign meeting its goal, I got a call telling me I’d been awarded a North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship. It’s a huge, huge honor. It’s also the fourth time I’ve applied for it, and to me, that’s part of why it’s an honor.
A couple years ago I was having dinner with a playwright, Bekah Brunstetter, and her director David Shmidt Chapman. We talked about how rejection is just part of the landscape for all beginning artists, no matter how talented or hardworking they might be or how successful they might appear. David said he’d love to publish his “anti-résumé” someday—a list of all the things he didn’t get.
Ever since, I’ve wanted to publish my own. So I’ve gone through the last six years’ worth of spreadsheets in both prose and playwriting, to literary journals, workshops, conferences, theaters, graduate schools, play…
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Today, my submissions journey reaches the next step! I started submitting stories to contests and literary journals over two years ago, founded a critique group, curated a submissions calendar, and wrote contest roundups for Writer Unboxed. But this week and with this email, I achieved my next goal:Read the rest of this entry »
Given my 78 submissions and 57 rejections this year, I found this timely reminder about the power of reframing.
I had a conversation with a friend recently where she told me that my whole “self-doubt demon” personification thing doesn’t really speak to her. She said it feels shallow, almost cutesy, and not like real coping.
It made me realize that if that’s all I was doing–personifying the voice of doubt in my head and making light of it–it probably wouldn’t work that well for me, either. There’s something deeper that has to happen.
In my first post on Rejection Survival Guide, I wrote the following (emphasis from now):
I know what it’s like to be in the trenches. I’ve been there. I’m still there. I may be there forever. So I’m getting comfortable, setting up shop, and mapping this place out for those of you who haven’t gotten to know this place like I have.
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A thoughtful take on short story submissions with specific cover letter advice.
If you choose to work as a freelance writer, most of your work will be commissioned and dictated by other people. It still beats the hell out of other jobs, believe me, but the job sets inherent boundaries. You have to write content relevant to a client’s blog. You have to turn the client’s words into a coherent post, article, or book. If you choose to take the entirely traditional route and only pitch stories to magazines, you have far more control over the subject of your writing, but you probably aren’t pitching fiction or poetry. If you are, please tell me in the comments where and how you’re doing that because I would love to know.
Essentially, as a freelancer, your bread and butter comes from nonfiction pieces driven by the needs of a client. But there’s a high likelihood that if you’re a writer by trade, you also…
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How do you know where to submit your enthusiastically crafted, thoughtfully critiqued, and carefully revised short stories? I’ve recently started down this journey toward publication and thought it would be helpful to share my submissions calendar, a curated list of contest deadlines and calls for submission. These are opportunities I believe are at least worth considering for your short story submissions (and in many cases poetry and creative nonfiction). Some are regional to the San Francisco Bay Area but most are not.
The following is my winning entry to the Kevin Smokler Scholarship for the 2016 San Francisco Writers Conference (SFWC). The conference began yesterday and I’ve already gleaned a lot from a first day of connecting with insightful writers, editors, and agents! A huge thanks to Kevin Smokler for sponsoring the scholarship and SFWC’s Barbara Santos for sharing the great news.