small news

I’ve been in Portland, Oregon all week, visiting my son and daughter-in-law. And running. It’s a very runner-friendly town. But anyway, back to writing news.

I received an email this morning from an editor at a magazine where I had sent a story for consideration. There was a call for submission, which allowed me to target my submission nicely since the piece really was pretty much about the theme of the upcoming issue. The problem was that the word count was limited to 5,000; my story was 5,290 words. So I crawled all over it, eliminating this, cutting that, rewriting to be more concise where I could. And after a little bit of effort — I’ve had this story for several years, so I believed it to be as refined as it was ever going to be — I managed to get it just under the 5,000 limit and sent it in.

The email I received said that the editor felt there must have been more to the story, which she said she liked very much, and could I please send her the longer version? I had not said anything about the story having had a longer version in my submission. Yet she sensed that there was one. (Perhaps my edits had been clumsy?)

And so the longer version went out the door this morning. (Then I went for my morning run, and at mile 4 I realized that I had sent the email without attaching the document. Another two and a half miles afoot before I could fix that. And when I did get back to my son’s apartment, got myself showered and dressed, and got myself before the laptop, I found that I had included the attachment.) The deadline for submissions is the end of this month, so I was flattered that I had heard even what I had before then, even more so the nature of what she asked. I’m hopeful, but it could be that the extra 300 words won’t give the editor what she’s expecting. I’ll let you know.

The story is titled “Travel Light” and it was to have been chapter two of my abandoned novel Larger than Life. It is a good piece; it is a study of a certain compulsive personality that melds nicely with the Seven Deadly Sins theme of the magazine.

So, an interesting email.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts, Larger than Life, short stories

3 Comments on “small news”

  1. Annam Says:

    Fingers crossed.

  2. donnaeve Says:

    Any news is news in this business. Like the analogy I used on Betsy Lerner’s blog. Writers like news of any kind (good or bad) b/c we can be like children, wanting the attention, good or bad. We’ll think positive for now about your story!

  3. Teri Says:

    Good for you Paul. Fingers crossed!!!!

    I once had a 7,000 word story that needed to be 4,000 words, so I cut stuff out like a crazy woman and submitted it. The editor emailed, said she wanted it, and oh-by-the-way “could she cut the first 4 pages?” My story ended up being less than half of what it started to be, which was probably best.


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