Steve and I have occasionally collaborated on fiction under the name Alvarado O'Brien, once on a strange longer essay ("Imaginary Friends") under both our names. A newly revised version of that essay (which was published in GRIST: THE ONLINE COMPANION) has been accepted for publication in a kickass anthology coming out in June 2018: THEY SAID: A MULTI-GENRE ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY COLLABORATIVE WRITING, edited by Simone Muench and Dean Rader (Black Lawrence Press). Here's an announcement and list of contributors (some great names here).
Three creative nonfiction rejections today. It might be of interest to fledgling writers to record them all, but anyone who's been publishing for a while knows how many there are. I loved it when the very well published and experienced writer Molly Giles did a bio at a reading last spring that listed all of the literary journals that had recently rejected her, in alphabetical order. It was a surprisingly long list.
More unexpected, $150 that I never imagined I'd see, for a short story published in the alternative weekly DigBoston two Christmases ago. They've been in tremendous financial disarray, and despite the best efforts of their consulting fiction editor Rachel Branwen (also the editor of Slush Pile magazine, which reprinted my story), it looked like they were going to stiff all of their fiction writers. Not so! The new editor-in-chief will pay all of us. Between that, and a nice check from Gettysburg Review, and smaller checks from a few other magazines, and $500 coming up for winning the chapbook contest at Black Lawrence Press, this has been a great year.
Oh, and one of today's rejections was a very warm and personal and complimentary note from AGNI, who assured me that "this is not our customary rejection" and encouraged me to submit more. Crazy business when a rejection leaves you feeling good.
Still so thrilled to be in The Gettysburg Review (while worrying that this will be the high point of my career), which I haven't even finished reading yet.
It’s here! I have a personal essay ("Family Pictures") in the summer issue of THE GETTYSBURG REVIEW! I’m completely floored to be in this top literary journal (among their writers: E. L. Doctorow, Rita Dove, James Tate, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Wilbur). A big check arrived from them last week, but I didn't expect the magazine to come out so soon. Walking on air.
When they accepted the essay, the editor Mark Drew called it "a smart, compelling, and moving look at the reasons why we keep and display photographs." He was a wonderful editor, a very close reader with great suggestions.
Print and digital copies of the journal are available here.
This is one of the first creative essays that I wrote, and I've revised it off and on for years (sometimes shelving it for very long periods). It's completely different now than it was then, but has retained an academic element (the outside readings from Sontag, Barthes, and others all confined to section epigraphs now). My San Francisco writing group, the Leporine Conspiracy, was enormously helpful. An essayist that I only know from an online essay group, Lucy Bryan Malenke, did a thorough close reading of the essay and made invaluable suggestions. And it was fun to get the edits from GETTYSBURG REVIEW when my good friend, the poet Sharon Dolin, was visiting from New York, and get her input too. It takes a village.
Great cover art by Tina Newberry. There's a color insert with 8 more of her paintings.