Let me tell you a story about a little story.
Once upon a time a writer had an idea, a marvellous, once-in-a-lifetime idea, or so she thought. It was rather simple at its core – about a woman who couldn’t see herself in the mirror anymore. Instead, she saw an inanimate object.
The writer wrote the story and sent it out. It gathered truckloads of form rejections, and one or two encouraging notes here and there.
She rewrote it, this time making the character the victim of an acid attack. After all, for what kind of woman would this ability to not see oneself be the most life-changing?
She continued to send out the story, garnering mostly form rejections but some complimentary ones too. She never lost faith in the piece, though. After another forty-odd rejections over a period of almost two years, she found a venue that she felt would serve as the ideal home for the story, and sent it off with trepidation. Soon she got an acceptance from one of the best venues which she’d always yearned to crack!
No prizes for guessing that the writer is me! And the lit mag is question is The Forge Literary Magazine. This is one of the best literary journals out there. Unlike most lit mags, they host a rotating set of editors, including one of my favourite bloggers and writers Damyanti Biswas. At that time the editor Barbara Barrow was reading for submissions and mentioned she loved magical realism. I thought my story would fall into that category so I sent it off.
More than three months later I woke up to an acceptance mail that just transformed my Sunday! I couldn’t have been more thrilled upon reading those treasured words. However, this was my first experience of the story being scheduled for the next year, almost six months after acceptance.
I received $75 payment for the story and had a wonderful experience with the editor who gave me minor changes that enhanced the piece.
Please do share your latest published work in the comments!